Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Order in Worship.

Hebrews 9:1-5 (ESV)
Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. [2] For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place. [3] Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, [4] having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron's staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. [5] Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
“Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness.” Now even? I think it is obvious that the “first covenant” had regulations. One barely needs skim the surface of Leviticus to see that! What is strange to how this verse is used is that it implies there might be regulations for worship under the New Testament also. Though it doesn’t much go into what these regulations might have been, it is easily determined from here and elsewhere, like 1 Cor. 13 and 14, that there was order to the worship. Worship in the early church was not an ecstatic orgy of emotion that broke out where ever. That was not the meaning of worshiping the Father in Spirit and Truth. John 4 merely indicates that there will come a day when it will no longer be required that we make a journey to the Temple in Jerusalem to worship God.
The author of Hebrews also goes into some detail, here describing this worship, and the “graven images” overshadowing the mercy seat. Seriously, I’m so tired of people reading the first commandment as a prohibition of images in a sanctuary period. The Old Testament Temple had more images than the Vatican. I think God might have meant something a bit more by “graven images” than a crucifix adorning the corner of a sanctuary.

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