Posted 322 days ago ago by Tom Kraeuter 0 Comments
I recently was reading the book of Numbers. Many parts of it are very fascinating. The historical accounts of the people of Israel wandering in the wilderness, their battles, the frequent rebellion against Moses and against God, are all interesting stories. There are many lessons to be learned, even for us today, from those accounts.
Some parts of the book of Numbers, however, are less than exciting. When each tribe is listed, with extensive lists of fathers’ offspring, and a detailed count of all the people, my eyes start to glaze over. As the numerous different types of offerings are recounted in specific details—precisely what needs to be offered and specifically when it should happen—I have difficulty not yawning. It’s not exactly the most thrilling stuff I’ve ever read. As I once again read those offering specifications, though, I suddenly realized that there are lessons for us there, also.
The Lord gave the people precise instructions for daily offerings and sacrifices. Different instructions were given for Sabbath offerings and even monthly offerings. Sacrifices for the various holy days and feast and festivals—Passover, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles—all had their own specific directives for what to sacrifice and how to do it.
Then it dawned on me: What was the point? After all, what was God going to get out of all those sacrifices and offerings? He wasn’t really interested in breathing in some smoke, was He? That is, after all, all that really went heavenward. The ashes and any unburned, unconsumed parts stayed right here on earth. So what was the point? Did the Lord really like smoke?
No, smoke was not His priority. A few animals or cakes made with oil and flour that got burned up were not His ultimate goal. The point was that these were to be offerings to the Lord. The word “offering” occurs more than one hundred times in just the two chapters of Numbers where the rules are given (Numbers 28-29). God didn’t want animals. He owns every creature in the forest and the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10). What use could He possibly have for a few more sheep?
What God was really after was to capture the hearts of the people. He wanted them to offer sacrifices in order to get their focus on Him. His priority—as it always has been—was not the physical action but the heart behind the action.
As one involved in the worship ministry of your church, what are you willingly offering to God? Do you gladly give to Him the time that you spend in team rehearsals as well as practice on your own? Do you freely offer your talents and artistic abilities to the Lord, in order to honor Him with them? Does your checkbook reflect a life that is voluntarily turned toward God? Most importantly, do you enthusiastically give your heart to Him as an offering?
God is not really all that impressed with how well you or I play our musical instruments or how magnificently we can sing. He is not amazed by our artistic abilities. Those things are great as far as they go. But they are not ultimately the goal. The Lord wants our hearts. Make yours a genuine offering to God.
When it comes to the topic of worship, Tom Kraeuter is one of the leading voices in the Church today. For more information on Tom, his books, his teaching, or his Worship Seminars, contact Training Resources, 65 Shepherd’s Way, Hillsboro, MO 63050, 636-789-4522, email@example.com, or www.WorshipSeminar.com
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