November 21, 2017

The Routine of the Tabernacle Worship

Taigen Joos

Most Christians are familiar with the first half of the book of Exodus. The calling of Moses, the ten plagues, the crossing of the Red Sea, the giving of the Law, etc. The latter part of the book may be less appealing because it is largely about the instructions for making the components of the Tabernacle, as well as the actual making of those components. The people gave willingly and worked willingly in order to make the Tabernacle structure conform to God’s instructions.

In the end of Exodus we find that the Tabernacle has been erected, and the glory of the Lord descended upon it. Whenever the glory of God rested upon the Tabernacle, the presence of God was there, but when the glory lifted, the people were to pack up the Tabernacle and follow the leading of the Lord to their next destination, where they were to set up the Tabernacle again.

Have you ever thought about the number of times the Tabernacle had to be packed up, moved, and erected throughout the 40 years in the wilderness wandering of Israel? There was no doubt a temptation to view the Tabernacle worship as tedious, monotonous, and routine. And yet, the people of God were instructed to faithfully and correctly erect the Tabernacle from place to place. They were also instructed to place the various pieces of furniture where they were supposed to be. They were not allowed to be innovative in placing the lamp stand, or the table of showbread, or the ark, or the other pieces wherever they wanted. They were bound to the instructions of God.

Could this kind of worship have gotten old to the people of God? Perhaps, if their minds and their hearts were not rightly thinking about what they were doing. It was not the fault of the instructions if they got bored in the routine of Tabernacle worship. It certainly was not God’s fault. Boredom in the routine of Tabernacle worship was the fault of the worshipper.

Put this into modern terms. Sometimes it might feel like our normal Lord’s Day services are routine, mundane, or monotonous. But we must realize that there is nothing wrong with routine. We live with daily routines, and even weekly routines all the time. Why should our routine of worship be so egregious?

There is, in fact, something secure about our routines of life. For instance, my routine of sleeping every night is very comforting to me, as is my daily routine of eating. In worship, the well-worn paths of worship that have been forged for us throughout Church history. The 21st century is not the time for innovation in worship because we think the biblical pattern is boring. Boredom in worship services is the fault of the worshipper, for worshipping Jehovah God is nothing short of a glorious event, no matter how long the message may be.

If we are going to worship God with vibrancy on the Lord’s Day, we must come already vibrant from our daily worship of God throughout the week. Having done so, our corporate singing will be filled with greater joy, our corporate prayers will be marked by deeper humility, our corporate hearing of God’s Word will produce the response of ready obedience, and our corporate desire in all things will eagerly be for the glory of God alone.

Do not despises the routine of worship.


Taigen Joos is the pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Dover, NH. He blogs here, where this article first appeared. It is republished here by permission.

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