Prayer focus: Worship.
Today we are fasting from Music. For some of you this may be extremely hard. Music runs through our blood, and resonates in our bones. I believe that God created music as a tool for us to use in worshipping Him, as well as to bring us pleasure. But too much of a good thing can become bad if we aren’t willing to give it up, and true worship involves sacrifice. So today as we sacrifice our music, let’s look at one of the best pictures of true worship in the Old Testament: Genesis 22.
1Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together,7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altarthere and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns.He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.”
God commands Abraham to take his only son Isaac up to Mt. Moriah and offer him there as a burnt sacrifice. He gathers his son, and his two young men, and then saddles his donkey. On the third day he sees the place they must go.
The key point here is in verse 5. Note that Abraham tells his men that they are going up to the mountain to “worship”. He knew exactly what he was going to do up there. Worship involves sacrifice. We must be willing to give something up. We see also in 2 Samuel that God commands King David to build an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Araunah bows at David’s feet and refuses to make him pay.
“But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”” 2 Samuel 24:24a.
So the question to ask yourself today; What am I willing to sacrifice in order to worship God?