Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Sacrifice (9) Moses and David

Moses and David were able to go close to the covenant box and hear God speak.

The Lord would speak to Moses face to face as to a friend.

The LORD would speak with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his friend (Ex 33:11).
This happened before any sacrifices had been offered.

David was able to draw near to the covenant box once it had been placed in a tent in Jerusalem (Ps 84:1; Ps 15:1).

Let us go into His tabernacle;
Let us worship at His footstool.
Arise, O LORD, to Your resting place,
You and the box of your strength (Ps 132:7-8).
David was able to be close to the covenant box, even though no sacrifices had been offered. How was this possible.

David answers this question in a couple of his Psalms. He explained that God did not really need the sacrifices.

You do not delight in sacrifice and offering;
you open my ears to listen.
You do not ask for a whole burnt offering or a sin offering…
I delight to do your will, my God,
and your law is within my heart (Ps 40:6-8).
God does not delight in sacrifices. He looks for the person who delights to do his will.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise (Ps 51:17).
A broken and contrite heart is more pleasing to God than sacrifices.

Moses had a broken spirit. He had grown up in the palace of Pharaoh and was educated to be a leader. His mother and sister had taught him that he was put in a privileged place so he could rescue his people. His dreams collapsed when he killed a man, and the people threatened to report him. He fled to another land and spent forty years watching the sheep of his father-in-law. Moses thought he was someone special, but his spirit was broken as his talents were wasted on ungrateful sheep. When God came to the burning bush, Moses was able to draw near, because the had a humble and contrite heart. He was not harmed in the presence of God.

This continued in the wilderness. Moses was able to continue meeting with God in the tabernacle of meeting.

As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses (Ex 33:9).
This was possible because Moses remained humble.
Moses was a very humble man, more so than anyone on the face of the earth (Num 12:3).
A humble heart does not need sacrifice.

As a young man, David had an amazing trust in God. He had been put down by the harsh treatment of his older brothers. He became overconfident when bringing the covenant box to Jerusalem and did not follow God’s instruction for moving it (1 Chron 15:13). As a consequence, Uzzah was killed by Wrath. A man died, but David humbled himself and got an answer from God. He took responsibility and admitted that he had was the cause of the accident.

David made many mistakes during his life, but he knew that God was merciful. He relied on God’s mercy because he knew that he needed it.

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin (Ps 51:1-2).
God’s mercy can cleanse a humble heart.

Moses and David were men with humble and contrite hearts. Both were broken by their failings, but they had discovered the mercy of God. They received the forgiveness of God. Because they were forgiven, they also gained spiritual protection. The spirit of Wrath was not able to attack them. They were safe in the presence of God at the entrance of his Tabernacle because their spirits were broken and they had discovered God’s mercy. God’s mercy is the safest place in the world.

God does not need sacrifices. He is able to forgive those who are humble and contrite

  • Sacrifices were needed to satisfy the demands of the Accuser and the other spiritual powers of evil. They demanded blood for sin, so the sacrifices silenced their accusations and condemnation.
  • Sacrifices were necessary for human guilt. Guilt causes shame, which makes it is impossible for us to relate to god. We cannot hear God speak when we are weighed down with guilt and shame.
Moses and David had experienced God’s mercy.
  • God’s mercy wiped away their guilt and shame. This allowed them to stand in his presence and hear him speak.
  • God’s mercy silenced the accuser, so the spirit of Wrath could not attack them. Their spiritual protection was strong.
The rest of their people were not broken in the same way, so they did not understand the depth of God’s mercy. They continued to be afraid of him.
  • The people had to rely on sacrifices to deal with their guilt. Even then, they were mostly afraid to go into his presence, and they rarely heard him speak.
  • The people had to rely on sacrifices for spiritual protection.

This full series can be found at Kingdom Watcher.

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