When I look at chapter 3 there are several things that stand out to me. The people had settled into their towns, they all came together in Jerusalem and the first thing they did was build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on as Moses had told them to do in the Law. The sacrifices were for the atonement of sin and for thanksgiving and worship to God. I wonder whether verse 3 holds a key as to why they started with the altar. “Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices.” My Revell Bible dictionary says the burnt offerings signified complete surrender to God. It goes on to say they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles. Again, my Revell says it was celebrated to commemorate the 40 years of wandering. God had not only brought them through the 40 years of wilderness wandering, He had brought them to their promised land. As they return after many years of exile how fitting is it that they first offer sacrifices as surrender to Him and then take the time to remember where they had been and all God had done for them. They needed to remember what He had allowed to happen to them due to their lack of love and obedience. In their state of fear maybe they knew they couldn’t do this alone. They knew that they needed to have God’s forgiveness, protection and relationship.
What do I learn about God from these few verses? He gives us work to do for Him but He allows enough fear to be involved so we know we need Him. If we don’t sacrifice the time to spend worshipping Him for who He is and remembering all He has done for us and has allowed in our lives to grow us, the work will be fruitless. I am so very grateful that my God loves me enough to require sacrifice and worship of Him in our relationship. I am so glad for the fear that creeps in when I am just doing it on my own.
I love you Lord and I am so blessed to be your child! I am so very grateful when I blow it, you are there to forgive me and allow me a fresh start. I love you and worship you the God of creation who spoke and put this world in place. There is nothing you can’t do! You my God are Holy, High and Lifted up! You are omnipotent, omniscient, all knowing, all seeing, all doing, all in all! My God I am humbled by your awesome love for me and for all people. I am humbled that you not only love me you like me and smile on me. I am so humbled at your patience and that you don’t tire of watching over and protecting and providing all I need. My God you are the one true God and you alone are worthy of praise honor and glory. I so love you! I so, so love you! May my life be lived as a praise to your glory. Lord please bless all who want to grow in knowing you with a deeper knowledge of who you are and who they are in you. In the name of my precious Savior Jesus Christ I pray.