August 10, 2012

All for Worship

Joshua 6:1-11

“Have seven priests carry trumpets of ram’s horns in front of the ark.”
—Joshua 6:4


As we observe Israel marching around Jericho, following the Lord’s orders and bearing the ark of God’s covenant, we are witnessing what could be called a worship procession. The Israelites are declaring they are loyal to God and will worship him alone. And any who rebel and refuse to worship the true God will be lost.

In worship today we gather around God’s Word. In worship we invite this Word, sharper than any two-edged sword, to cut to the marrow of our existence, to lay bare our sin and grief. (See Hebrews 4:12-13.) Worship reminds us that we have been conquered by the sword of the Spirit, that resisting God with all our heart and strength has no effect. As Christian worshipers, we want and need to be reminded that God has conquered us.

Similarly, Israel, marching around Jericho, showed that the Lord had conquered them and had made them his own. And on the seventh day of their marching, the Lord would claim Jericho as his own.

In worship we gather in the presence of the same God who rescued his people from Egypt, marched around Jericho’s walls, and defeated the power of death on the cross. In worship God renews us; our praise and prayer enthrone the God who is on his way in our world to reclaim people gone astray. And at the last trumpet, when Christ returns, every knee in every city of the world will bow, to the glory of God.

By your power, Lord, break down all walls of resistance, that you alone may be worshiped. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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