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I Will Come Unto Thee And Bless Thee

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SIH STSTA ICONMuch like a married couple whose love and communion grows over the length of their marriage, so too, those who are saved can enter into an ever increasing level of intimacy with the Lord.   In our text for this blog posting, we will be looking at some basic principles that describe how those who have trusted in Christ can secure a closer walk with Him.

Let’s begin our study of the Lord’s promise: “I will come unto thee and bless thee.”

THE SCRIPTURES:

Exod 20:22-24 (KJV)

22) And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.

23) Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.

24) An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.

THE STUDY:

The background of our text is the Lord speaking to the nation of Israel as they begin their travels to the Promised Land following their release from Egyptian enslavement.  In this text, the Lord is going to explain to the Israelites what was necessary for them to receive His presence and blessings during their travels.  Although His instructions were given to the Israelites of old, there are many basic principles in these verses that can be applied to our lives today as we seek for His presence and blessings among us.

Exod 20:22-24 (KJV)

22) And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.

To begin our study the Lord reaffirms to us that the instructions the Israelites were about to receive have come from Him.  As we read this passage and study it, let’s remember that this is not a man’s opinion or thoughts… it is the actual word of the Lord handed down to us.

23) Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.

The first basic principle for spiritual growth and intimacy with the Lord is consistently putting the Lord first in our lives.  Here, the Lord is explaining to the Israelites the importance of recognizing Him as the only God, and then by implication, putting Him first in the Israelite nation and their families.

How do we as Christians allow false gods into our lives?  ANYTHING that takes priority over the Lord in our lives is a false god.  For what do we find ourselves living?  What dictates the course of our lives and our decision making?  This is our God/god.   (Deut 10:12, Mark 12:29-30, 1 John 5:2-5)

24) An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me,

Here, the Lord is emphasizing to the Israelites and, by implication, given to us (as followers of Him):

1. the need to worship Him – “the altar”

For a close association with Him, the need for Godly worship in our lives cannot be overemphasized.  Many times we think of worship as simply attending the teaching/preaching services of a church.  This is only a very small part of true, Godly worship.

True worship is the recognition of His Creatorship, and Redemption on our behalf.  As Creator, He has authority over us…. He can rightfully use us any way He pleases, after all He is the One to whom we owe our physical existence (Roms 9:20-23).

As our Redeemer, He has given to us our new life in Him… we become a “new creature in Christ” As such, we owe Him our spiritual life… He has purchased us with His shed blood on the cross. (2 Cor 5:14-17)

This is what Biblical worship actually is… it is submission to His Lordship based upon our knowledge of His authority as Creator, our recognition that we are His purchased possession, and our appreciation for both of these wonderful blessings (physical and spiritual life) that He has given to us.

2. the need to worship Him with the works of our hands – “thou shalt make unto me”

Biblical worship involves an outward and inward aspect. The outward aspect of true worship is placing our actions and words in submission to His will. In this case, the altar was to be “made” of earth.  The outward action of building the altar was a part of this worship.  Anytime, our actions are in alignment with His desires we are fulfilling this aspect of worship. (1 Sam 15:20-22)

3. the need to worship Him modestly, humbly (without pride)  – “altar of earth”

Please note, the Lord could have commanded His altar to be made of brass, silver, or even gold.  In this case, the altar was simply made of earth.  If it were of some fine metal, they might have become prideful at the beautiful work of their hands.  Also, they may have fallen into idolatry exalting the altar to the status of a false god. (Isa 2:8, Psa 115:1-8)   An earthen altar was a reminder to the Israelites of their sinfulness and humility. This is the inward aspect of true worship.  Outward actions of obedience without a humble, submissive attitude are an abomination to the Lord. (Matt 6:1-8)

and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen:

Here the Lord, is teaching the Israelites the need for two different sacrifices to be made:

  1. The burnt offering was an offering that pointed the Israelites to the SACRIFICE of the coming Messiah for the sin of His people.
  2. The peace offering was the offering that directs the Israelites attention to the RESULT of the Messiah’s sacrifice… peace and fellowship with God.

These are the basis of our worship.  Without the work of Christ on the cross and without the results of that work applied to our account, we cannot experience intimate fellowship with Him. (Rom 4:24-5:1)

As those who have experienced His grace in salvation, our constant attention on what He has done for us cultivates a closer walk with Him.

in all places where I record my name

Where can we experience His closeness and warmth?  Any place where He has recorded His name is a possible place of fellowship with Him.  The word for “record” is a Hebrew word meaning “to mark, to burn, or to mention”.  By the phrase “recording His name” the Lord is expressing any place where He is remembered and honored.  By His grace, He intervenes in the lives of His people allowing them to honor and remember His workings.  (Isa 64:6-8, Psa 5:7-8, Psa 143:10, Psa 43:3-4)

I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.

During these times when we are remembering His works on our behalf, being motivated out of  appreciation for all He has done for us, and then submitting ourselves to His will and ways… it is at these times that He is the closest to us.  It is at these times, we can be used of Him in the greatest of ways.  (see Psalm 107 for one example of the Psalmist enjoying a time such as this)

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

Let us strive for a continual close walk with the Lord through the application of these very basic principles of Godly worship.  If we find ourselves failing in these areas, remember, the Lord is a kind patient Lord who is always waiting to forgive us and renew our close walk with Him.  Simply forsake the sin that has crept into our life, ask forgiveness and submit that area of our life to Him. (1 Jon 1:5-10, Psa 51:6-15)

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

Throughout history, the desire for a relationship with God has existed in all mankind.  Beginning after the fall of man (when Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden), mankind lost their perfect communion with God. (Gen 3:22-24, Ezek 39:24)  With this void also came the intense desire for this void to be fulfilled.  Sadly, in many cases, mankind has looked to counterfeit deities to satisfy their longing for a relationship with the true God of the universe. (Deut 31:18)  In most cases, these false gods find their identity in the various aspects of nature (sun, moon, river, wind, fire etc). (Rom 1:21-25)

Throughout history the world has seen many false deities have come and go, the false deities of the Egyptians (Ra, Horus, Osiris, Isis, etc.); the Babylonians (Anu, Asher, Utu, etc.); the Greeks (Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, etc.); the Romans (Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, etc.); and even the Native Americans (Tirawa-atius, Nokomis, Atira, etc.); give us proof of man’s craving for a personal relationship with the True Creator of the world.  To this day, devotion to some of these ancient Gods exists in the sacred practices of Pagans, the Wiccans and several other false religions.

So how does a sinful, fallen man enter into a permanent relationship with Holy, Almighty God? (Psa 5:4-5).  To answer this question we need to find out His teachings on this most important matter.  Where do we find the very Words of God?  In the Bible, God’s revealed will which has been handed down to mankind. (2 Tim 3:13-17, Heb 4:12-13, 2 Pet 1:19-21)  In His Word He makes it plain that the first step to having a close walk with Him is through the salvation He has supplied to us through the work of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  To learn more about the salvation from sin and its results please see my blog page entitled “How To Have A Relationship With God”.

If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area.  They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage –

http://www.settledinheaven.org

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”


4 Comments

  1. terry1954 says:

    thank you Rob for a moving post today

  2. SLIMJIM says:

    Idols are a reality today though it might be of a different form

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