Weekly Scripture: Exodus 32:1-14
What is a sanctuary supposed to look like? There are many ornate places of worship, like the one pictured above, with arches and mosaics, brilliant lights and carved wooden pews. These are undoubtedly beautiful places of worship. However, the sanctuary God desires most is the inner sanctuary of our soul. It is upon the altar of our heart that we most faithfully and intimately commune with God. While there are many earthly and creative adornments that can enhance our experience of God in worship – from music to art to the colors and words on banners – we would still be able to worship God if all that was stripped away. Nothing of that nature can ever conjure God’s presence nor replace the invisible, yet palpable, power of God. How do you connect to God and commune with God in worship?
Our Scripture this week tells a story of the Israelites’ attempt to worship God through creating an idol. This had been specifically forbidden by God in the Ten Commandments, because doing so rejects both God’s nature as spirit and the transcendence and magnificence of God. The Creator of all cannot be contained within any element of creation. Furthermore, God is relational. Relationships cannot develop when one participant objectifies the other. How would you describe your relationship with God? How does your relationship with God affect the way you worship?
Idols do not always have to be made of gold or wood or stone. We can make idols out of anything. Whenever something replaces God’s primacy in our lives, it becomes an idol. That could be a person, a possession, a political platform, or a sinful desire. God wants to be first in our lives. After all, God’s top priority is loving and caring for us. By putting God first, we lovingly respond to God’s deep commitment to us. Is there anyone or anything that you have placed before God in your life? How might you prioritize God and your relationship with God? How does it make you feel to know that God has prioritized loving and caring for you?
Remember that God looks upon us always in love and desires that we would turn our gaze toward him.
Breath Prayer: LORD God, set our focus upon you.