OceanSide church of Christ
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NOT ANY OLD GOAT WILL DO
Victor M. Eskew
A. Our lesson title is based upon Deuteronomy 17:1.
Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the Lord thy God any bullock, or sheep, wherein is blemish or any evilfavoredness: for that is an abomination unto the Lord thy God.
1. Isn’t it interesting that the word “goat” is not found in this verse?
2. There are some commentators who argue that the word translated “sheep” should be “goat.”
a. The lexicographers say that the Hebrew term can be either.
b. All of the notable translations have the word “sheep” in this verse.
B. The reality is that not any old bullock or ox or sheep or goat will do when it was used in sacrifice to God.
C. In this lesson we will examine Deuteronomy 17:1 and make some very practical applications to our worship.
I. WORSHIP IS PERSONAL
A. The emphasis here is on the word “thou.”
B. This command involved every one of the individual Israelites.
C. In like manner, God still deals with each individual person, even when it comes to our corporate worship.
1. You cannot worship for me; I cannot worship for you.
2. Sending your family to worship while you stay home does not “cover” your responsibility to worship.
3. I Corinthians 11:28.
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
D. According to Romans 14:12: “…every one of us shall give an account of himself to God.”
II. WORSHIP INVOLVES PROHIBITIONS
A. Here, the emphasis is on the words: “thou shalt not.”
1. These words involve a prohibition. God was telling the Israelites what they could NOT do.
2. In this case, the Israelites could not offer a bullock or sheep which had a blemish or evilfavoredness in it.
a. A blemish involved a physical defect.
b. Evilfavoredness involved anything that is bad. It would include internal problems that the animal might have.
3. God did not want the junk, the left-overs, and the worthless (See Malachi 1:7-8).
B. The worship of God still involves prohibitions today (John 4:24).
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
1. Worship is to be in harmony with truth.
2. Truth, according to John 17:17, is the Word of God.
Sanctify them through they truth: they word is truth.
3. If we are offering something to God in worship that is not found in God’s Word, it is prohibited.
a. Instrumental music.
b. Elements other than the unleavened bread and fruit of the vine on the Lord’s Table.
c. Hand-clapping and humming.
d. Women preaching and teaching instead of being silent in the churches.
C. There are many people who do not like prohibitions. They do not like to be told they cannot do something. They tell us one can do these things as long as one is sincere. They need to study the account of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4:1-7, esp. vs. 5-7a.
But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.
III. WORSHIP IS PRICEY
A. Our focus here centers on the word “sacrifice.”
B. When the worshipper came before God, he brought the best of the flocks and herds, and killed it before the Lord. Something of value, something that cost something, was given to the Lord.
C. We are reminded of the words of David when he was at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite (II Sam. 24:24).
And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which cost me nothing.
D. Our worship today is not nearly as cumbersome as it was under the Old Covenant.
1. We do not have to travel by foot great distances. We do not have to be burdened with animals. We do not have to make sure we have various ingredients for the sacrifices.
2. Yet, individuals want convenience, simplicity, and ease in their worship.
a. Less time spent.
b. Sloppy dress.
c. Let others do the “performing.”
d. The left-overs in giving.
IV. WORSHIP IS POINTED
A. Note to whom the sacrifice is directed: “…unto the Lord they God…”
B. The sacrifice being offered was being offered to the greatest Being in the Universe, the God of heaven (Deut. 4:39).
Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon earth beneath: there is none else.
C. Worship is still directed to the One who dwells within the heavens (John 4:24).
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him…
D. God is still as powerful, majestic, glorious, and awesome as He has ever been.
1. He is deserving of our worship.
2. Our worship is for Him. It is not to tantalize and fulfill our fleshly desires.
V. WORSHIP CAN BE PERVERTED
A. It was possible for the Israelites to pervert the worship of God. If animals were offered with blemish and evilfavoredness, worship was perverted.
The prophet Malachi issued a rebuke to
Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In hat ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil?...
C. We, too, can pervert the worship of God.
1. Changing the Lord’s Day assembly to Saturday night.
2. Incorporating a common meal with the Lord’s Supper.
3. Using choirs and quartets and solos in the worship.
4. The use of skits, plays, and dramatic performances instead of a preaching the Word of God.
5. Adding instruments of music to our praise in song.
VI. WORSHIP IS PROVEN BY GOD
A. God is the One who judges, scrutinizes, and proves our worship.
1. It can be acceptable.
2. It can be an abomination.
…for that is an abomination unto the Lord they God.
B. The standard is not one’s sincerity. It is not one’s wants, likes, desires, or feelings.
C. If we do what God wants, as God wants, when God wants, and where He wants, we will be acceptable to Him.
A. Worship is homage and adoration being given to God.
B. When man approaches God, it is a serious and sobering matter.
C. God wants it done one way, His way.
1. Those who come unto Him His way will be accepted.
2. Those who do not are disgusting in His sight.