For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.
Hadn’t that been part of the problem before for Israel—that they’d neglected to tithe, to care for the temple, to bring their offerings and keep things going as they were supposed to? Over the years, it had fallen into disrepair. Over the years, some had neglected their sacred duties in the temple. Some had gotten lazy. Some had corrupted it and contaminated it. The temple was the place where they were to draw near to God, and when they forsook that, they found other gods and other things to draw near to.
Isn’t that true for us, as well, when we neglect the things of God in our lives? When we don’t spend quality time with Him at His house in worship, in His Word, in prayer, and in service, we find other things to draw near to. We find other gods to adore. We find other ways to spend our time and our tithe. It shouldn’t be about following a list of rules just to say that we obeyed, but it should be about deepening our relationship with the Lord. It should be about fellowship and knowing Him better and hearing from Him. It should be about worship, giving Him that highest place.
So if we’ve had to endure our own rebuilding stage, let us make a new commitment not to forsake the house of God. Will we dedicate ourselves to seeking Him there, being part of the work of His church and experiencing the blessing of His presence up close and personal? Will we return to faithfully ministering in whatever ways we have been neglecting? And will we instead forsake those other things that had drawn us aside from following our God and His ways?
It is such an amazing thing that God wants to be among His people, that He desires to draw near to us. And though we don’t follow the same system of worship that the Jews did in the Old Testament, God has given us as His children the gift of His church. It is a place that He has ordained for worship and fellowship, for growth, learning, and service, a place for the people of God to unite together in order to give God His due. Will we forsake this special place, or do we desire to take our place serving the Lord in His house?