It is good to be with you this week, thanks so much for joining us on Hope for Today. There is absolutely no other book like the Bible, and we believe every part of the Bible is beneficial for us. As you know, we are studying in Exodus, but this is not the only book of the Bible we have teaching from.
Here is a testimony from Macedonia, and at the time we were airing our teaching from one of the Gospels.
“I listen to Radio 7 daily because it is different from all the other radio stations in our country. The music and the radio programs give me a lot of inner peace and have helped me practically with a few relationship problems I have had this year. I want to thank you for the program, Heralds of Hope. I am a Russian orthodox believer and though I always had a Bible in my home, I never opened it. I always was told that only the priests can understand the Bible and we do what we are told. Through the program Heralds of Hope, I was encouraged to read the Bible myself for the first time. This radio program has helped me a lot to understand the Gospels. I like that the teacher studies every chapter of the Gospel. Nothing is left out. I never thought that the Gospels had so many teachings about everyday life. I learned from the program how to forgive others and since then my relationships have improved greatly.”
Isn’t this testimony amazing? Notice how the listener was impacted when they read the Bible on their own. Have you had an experience like this with God’s Word? I have and those who are involved with Heralds of Hope have also experienced the life in this wonderful book. This is the life and hope we share with you.
With that introduction let’s go with Bible teacher, J Mark Horst to the Old Testament book of Exodus. If you can, follow along in your Bible and get ready to see God and be changed by Him.
Let me ask you a question. Can all religions be right? All religions express man’s need for contact with God. In that sense they are all alike. Yet all religions are not the same and they cannot be right because they do not point to the one true God. There are many differences even among false religions, but especially between them and the true religion of Jehovah.
There is, however, a true religion, a true worship of God. To show this true worship to mankind, God came down to reveal Himself when Moses and the children of Israel were camped at Mt. Sinai many years ago. God did this because He wanted the true worship of man. He wanted to have fellowship with man, but it was necessary for something to happen so that man could have fellowship with God. Man’s sin had separated him from God. How could that be repaired?
Fellowship and worship are closely linked together. But how shall we worship God? How shall we adore and praise Him? How can God be real to us so that we understand and feel His presence, that He is near?
In Exodus 30:11-21 Moses received certain instructions for worship.
11. And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying,
12. When thou take the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou number them; that there be no plague among them, when thou number them.
13. This they shall give, everyone that passes among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary (a shekel is twenty gerahs): a half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD.
14. Everyone that passes among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD.
15. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
16. And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
17. And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying,
18. Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar and thou shalt put water therein.
19. For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat:
20. When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD:
21. So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.
From these instructions we learn the REQUIREMENTS of true worship.
The First Requirement is,
The Need for Redemption
God told Moses that everyone who was 20 years old or older was to make an atonement, or a payment, for their souls. Every male: there were no exceptions. They were to come with their atonement money to take care of this need for redemption. All who were numbered were to do this. It was carefully set forth and the amount by weight according to the weight of the sanctuary. There was a need here. God would make no exceptions. Everyone’s redemption came by the same process. The need for redemption was common to all the males of Israel.
Today there is still a need for redemption today. Today, however, it includes women too. This text is a beautiful illustration of the need for redemption because God said every man will pay the ransom money. No one was exempted. No one could say “this does not apply to me.” It was required of every man. So, there is this requirement: the need for redemption.
The Second Requirement is,
The Norm for Recognition
There was a proper age: twenty years old and up. No one under twenty years of age was held responsible. Once you came to your twentieth year, then you were responsible.
There was also a proper amount that was required. Everyone paid the same. The rich did not give more, and the poor did not give less. Everyone was on the same level. Requirements were exactly the same when it came to true worship. No favoritism. No downgrading.
And there was the proper use of this ransom money. It was to be used in the service of the tabernacle, not for anything else. It was to be a part of their worship experience. Even today, giving is a part of true worship.
In this requirement all of them were exactly alike. There was absolutely no difference between them before God. I want to make that clear. Before the LORD there is absolutely no difference. Everybody is held accountable for exactly the same thing. I find in this text it was the proper age, the proper amount, and the proper use of this ransom money. It was exactly the same for everybody.
The Third Requirement is,
The Necessity for Regulation
It is interesting to meditate on how Moses was instructed to make a laver. We get our English word, lavatory from this. It was a bowl, a place for washing. Whenever Aaron and his sons were serving in their appointed office of the priest, they were to do so with clean bodies. They were to wash their hands and feet before they served at the altar. It was necessary to make this kind of regulation and God was very strict about it. There was a place for washing, the laver.
Whenever they served in the tabernacle of the congregation or when they came near to the altar to minister, they prepared for worship and service by washing their feet in the laver. That was preparation for worship. God told them that they must do this lest they die. God was emphasizing His holiness and the importance of coming into His presence carefully.
This was to be a never-ending requirement for Aaron’s family because they were set apart for the priesthood. The LORD said so. “It shall be a statute forever even to him and his descendants throughout their generations.” Whenever they functioned in their role as high priests, they washed in preparation for worship. God said this is what they should do.
In the worship of God there is an orderly way to go about it, down to the very last detail, even to being clean in body. Aaron and his sons were always to wash their hands and feet before they came before the LORD.
What can we learn from this? Our worship must be regulated. Some people rush into the presence of God carelessly without much thought or preparation. We must remember that God is holy, and He deserves to be worshipped with reverence and dignity.
The LORD really does want our worship, but true worship must consider the need for redemption; there are no exceptions. Everyone who comes needs redemption. In God’s view all are alike, whether rich or poor, there is no partiality, no favoritism. In God’s plan there is regulation, everything in order.
So, don’t be satisfied with something less than true worship. God outlined what He wanted the children of Israel to do in ancient times. Certainly, He wants no less from us today. Is God real in your life? Is your worship “true worship?”
Thanks J Mark for these thoughts about worship. This subject is very important and one reason it is important is because people are worshipers. Every human being desires to worship something. Look around and you see people trying to fill the God-void inside with many other things. There seems to be no limit to the things or people we are willing to worship. All of this worship is false, it is called idolatry, don’t fall for it. Worship the one true God and only Him, He is the only one who is worthy, and He deserves our worship.
If you have any questions or if you’d like a copy of today’s teaching, here is how you can contact us. The best way is email. Our email is [email protected]. If you don’t have email, no problem, you could write to us, our address is Hope for Today, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533. Or you can connect with us on our website. Our website is heraldsofhope.org. On our website you can listen to our other programs and find helpful resources, so please look around while you are there. If you go to the connect tab on the top of the page, you can message us directly. Again, the website is heraldsofhope.org.
Thank you so much for being with us and we hope you will join us next week. Go with God and may our worship be just like David’s in Psalm 34, “I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.”
*This episode is an exposition of Exodus 30:11-21 by J. Otis Yoder, re-recorded by J. Mark Horst, with an opening and closing by Arlin Horst.