Deuteronomy 12

* Monuments of idolatry to be destroyed. (1-4) The place of

God's service to be kept. (5-32)

1-4 Moses comes to the statutes he had to give in charge to

Israel; and begins with such as relate to the worship of God.

The Israelites are charged not to bring the rites and usages of

idolaters into the worship of God; not under colour of making it

better. We cannot serve God and mammon; nor worship the true God

and idols; nor depend upon Christ Jesus and upon superstitious

or self-righteous confidences.
5-32 The command to bring ALL the sacrifices to the door of the

tabernacle, was now explained with reference to the promised

land. As to moral service, then, as now, men might pray and

worship every where, as they did in their synagogues. The place

which God would choose, is said to be the place where he would

put his name. It was to be his habitation, where, as King of

Israel, he would be found by all who reverently sought him. Now,

under the gospel, we have no temple or altar that sanctifies the

gift but Christ only: and as to the places of worship, the

prophets foretold that in every place the spiritual incense

should be offered, #Mal 1:11|. Our Saviour declared, that those

are accepted as true worshippers, who worship God in sincerity

and truth, without regard either to this mountain or Jerusalem,

#Joh 4:21|. And a devout Israelite might honour God, keep up

communion with him, and obtain mercy from him, though he had no

opportunity of bringing a sacrifice to his altar. Work for God

should be done with holy joy and cheerfulness. Even children and

servants must rejoice before God; the services of religion are

to be a pleasure, and not a task or drudgery. It is the duty of

people to be kind to their ministers, who teach them well, and

set them good examples. As long as we live, we need their

assistance, till we come to that world where ordinances will not

be needed. Whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, we are

commanded to do all to the glory of God. And we must do all in

the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to the Father

through him. They must not even inquire into the modes and forms

of idolatrous worship. What good would it do them to know those

depths of Satan? And our inward satisfaction will be more and

more, as we abound in love and good works, which spring from

faith and the in-dwelling Spirit of Christ.
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