Numbers 28:1-8 (Part 1) – Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That! – And Other Excuses for Lacking Intimacy with God

Posted: October 25, 2016 in Book of Numbers

Numbers 28:1-8 (Part 1 of 3)

The Daily Offerings

There is an YouTube video out there that is this funny clip from a news broadcast, where a lady from the projects is talking about all the crime that had hit her complex recently, and she said, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”… That’s what I thought first thing this morning about this passage.

 

For many of us, church and worshiping God is something that we do on Sunday and that’s it. We compartmentalize God as a choice in our lives of what we do with our Sunday mornings. We get up and we get dressed for church. It can be high fashion or it can be casual depending on the church that you go to. We struggle to get everyone out the door. Often, it is a bitter struggle that leaves you angry at your kids or your spouse. Then, we get to church and we send the kids off to kid’s church or Sunday school, again depending on the type of church you go to. You may go to Sunday School yourself, again depending on the church you to go to. Then, we go to church service. We sing an opening song. Then, there is a brief welcome message, two more songs, then the giving talk. Another song is sung. Then, it’s time for the sermon. Usually, the sermon will connect with us on some level. The preacher prays the sermon closing prayer (while we bow our heads the choir or the worship band has time to get back in the choir loft or the band has time to get back on stage). Then, the final song that drives the point of the sermon home and a final prayer. We leave uplifted and vowing to live our lives better. We go to lunch at a nearby restaurant that’s packed with friends from church. We discuss the sermon and what it meant to us and might even say that the pastor “was on fire today!”

 

We go home and turn the TV on and start watching the professional football game. At midseason, there is nothing urgent about the game you are watching. No playoff elimination at stake, so with your belly full from a big Sunday lunch, you struggle to stay awake. Finally, you dose off for a nap and wake up as the game ends. And slowly, the rest of the day starts becoming normal again. Homework for the kids and chores for the parents. Dinner and bedtime for the kids. A little nighttime TV for the parents and getting ready for the week ahead begins. Then, Monday morning it’s fully back into the swing of daily living – work for husband and, in most cases, the wife too. School and/or day care for the kids. Some type of sports practice or games. Dance or cheer practice is a possibility. Music lessons and recitals. And the cycle never ends it seems. Our lives are litanies of getting us or our kids or both from one activity to another. Our schedules are packed and stress is high. This cycle doesn’t seem to slow down until the kids are able to drive but that brings a whole host of other problems. But, we work Sunday church in their as part of our routine. Church is on our checklist of things to do each week. It makes us feel good about ourselves and the kids get to learn a little bit about the Bible while they are there.

 

This rat race of the American lifestyle is what I thought of when I read through this passage for the first time this morning and how that differs from what God intends for the people of Israel. For this and the next two blogs we will look at this passage from the points of view of (1) the reason for the daily offerings, (2) the necessity of the daily offerings and finally (3) content of the daily offerings. Today, let’s look at the passage, Numbers 28:1-8, from the point of view of the reason for the daily offering requirements:

 

 

28 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give this command to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Make sure that you present to me at the appointed time my food offerings, as an aroma pleasing to me.’ 3 Say to them: ‘This is the food offering you are to present to the Lord: two lambs a year old without defect, as a regular burnt offering each day. 4 Offer one lamb in the morning and the other at twilight, 5 together with a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah[a] of the finest flour mixed with a quarter of a hin[b] of oil from pressed olives. 6 This is the regular burnt offering instituted at Mount Sinai as a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the Lord. 7 The accompanying drink offering is to be a quarter of a hin of fermented drink with each lamb. Pour out the drink offering to the Lord at the sanctuary. 8 Offer the second lamb at twilight, along with the same kind of grain offering and drink offering that you offer in the morning. This is a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.

 

In this passage, we see that the offerings had to be brought regularly and presented according to the prescribed rituals under the priest’s supervision. Following these rituals took time, and this gave the people the opportunity to prepare their hearts for worship. All the offerings were to be made in their due season, and every day that passed over the head of the Israelite people was a due season to make offerings to Jehovah in connection with the daily manifestations of his goodness. As what might be called the ordinary and common gifts of God came day by day, so it was appropriate for Israel to make ordinary and common offerings day by day. Unless our hearts are ready, our worship is a meaningless ritual that is just something we do just because it is Sunday. By contrast, God is delighted and we get more from our worship, when we come before Him in a spirit of thankfulness and thanksgiving.

 

How to we make Sunday morning worship meaningful? It begins right after church service in how we order our lives. We begin studying God’s Word on a daily basis. Instead of watching the football game, we sit down with our family and discuss the sermon and discuss what the kids learned in kid’s church or Sunday school. We make Sunday fully the day of the Lord. We study the passages mentioned by the pastor in his sermon. Then, during the week, we pick a Bible study plan. Maybe, daily, you even blog about about what you have studied and learned from today’s Bible passage from your reading plan. Then, there’s daily specified times of prayer about what you are studying. There’s discussion with your spouse about what you are reading in your plan and what she is reading in her plan. There’s small group where you learn about God’s Word and how God is interacting in other people’s lives and how we lift each other up in prayer and how we are not alone in our struggles in maturing in Christ. You say that you don’t have time for that?

 

We make time for what is important to us? If you are a Clemson or Carolina fan, you make time in your schedule to watch the Tigers or the Gamecocks play. When is honoring God going to become more so important that you make time for Him. Do you have time to play golf? Do you have time to watch 4 hours of TV per night? Do you have time for the Walking Dead but you don’t have time to spend intimate time with God? Do you have time to go to Fall for Greenville all three nights but don’t have time to pray or to study your Bible? Let us take stock of what’s important. When is God going to be a daily priority in your life? Wonder why you do not feel close to God? It’s cause you don’t spend time with Him! You get out of the relationship what you put into it. If you want to be in love with and be intimately close with your Creator, you must invest in the relationship. Carve out, make time for God. It is that important. When we place a priority on our intimacy with God on a daily basis, it makes our life richer and deeper and we begin to see God in action where we did not before. He becomes part of our daily lives when we spend time with Him daily. Then, then, then…Sunday morning worship services become this amazing celebration of what God is doing, and who He is. Sunday morning worship becomes this awesome thing instead of this routine thing. Sunday morning worship is the topper of a week of preparing the heart. Sunday morning is the celebration not the relationship. Sunday morning worship is the culmination of a week spent honoring God. Sunday morning worship begins the moment you leave the church and ends when you get back the following Sunday. It is the culmination of our daily intimacy with God.

 

Amen and Amen.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s