Thursday, July 8, 2010

Worship Lev. 1-7

I quit reading A House for My Name few weeks ago because my husband had gotten too far ahead of me. (I'm a book graizer, I like to read bits and parts of lots of books, as not to get bored) Anyway, this morning E. was reading to me and one of my favorite words appeared so I decided to write about it. The word is qorban, it is actually a Hebrew word. I don't know if I realized this. It is used all the time in the Middle East. People often say, qorbaneebim. I say qorbaneebim, to children, friends. Which means "I will sacrifice myself for you." It is a great picture of love. Truly a picture of Christ. Mothers say it as they instruct their children. You say it as affection for a friend in need. It is beautiful.

This is part of the except from A House for My Name by Peter Leithart (p.87) (Parenthesis are my thoughts)

"Worship" means "service in the Lord's house." At the tabernacle, Israel worships God mainly through bringing animals, killing them, and burning them on the altar. This kind of worship is often called "sacrifice," but the word is not exactly right. In the Boble, a "sacrifice" is an offering that is followed by a meal. When there is no meal, the offering should not be called a "sacrifice". (I find this interesting, it conjures the idea of worship being edifying and efficatious- not one sided)

To understand Isreal's worship, we need to understand two words that are used for all the animal offerings. The first word is the Hebrew word qorban {see Leviticus 1:2, 2:1; 3:1-2; 4:23; 5:11; 7:38}. This word means "gift" or "something brought near." For Isreal a gift is a very important thing. It is not just a "present" like we might give on a birthday. When two people exchange gifts they are forming a friendship or continuing a friendship. Exchanging gifts is one way of making a "covenant" with someone, like a man and a woman who exchange rings at a wedding. At Sinai, God makes a covenant with Israel, so that Israel becomes His "bride". Yaweh as the Husband of Israel promises many gifts, and to continue in the "marriage" covenant, Israel is supposed to bring gifts.

The offering are qorban in another way. A qorban is something brought near to God. What the worshipper really wants is to draw near to God himself, to be His friend and companion. In the Old Testament, because of the sin of Adam, Israel is kept away form God and may not fully enter into His presence. By offering an animal, the Isarelite is offering himself to God. And this is the "gift that God really wants. (the second gift, Mr. Leithart talks about is the "bread of God", he later goes on to say that God does not need to eat to stay alive, He eats to make a covenant with them and to show that He is their friend.)

Mr. Leithart, ends the paragrah with "God wants to eat you." This makes me happy, how many times, as I looked at my little one, I wished envelope her, I enjoyed her and I wished I could absorb all of her. It gives me pause, I think "Oh, I was just thinking what God has already thought. I hadn't realized Wow, I am so grateful that He loves me like that."

Romans 12:1-2

I entreat you, then, Brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, for this is your rational worship. Do not conform to the fashion of this world; but be transformed by the complete change that has come over your minds, so that you may discern what God's will is - all that is good, acceptable and perfect. 20th Century New Testament

I read a quote this last month that the heart of true obedience comes from being a place of being loved. I wish I could find it again. But the thought is beautiful and I am certainly reminded of it this morning.

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