Summary: What Leviticus teaches us about entering the Old Testament Tabernacle in an unworthy manner is to teach us about entering the New Testament house of worship in an unworthy manner.
February 11, 2018
The Tolerance of Sin and the
Absence of Worship
Intro.: This year many of you are using the “Read Through the Bible” reading guide provided by the church. Many of you as well are taken advantage of the videos on the church website to help you with your understanding of your reading. This week we completed the book of Leviticus and started the book of Numbers.
Biblical writers refer to Leviticus as “The Law of the Priests.” It’s really a beautiful book of how God graciously provided a way for His people to live in His presence.
As far as I can remember the times that I have read through the books of the Bible, when I turned the page to the book of Leviticus I wasn’t overwhelmed with joy and excitement. If I were putting together my list of the top 10 books in the Bible I’m not sure Leviticus would make the list.
However, this time when I began reading it I had a different approach, I began reading with a sincere belief that God had a special word for me in this book – and God didn’t disappoint. When I came to chapter 13 I read these great words -- And all the bald men in the room shouted “Amen!”
** I wish I was preaching on those verses. It would be a lot more fun and a whole lot easier. Having before wanted to dismiss the book as guidelines of past generations I was preparing to read and meditate on subjects that were relevant for me and my generation.
BACKGROUND: In its true context Leviticus focuses on the worship and walk of Israel, the person and the place of worship. Remember from Genesis God started a covenant with the people. In Exodus, Israel stepped away from the covenant and then was redeemed and established as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Leviticus shows how God’s people were to fulfill their priestly calling in the Old Testament. (In the New Testament Peter wrote I Peter 2:9-10.)
STAND, Turn in your copy of God’s HOLY Word to Leviticus 16:1-2. These two verses brought me to the full revelation of the book of Leviticus and its relevancy on my life. Pew Bible page # ______. READ TEXT/PRAY.
As I meditated upon this passage this week God began showing me something I had forgotten about MY SIN and MY (HIS) WORSHIP. I always knew the concepts were there but God showed me something in full color.
The message title is: The Tolerance of Sin and the Absence of Worship. Let me say it in a more confessional, personal way: I HAD GIVEN (FALLEN) INTO THE PARALLEL OF SIN AND WORSHIP. Just like the two sons of Aaron I had the attitude that I could walk into a place of worship HOWEVER and WHENEVER I wanted.
God quickly chastened my heart this week about the tolerance of sin producing the absence of genuine worship in my life. What I understand BETTER today is that God desired my worship but he would not accept my worship because of my unconfessed sin and my carefree attitude of being in the presence of a holy God.
What Leviticus teaches us about entering the Old Testament Tabernacle in an unworthy manner is to teach us about entering the New Testament house of worship in an unworthy manner. More, it teaches us how to use the New Testament Tabernacle, our bodies in holiness.
What do you suppose would be different if you and I prepared ourselves spiritually on Sunday morning as much as we do physically? What would happen if we spent more time in our prayer room than we did in the bathroom getting ready? Don’t you think things would be different in this room each week? Don’t you think there would be this overwhelming sense of God’s presence in our lives and in our worship, in our response? Don’t you think there would be less sleeping and more singing, less gazing at our phones and more at His word, less getting up and leaving, and more reverence and respect and surrender?
Listen closely: This passage fortunately does not teach that worshippers will die when they come to worship with unconfessed sin – but it clearly teaches that there should be spiritual preparation and a high reverence given to this holy hour.
Favorite quote: “What audacity do we have to enter into the presence of Almighty God without due preparation of the heart.” F.B. Meyer
I. My Sin Must Have BOUNDARIES
A. You and I should always be prepared to stop dead in our tracks when we know we have encountered sin.
1. We should know when to stop it, run from it, and flee from it.