Of course, this was a new generation which had spent the last 40 years wandering in the wilderness. There was no planting, tending or harvesting during those years. God had already been providing for their every need for food and water, how was this any different? I am sure the temptation to plant was there, they wanted more than the manna God had graciously provided. His provision was not enough for the Israelites, they wanted more and bigger variety. Sadly, this sounds all too familiar.
You and I do realize, the meaning of the word worship is not just singing hymns or songs of praise when we gather corporately to do so? It is not just praying. It is not just reciting scriptures or praying corporately together. It is not just hearing the Word of God proclaimed. It is not just receiving Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper. While it can be any and all of these, worship is much more. At the same time while any and all of these are taking place, it can be without one drop of true worship ever taking place. True worship happens each and every time you and I encounter Yahweh, the GREAT I AM. It is when we are confronted with His character and His actions and that encounter forces us to pause to consider, to contemplate, to be humbled in His presence. That, brothers and sisters, is worship! We do not go to church to be in God’s presence. Many people attend church and are never present with God. God is present in you and in me every moment of every day! He lives in us! We LIVE in His presence every moment of everyday!
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of Him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome Him, in whom He dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. (Romans 8:8-9, MSG)
The Israelites did not experience that kind of God’s presence. He did not indwell them 24/7. How much more should you and I be experiencing worship, on a daily basis, since God Himself is LIVING in us?
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. John 4:23
In Hebrews, the writer speaks of God’s “rest” for the believer as if it is an act of faith. He refers to the rebellious Israelites not entering God’s rest, in the Old Testament, referring to the Promised Land. Their lack of faith prevented them from experiencing the “rest” God promised them. While I believe “rest” refers to our salvation in some respects and the “rest” we will experience in heaven, I also believe the “rest” God provides is one in which we can live out in our daily lives. All to often, our lack of faith prevents us from experiencing this promised blessing from God, fully, in the here and now. Jesus, Himself…is our rest!
While you and I know the right words to say and to pray, I wonder, do our lives scream unbelief to those around us? Or does it exude His-rest that only He can provide in the midst of our chaos?