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Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Place Where the LORD God Chooses to Make His Name Abide

Deuteronomy 26:1-11

The text before us is a description of a ceremony that would help the Israelites to rehearse the faithfulness of God in delivering them to the Promised Land. God will make His name abide in the sanctuary of the Tabernacle. The basket of fruit that represented God’s hand of plenty in the land would be accompanied by a declaration from the worshipper (see vv. 5-11).

The Syrian mentioned at the beginning of the declaration is a reference to Jacob. He went down with his sons to Egypt few in number and became a mighty populous. The Egyptian bondage led to the redemptive Exodus which is rehearsed here. All of this remembering should lead to a heart of gratitude in the worshiper. The final result of the ceremony is joy in the hearts of all involved.

Hebrews 9:11 states that “Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.” This spiritual tabernacle is accessed through the blood of Christ. This is now where the LORD God chooses to make His name abide.

Believers should rehearse the faithfulness of God in delivering them from sin’s bondage. Our own tithes and offerings ought to be accompanied by firm declarations of gratitude that culminate in rejoicing. The center of all of this is the sanctuary we find in Christ. It is an imperative that we be reminded of His faithfulness when we are engaged in the daily faithful ministry of our own.

Christian service devoid of Christ leads to a desperate, barren place. What we do is important; why we do it even more so. The battle we face in the Christian experience is living in such a way that we dwell where God chooses to make His name abide. Let’s remember why we do what we do.