The Order of Worship
In Deuteronomy 9:24 Moses told the people of Israel, “You have been rebellious against the LORD as long as he has known you.” In the wilderness Moses prayed, “Lord GOD, do not destroy the people who are your very own possession, whom you redeemed in your greatness, whom you brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; pay no attention to the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin, otherwise the land from which you have brought us might say, ‘Because the LORD was not able to bring them into the land that he promised them, and because he hated them, he has brought them out to let them die in the wilderness.’ For they are the people of your very own possession, whom you brought out by your great power and by your outstretched arm.”
Then in Chapter 10 the LORD said to Moses, “Carve out two tablets of stone like the former ones, and come up to me on the mountain, and make an ark of wood. I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets, which you smashed, and you shall put them in the ark.” So I made an ark of acacia wood, cut two tablets of stone like the former ones, and went up the mountain with the two tablets in my hand. Then he wrote on the tablets the same words as before, the ten commandments that the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain out of the fire on the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to me. So I turned and came down from the mountain, and put the tablets in the ark that I had made; and there they are, as the LORD commanded me.
Moses spent 40 days and nights on Mt. Horeb pleading with God not to destroy Israel, and three of the first words from God are three actions: Carve, Come, and Make.
Carve the tablets, Come to the mountain, and Make an ark of wood. Carve. Come. Make.
Moses’ first required action was not to come to God, but to prepare to come to God. Do the hard hammer work of carving out a space to receive God’s word.
CARVE this chunk of stone into something suitable for receiving what God had to say. For us, we must carve out time in our daily schedule and in our lives for God. Everything in this world will be a temptation to draw you away from God.
Then, once he was prepared, Moses was to COME to the mountain. Come and hear the words of God, who says, “I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets.” Getting a message from God is not a light thing. We must be immersed in His thoughts and words before we can ever understand them so that we can communicate them to others.
Finally, MAKE. After carving a space for God’s word, and coming to God to receive it, Moses is to Make a space for God’s word—a physical space where God’s word will be kept and honored and, hopefully, obeyed. What place does God’s Word have in your life, right now? As Moses hid the tablets in the Ark of the Covenant, so we must hide God’s Word in our hearts. The tablets were a special treasure to all His people who loved Him.
How often do we casually flip open our Bibles without having done the work in advance to carve our hearts of stone into the kind of surface onto which God can speak His word? How often do we fail to come to hear God’s word at all? And how often do we climb down from the mountain and deposit the Word God has spoken to us in any old place, rather than in a specially made place of privilege in our hearts to be honored and obeyed?
Lord, You still speak to us today! Remind us to listen. Remind us to prepare our hearts to hear, as Moses prepared the tablets. Remind us to come in eagerness to hear the word you speak. And help us to keep that word close in our hearts—and by your loving power obey it.
This Sunday our message will be “Give the Greatest Gift of all.” The greatest gifts are not financial or material. God’s great gift to us is that He so loved the world that He gave us His Only Begotten Son. All great gifts have love as an element of that gift. We are changing our worship service to 10 AM after this next Sunday at Faith Fellowship. So, this Sunday is still at 11 AM, but, March 24th and going forward will be at 10 AM. Come, grow with us!
Yours for the nurture and growth of God’s family,