I came across something today that was really, really interesting. Have you ever wondered why it was that God from the very beginning rejected Cain’s offering to the Lord? I have. The following words from John Calvin answers this question quiet nicely…
”There is nothing more perilous to our salvation than a preposterous and perverse worship of God.The primary rudiments, by which we are wont to train to piety those whom we wish to gain as disciples to Christ, are these; viz., not to frame any new worship of God for themselves at random, and after their own pleasure, but to know that the only legitimate worship is that which he himself approved from the beginning. For we maintain, what the sacred oracle declared, that obedience is more excellent than any sacrifice (1 Sam. xv. 22.) In short, we train them, by every means, to be contented with the one rule of worship which they have received from his mouth, and bid adieu to all fictitious worship.” – Reply to Cardinal James Sadolet.
The bible talks about High Alters and Strange Fire and how Israel was judged for incorrect worship. The following are highlights from a sermon that Jacob Prasch did some years back and illustrates how important it is that we get worship right. This is part one of that sermon.
The high places and the alters – what’s the difference?
Isa 36:7 But if thou say unto me, We trust in Jehovah our God: is not that he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and hath said to Judah and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar?
And said to Judah and Jerusalem – He had commanded them to worship only in Jerusalem, at the temple. This was in strict accordance with the law of Moses. Barnes
The Hebrew word for alter is Meso Beoch. The Meso Beoch is the most important picture for Christ in scripture. Blood atonement was made upon the Meso Beoch.
High places in hebrew is Bemoat; Hezekiah had taken the high places away; Blood atonement was made upon the Meso Beoch.
Idolatry doesn’t begin by the worship of other gods, idolatry begins by worshipping the true god in unbiblical ways. Israel began their idolatry by worshipping Jehovah at some other alien high place; not by worshipping baal or molech but by worshipping not according to Jehovah’s commands.
The hebrew term for idolatry is not worshipping idols it is ‘avoda zara’, which simply means a form of worship which is alien to scripture.
The strange fire:
There is in Leviticus the account of strange fire; they were burning the fire to Jehovah but in an alien way, not according to scripture:
Lev 10:1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took each of them his censer, and put fire therein, and laid incense thereon, and offered strange fire before Jehovah, which he had not commanded them.
The term for unbiblical worship and the term for idolatry is the same term. Once you begin to worship the true God in an unbiblical way you will end up in idolatry. It is the path that gets you there; it’s inevitable. The Catholic Church is an example, they progressed into idolatry. They didn’t start with necromancy and icons they progressed into it. If you worship the one true God in an unbiblical way; that path leads you into idolatry.
Another example is the hebrew word for husband, master and owner which is ‘Bal’. Jehovah was Israel’s Bal. The Canaanites had their Bal. They had their god with the same name. If you begin to worship the true god in an unbiblical way another god gives a counterfeit.
Hezekiah realised this and he tore the high places down.
The above are some of the notes of the sermon which teach us the way in which the first two attacks will happen. I found this to be very interesting as we are seeing them happen today.
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