2 Chronicles 11:1-23
Key Verse 16
Those from every tribe of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the LORD, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the LORD, the God of their fathers.
Israel has split from Judah.
The son of King Solomon inherited the throne, but the other ten tribes broke away under the leadership of Jeroboam. Jeroboam turned away from God and sought idol worship. And so, the priests had to make a choice. Would they stay, remain in their homes, and adapt to this lifestyle, forsaking their calling? Or, would they leave their homes and their land to go to Jerusalem and worship God, fulfilling their calling?
They left. (verse 14)
They gave up their land and homes to relocate in Jerusalem. There, they could serve and worship God. Not only they, but the Godly people also followed to offer sacrifices in Jerusalem. This kind of reminds me of the sacrifice Abram made in leaving Ur.
Today, worship is easy.
All I have to do is wake up, crawl out of bed, and jump in the car for about 5 minutes. What if I had to journey for months, leaving my home behind, to worship God? Would I do this? Do I value worship that much?
You know, with me, things get interesting.
I actually think I would easily find myself more willing to make a big sacrifice like this in order to set out on a journey to worship God. I love adventures. I love feeling - deep down and penetrating through - that I am accomplishing something. This is why I went to Croatia. I had a goal in mind: to learn through suffering. I did, though I didn't enjoy it as I expected. Still, when I set out on the journey, I was thrilled to be sacrificing for an ideal!
Maybe it would be refreshing to have to sacrifice in order to worship God, to see that it is worth it and indeed powerful, holy, and meaningful. Yet, when it comes to sacrificing my time (which I use to do schoolwork or relax) I do not like the sounds of this at all. I don't mind sacrificing things I know I do not really lose (I always have the love of my family and don't miss a lot of my material stuff), but I don't feel comfortable when I actually need to sacrifice something I sense might hurt me. I worry when church time threatens my homework time. I get anxious when Bible study time conflicts with my sleeping time. I get a bit grumpy when prayer time pokes at my relaxing time...
So maybe I am not as willing to make the sacrifice as I thought.
Perhaps I need a change of perspective. I should not place as much emphasis as I do on schoolwork. I need to be less a perfectionist. I need to relax my concerns of lacking the finances to get me through one more course if I do not complete one somewhere along the line.
If I put in my full effort and pray, what do I have to fear?
See, this is a problem -- I do not always put my all into my work (being distracted by the internet and art) and then I feel guilty. When I feel guilty, I panic. When I panic, I put schoolwork and other things before God.
Lesson to be learned: I not only hurt myself by being lazy, but I hurt my relationship with God.
Also, I wanted to point out that these people in Rehoboam's time were willing to go worship God. They didn't need to be forced and actually they were not following their leader's call. They did what they did out of a heart for God. This is true worship. Obedience and not sacrifice. I am sure those sacrifices they offered were beautiful to God not because they were properly sacrificed, but because they were offered from hearts of loyalty.
(At first I didn't think this passage would have practical relevance to me, but look at all that's come up already in this meditation!!)
One Word: Be willing to follow God