HAPPY ARE YOU, O ISRAEL!. Lesson 5, for July 30, 2011. YESHÛRÛN.
Lesson 5, for July 30, 2011
“For the last time Moses stood in the assembly of his people. Again the Spirit of God rested upon him, and in the most sublime and touching language he pronounced a blessing upon each of the tribes, closing with a benediction upon them all:
“There is none like unto God, O Jeshurun,
Who rideth upon the heaven for thy help,
And in His excellency on the skies.
The eternal God is thy dwelling place,
And underneath are the everlasting arms:
And He thrust out the enemy from before thee,
And said, Destroy.
And Israel dwelleth in safety,
The fountain of Jacob alone,
In a land of corn and wine;
Yea, His heavens drop down dew.
Happy art thou, O Israel:
Who is like unto thee, a people saved by Jehovah,
The shield of thy help" (Deuteronomy 33:26-29, R.V.)”
E.G.W. (Patriarchs and Prophets, cp. 43, pg 504)
Jeshurun is a poetic name for Israel. It means “the righteous one”, “the just one”
God is God of Yeshûrûn; i.e. “God of the righteous”. He called Israel like that because He wants His people to be righteous as He is.
But His people weren’t always righteous.
“Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes”
(Ecclesiastes, 7: 29)
In this week we will learn what happens when we worship God with rectitude or with a “perverted”, incorrect worship.
That rectitude or justice in worship must be congruent with the divine will in its external characteristics and at its heart (the inner disposition)
After the rites of consecration of Aaron and his sons, they must wait for seven days of training.
That was a time for studying, praying, meditating and repeating the ritual so they would not make a mistake when celebrating it.
That way everything would be made as God had ordered.
After those seven days, Aaron and his sons began to offer the stipulated sacrifices according to the ritual “as the Lord had commanded Moses” (Leviticus, 9: 10, 21)
“And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of meeting, and came out and blessed the people. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people, and fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces” (Leviticus, 9: 23-24)
When worship is made according to God’s orders, it is approved by Him and generates greater praise and worship.
God’s orders about the incense offering in the Holy Place were very clear.
The incense must be prepared for the sanctuary on purpose (Exodus, 30: 9, 30-34). Its ingredients and their quantities were clearly detailed.
The fire for the incense offering must be taken from the live coals of the altar by using a portable censer (Leviticus, 16: 12)
According to the biblical text, Nadab and Abihu offered a “profane fire”. Although they obeyed the first point, they disobeyed the second one. When obeying God, half-obeying is no obedience at all. In addition, they were drugged with wine, so they couldn’t distinguish holy from profane (Leviticus, 10: 9-10)
“God designed to teach the people that they must approach Him with reverence and awe, and in His own appointed manner. He cannot accept partial obedience. It was not enough that in this solemn season of worship nearly everything was done as He had directed. God has pronounced a curse upon those who depart from His commandments, and put no difference between common and holy things. He declares by the prophet: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness! ... woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! ... which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! ... They have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 5:20-24.
E.G.W. (Patriarchs and Prophets, cp. 31, pg. 374-375)
“So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord” (Leviticus, 10: 2)
The fire of God consumes the sin.
Those who reject God’s ways and follow their own way --like those priests-- will have to confront that fire by their own (Revelation, 20: 9)
Those who accept the sacrifice of Jesus will never have to confront the consuming fire, since Jesus has been consumed in their place.
Worship is more than an external act. The people of God, Yeshûrûn, “the righteous one”, must worship God with a righteous heart.
In Hanna’s story we can find an example of the right motivation to come before God. She understood that God is a personal God and He cares about our needs; He understand us and is willing to help us.
Hannah worshiped the Lord from the hollowest recesses of her soul. She came before the Lord in an attitude of complete self-surrender.
The result was the fulfillment of Hannah’s request, which she made with a righteous heart.
True worship should flow from a broken heart totally aware of its own helplessness and dependence upon God.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me”(Psalm51: 10)
“Then Samuel said: Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel, 15: 22)
The orders given to Saul about the Amalekites were very clear: total destruction.
However, Saul preferred to forgive the king’s life. He also forgave the best of the livestock to offer it to the Lord, trying to show mercy. Despite that idea seemed right to him, it really was total disobedience.
Stubbornness, insisting on our own way, is idolatry because we have made a god of ourselves, our desires, and our opinions.
Although Saul followed the form in his worship, his disposition in that worship was not acceptable for God because his heart was far from Him.
You do not delight in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart-- These, O God, You will not despise”