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Choose This, Not That

Choose This, Not That! – The difference… (Leviticus 17:7)

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 16-18

Today’s Reflection: Leviticus 17:7

So they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to goat demons, after whom they whore. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.

This instruction was meant to distinguish sacrifices made to the one true God versus sacrifices made to false and pagan deities.  What’s interesting is that the only actual differences described here are the location where the sacrifice was offered and whether the sacrifice was made by a priest of the Lord, or not.  Aside from this, the actual sacrifice and the actions involved were virtually identical.

This makes clear that the line between worshiping God and worshiping idols, or self (which amounts to the same thing), can be a fine one, on the surface at least.  Consider:

Genesis 4:3-5 – 3) In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4) and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, 5) but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.

Exodus 32:1 – When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

Cain thought his sacrifice was ‘good enough’ even though it wasn’t what God had commanded.  The children of Israel felt there was no god to lead them so they made one of their own.  Both took actions that made sense, seemed reasonable and logical…  But only if one completely ignored what God Himself had said, done and promised.

Acts of worshiping God and acts of worshiping idols may look almost identical, as was the case with Cain and Abel, but the differences between those acts demonstrate the difference faith makes.  Faith is about believing God will provide, that God’s plan is best, even at times when it doesn’t make sense.  But those who lack faith won’t trust in God’s provision and will feel the need to make up for what they feel God has not done or will not do.  They attempt to refashion God to fit their viewpoints, or create gods who will approve of what the Lord will not.

God is not only clear on what serving Him looks like, He’s clear that truly serving Him goes far beyond what it looks like.  God gives us His word to guide us into this truth.

Choose this: God’s instruction on who is worthy of worship and how to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.

Not that:  Our own ideas of what is good enough for God, or of who is worthy of worship.

1 Kings 18:21 – And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.

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