ritual or righteousness?


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ritual or righteousness

Psalm 105:43-45 (JDV)

Psalm 105:43 He brought his people out with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy.
Psalm 105:44 He gave them the lands of the nations, and they inherited what other peoples had worked for.
Psalm 105:45 All this happened so that they might keep his prescriptions and obey his instructions. Praise Yah!

God miraculously provided rescue and blessing for his people so that they could honor him by obeying his commands. The problem was, they decided to obey only some of his commands — the rituals — while disregarding the moral commands. Humphreys gives this example: “that is where the problems arose, for it was easy for the people to slip into ritualism and ignore the moral commands. That is, they often ignored the moral commands but carefully observed the sacrifices which the Lord had provided for the cleansing of sins. This meant, for example, that a powerful man could steal a defenseless widow’s land and add it to his own, then use her as a servant, and then offer a large sin offering to cover his sin. This kind of practice occurred frequently in Israel during the time of the divided kingdom” (27).

Modern-day evangelicals are not immune to the temptation to substitute ritual for righteousness. We need to be all in with God. If we say he has saved us by his grace, then we need to respond to that grace by obedience to the commands of his Son. After all, he is our king.

Humphreys Fisher. The Nature of God. Broadman Press 1985.


About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at marmsky@gmail.com -- !
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