Key Verse: 2 Kings 16:14
He also brought the bronze altar which was before the Lord, from the front of the temple–from between the new altar and the house of the Lord–and put it on the north side of the new altar.
King Ahaz of Judah made slight changes in the pattern of worship in the Temple of Solomon, as our key verse shows. He was impressed by an altar he saw in Damascus, and brought the design home with him to Jerusalem. Through the centuries, customs, patterns, and traditions have developed which may be useful in the worship of God, or may be distractions leading us away from God. Jesus, Himself, participated fully in the worship at the Jerusalem Temple, and while the Temple is no more, the customs, liturgies, etc., live on, after a fashion, in churches today. These traditions were brought into Christian practices by Jewish priests who became followers of Jesus (Acts 6:7). These priests were scattered over the world by the persecutions in Jerusalem and the destruction of Herod’s Temple in 70 A.D. They brought their robes and temple liturgies right into their Christian gatherings as we would expect, as the early Christians were almost all Jews.
Just as in the times of Ahaz, and much later in the times of the Apostle Peter, and in our day also, there are those who mess with the truth of God, turning people away from the true worship of God. Please, please let us not start another denomination or another congregation unaffiliated with an existing fellowship of churches. Let us seek the widest possible connection of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. We may want to think about the words of 2 Peter 2:1-22. Don’t be discouraged. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, I pray for a daily illumination of Truth from the Scriptures I am reading. Grant that I may always find Your Person revealed clearly to my understanding. Keep me true to You in my thoughts, words, and deeds. In Your Name I ask these mercies, Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I mentioned yesterday that I would tell the story of what happened to my Arab son-in-law, Nizar Shaheen, in Gath Hepher, modern day Mishad, the ancestral home of the prophet Jonah. Today it is a Muslim village, located between Nazareth and Cana.
Nizar’s brothers are stone masons from Cana and are much in demand. Nizar was a student at the University of Haifa while his oldest brother had the contract to build a new mosque in Mishad. While helping his brother, Nizar fell from the top of the mosque and should’ve been killed. He said that he felt that he was being turned as he fell, by unseen hands. He landed on his hands and feet in the only place on the ground which was clear of stones and pieces of steel bars. His brothers loaded him in the back seat of their car and rushed him to the hospital in Nazareth. As he went he says that he heard a voice speaking to him saying, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are Mine.” He was unaware at the time that these were words from Isaiah 43:1. This was one of the major factors in Nizar’s decision to become a believer in Jesus Christ.
Check out the ministry of “Light for all Nations.” Nizar and his wife, my daughter Ellen, and their team are reaching the entire Arabic-speaking world with the message of Jesus (click https://www.lfan.org/).
Yours for following Jesus more closely than ever,