The current judicial exercise in ensuring a hard separation between religion and the federal or state governments has a fairly short history. It really dates to the last century when Justice Hugo Black resurrected a comment that Thomas Jefferson had made in reply to a letter from the Danbury Baptist Association. The Connecticut group had written to congratulate him upon his election to the Presidency in 1804. His use of the phrase â€œa wall of separationâ€ is its first occurrence in text in this land, and in its context it was used as part of his explanation as to why he had chosen not to call for a national day of fasting and thanksgiving as his two predecessors had done upon election. Justice Blackâ€™s appropriation of the remark was much more insidious.
Brent covered something in his lesson last night that stuck with me. He noted that God did not leave anything to the imaginations of the Israelis. God told them precisely how they MUST come before him, HOW THEY MUST approach him in worship. God told them what and how to do things, and every detail that pertained to acceptable worship before him.
Brent’s lesson was straight out of Leviticus chapter one and the laws for the burnt offering. It was every single Israelis’ duty to perform this sacrifice of atonement beginning to end. The priest did not do the dirty work of killing and striping the animal – the supplicant did it. I suppose it served to keep everyone humble. The details given were exact, right down to which direction to face. We know that things did not go well if you missed something. Think Nadab and Abihu.
I wonder, why is it then that we today should think that it is acceptable to serve and worship the very same God on our own terms or as we may choose; without doing exactly what he has told us to do in his Word?
You can listen to or download Brent’s 3/27/11 evening lesson when posted, at http://www.wpbcocmessages.com/