Text: Mark 12; Exodus 29-30
As the Lord lays out instructions for the people of Israel to worship Him, He gets very precise. He provides His exclusive recipe for incense, and then puts limits on its use:
And the incense that you shall make according to its composition, you shall not make for yourselves. It shall be for you holy to the Lord. Whoever makes any like it to use as perfume shall be cut off from his people. (Exodus 30:37-38)
No matter the topic, when God speaks through His Word to His people every detail matters. When His instructions are not followed “to the letter,” there are consequences. This is an essential precept for us all, today. We are not Old Testament Israelites, so these particular verses do not apply to us. But plenty of others do. Here’s an example:
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)
Do we ever say harsh things that tear people down? Do we understand that when God instructs, He is indeed serious? I picked this verse out of many for no particular reason except to make a point (in Ephesians 4 and 5 alone there are similar instructions on topics like anger, forgiveness, sexual immorality, covetousness, crude joking and many others). The point here is that it is easy for us to allow ourselves to get loose with God’s precise and specific instructions. As His precious people, we too are called to careful and precise obedience.
in Him, Mike