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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

April 13, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again


Daily Reading: I Kings 3-5

 

I Kings 3:4

And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.

 

So, Solomon, the undisputed king of Israel, goes up to Gibeon to worship the Lord. At that time, the Tabernacle of Moses was set up in Gibeon. The great brazen altar that Moses made was there. That is where Israel would offer sacrifices until the Great Temple was built. The king goes there to sacrifice and to worship the Lord God. He offered a thousand burnt offerings to God upon that altar.

 

His sacrifice cost him time. He traveled to Gibeon, no it was not a long trip in that it was a part of the greater Jerusalem area, but the distance is not that which mattered. What mattered is that he took the time to go there. Not only time to go there, but time to offer a thousand sacrifices there. How long did that take? We know not, but we do expect it took more than an hour.  More than a day. A thousand offerings over three days would be three hundred and thirty-three a day or about 14 per hour for 24 hours. This took days, perhaps weeks. The king made time to worship.

 

His sacrifice took others. The priests were the ones who actually offered the sacrifices, the king provided them. Worship can be either private or corporate. Meaning alone or within a group. Many say they can worship God anywhere. This is true, many times while alone fishing on my boat I stop and simply worship the Lord. But individual worship is really more of a fellowship time with the Lord. Corporate worship of the Lord with other believers is never replaced by individual fellowship with God. Believe it or not, God through Jesus Christ established churches for the purpose of corporate worship. Just as the Old Testament saints were to go to the tabernacle and then the temple, New Testament saints are to attend their church. The priests worked in the temple. The pastor works in the church. The priest not only offered the sacrifices, they were to teach the worshippers. So, too, the pastor offers the sacrifice that God accepts, which is the once for all sacrifice of Christ, through preaching and teaching about Christ. The pastor also teaches the entire Word of God. Plus, there are others in the congregation who share in worship experience. Without them something is missing.

 

His sacrifice took sacrifice. Even King David knew this. He said to Ornan the Jebusite, neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. 2 Samuel 24:24 Unfortunately, many today desire to worship the Lord but without sacrifice of anything that costs them money. True, money does not buy salvation, but sacrificing anything to God costs money. Giving money to God for His usages. Wow, what an act of love, trust, faith, and devotion!

 

Lastly it took humility. The king humbled himself before God.

 

What did he get in return. Wisdom. Yeah, God gave him divine wisdom. Today true corporate worship gives the participants wisdom that is beyond this world. Believers in Jesus Christ that faithfully attend their local church where their pastor opens the Word of God and preaches/teaches from it, they obtain wisdom of the ages, a glance into the future, and instruction for daily living. Perhaps, even more than that, they worship the Lord in the presence of others and with the leadership of their pastor in the place He has ordained for today, their local church.

 

Dr. William T. Howe

 

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