Sermon # 44 Leviticus Sermons
Title: Divine Worship
Text: Leviticus 22:31-33
Subject: Five Motives for Worshipping Our God
Date: Sunday Morning—October 6, 2002
Tape # 24a
Reading: 1 Chronicles 16:23-36
1 Chronicles 16:23-36
23. Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; show forth from day to day his salvation.
24. Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations.
25. For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods.
26. For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
27. Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.
28. Give unto the LORD, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
29. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
30. Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.
31. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth.
32. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein.
33. Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth.
34. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
35. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.
36. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.
We have come here today to worship our God, not just to go through the motions of religious activity, but to worship our God. The Holy Spirit tells us that “bodily exercise profiteth little” (1 Tim. 4:8). That is to say, the mere exercise of religious activity and ceremonies, the mere performance of religious duty, is of little benefit to our souls. What we must have is godliness, vital godliness. Today, I want, by the grace and power of God the Holy Spirit, to talk to you about the worship of our God. The title of my message is Divine Worship. Our text will be Leviticus 22:31-33.
· The Duty of All
· The Privilege of Some
Seven Requirements for Worship
Before we get to our text, let me call your attention to some things God requires of those who would worship him. These are things revealed throughout the Scriptures; but they are specifically required of God in this 22nd chapter of Leviticus. I know this—If we would worship the eternal, infinite, omnipotent, ineffably glorious, sovereign Lord God…
1. We must stand before him in perfect cleanness (v. 4).
None can eat the holy things of God’s altar “until he be clean.” Christ is our Altar and our Sacrifice; but none can feast upon the things of Christ, none can enjoy and partake of the boundless mercy, grace and love of God in Christ “until he be clean.”
There is only one way for sinners to be made clean before God. If we would be clean before God, we must plunge into that Fountain God himself has opened for uncleanness and sin.
There is a Fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinner’s plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains!
The dying thief rejoiced to see
That Fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away!
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11) "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (11) And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20) "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
2. We must worship him willingly (vv. 19, 29).
Anything we offer to God we must offer because we want to, at our own will. I fully realize that no sinner will ever want to worship God until he is made willing by the work of God’s omnipotent grace; but once God puts his grace in us we worship him willingly, because we want to worship him. You can mark this down and take it to the bank—God almighty will never receive or honor anything done for him or given in his name that does not arise from a willing heart (2 Cor. 8:12).
(2 Corinthians 8:12) "For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not."
3. That which we bring to God must be our best (v. 24).
(Leviticus 22:24) "Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land."
(Malachi 1:6-8) "A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? (7) Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. (8) And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts."
(Malachi 1:12-14) "But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. (13) Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD. (14) But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen."
God will not have our leftovers! He will not have seconds. He will not honor that which does not honor him. If we would worship God, we must worship him with our best.
· Our Best Time.
· Our Best Efforts.
· Our Best Gifts.
· Our Best Service.
4. I’ll tell you something else, and this needs to be heard loud and clear.—The worship of our God deserves and requires personal sacrifice (v. 25).
(Leviticus 22:25) "Neither from a stranger's hand shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these; because their corruption is in them, and blemishes be in them: they shall not be accepted for you."
(2 Samuel 24:24) "And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver."
5. If we would worship the Lord our God, we must do so by feasting upon his sacrifice in his house (v. 30).—Worship requires the feast of faith.
(Leviticus 22:30) "On the same day it shall be eaten up; ye shall leave none of it until the morrow: I am the LORD."
· The Sacrifice must be eaten.
· The Whole Sacrifice must be eaten.
(John 6:48-58) "I am that bread of life. (49) Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. (50) This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. (51) I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. (52) The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? (53) Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. (54) Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (55) For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. (56) He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. (57) As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. (58) This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever."
6. God requires that we worship him after the divine order (v. 31).
If we would worship God we must worship him in the way he has prescribed, adding nothing to it and taking nothing from it.
7. And God requires that we honor him in the purpose of our hearts and in the exercise of worship (v. 32).
He says, “I will be hallowed.—Profane not my holy name.” Let us take care that we honor God in what we do here this hour.
· In Attitude
· In Doctrine
· In Song
· In Prayer
· In Praise
· No Self-gratification
· Nothing to Impress Men
· Nothing to Please the Flesh
Now, let’s look at verses 31-33, and I will show you five reasons why we ought to worship our God with such whole-hearted devotion. In these three verses, the Lord God himself gives us five great motives by which he would stir up our hearts to worship him, in our hearts, in our lives, in our homes, and in his house.
(Leviticus 22:31-33) "Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the LORD. (32) Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you, (33) That brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD."
All men ought to worship God; but none can worship him except he do so of his own will, with a willing heart. Let none be induced to bring a sacrifice to God, pretend to worship him, or take up a profession of faith in Christ because someone pressures him to do so, or that he might please a friend, or please his family, or because he wishes to make a good impression upon others, appearing to be what he is not. Al true worship, all service to God, “must at your own will.” It must flow spontaneously from the heart. God will not have it any other way.—Now, watch how our God inspires such worship in and from his people.
I. First, the Lord God inspires us to worship him because of who he is—“I am the Lord.”
He who is alone the worthy object of worship and praise, he who is alone the worthy object of faith and devotion is he who is the Lord, Jehovah, the sovereign Monarch of the universe. No man will ever truly worship until he worships at the footstool of an absolute Sovereign. Divine sovereignty is not the last thing God’s people learn, but the very first thing learned in the experience of grace (Rev. 4 – “Behold, a throne!”). Men bargain with an equal, trample upon an inferior, and bribe a superior. We worship only one who is Sovereign.
(Deuteronomy 4:39) "Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else."
(Leviticus 19:37) "Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the LORD."
II. Second, this great, glorious, omnipotent Sovereign, the Lord God Almighty, inspires us to worship him by stooping to be worshipped by us! He says, “I will be hallowed among the children of Israel.” What majestic, condescending grace!
Yes, he demands that we profane not his name. Yes, he demands that we worship him in the precise way that he prescribes. But he wills to be worshipped by us! He says, “I will be hallowed among the children of Israel.”
III. Now, watch this.—Third, the Lord God inspires us to hallow and sanctify him as the Lord God by reminding us that he alone has sanctified us by his grace.—“I am the Lord which hallow you.”
The Lord our God has many distinct names by which he reveals himself to us in the Old Testament. Particularly, his great, redemptive name, the name by which he first revealed himself to Moses, Jehovah is used at least fourteen (14) time in a compound form. These fourteen compound names of our God are intended both to show us who he is and to assure us of his great works of mercy and grace in saving our souls.
A. JEHOVAH-HOSEENU—"The Lord our Maker"—"O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker" (Ps. 95 :6).
B. JEHOVAH-JIREH—"The Lord will provide"—"And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen" (Gen. 22 :14).
C. JEHOVAH-ROPHECA—"The Lord that healeth thee"—"And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee" (Ex. 15:26).
D. JEHOVAH-NISSI—"The Lord my banner"—"And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi" (Ex. 17:15).
E. JEHOVAH-ELOHEENU—"The Lord our God"—"Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy...He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them. Thou answeredst them, O LORD our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions" (Ps. 99:5,7,8).
F. JEHOVAH-ELOHEKA—"The Lord thy God"—"I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage: ... Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me...Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain" (Ex.20:2,5,7).
G. JEHOVAH-ELOHAY—"The Lord my God"—"And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee" (Zech. 14:5).
H. JEHOVAH-SHALOM—"The Lord send peace"—"Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites" (Judges 6:24).
I. JEHOVAH-TSEBAHOTH—"The Lord of hosts"—"And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there" (I Sam. 1:3). "And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha" (Rom. 9:29). "Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth" (Jas. 5:4).
J. JEHOVAH-ra-ah—"The Lord my shepherd"—"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Ps. 23:1).
K. JEHOVAH-HELEYON—"The Lord most high"—"I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high" (Ps. 7:17). "For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth" (Ps. 47:2). "For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods" (Ps. 97:9).
L. JEHOVAH-TSIDKEENU—"The Lord our righteousness" —"In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jer. 23:6). "In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness" (Jer. 33:16).
M. JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH—"The Lord is there"—"It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there" (Ezek. 48 :35).
N. But of all these great names, none is greater, or more inspiring to our hearts than that which describes the work mentioned here (“I am the Lord whic hallow you.”) JEHOVAH-M'KADDESH—"The Lord that doth sanctify you"—"Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you" (Ex. 31:13); "And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you" (Lev. 20:8).
The Lord our God has set us apart from all men by election, redemption, and calling. Let us set him apart from all the gods of men by worship, faith, and devotion.
IV. Fourth, our great God and Savior inspires us to worship him as God our Savior by reminding us of his great deliverance of our souls.—“That brought you up out of the land of Egypt” (v. 33).
· By Providence
· By Blood
· By Power
· By His Word
V. Now, watch this.—Fifth, we are here inspired and motivated to worship our God by him reminding us of his great reason for all that he has done.—He has done all this and much, much more “to be your God!”
Who is a God like our God? Who would not worship such a God, if only they knew him?
(Jeremiah 10:7) "Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee."
(Micah 7:18-20) "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. (19) He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. (20) Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old."