Seek the Place the Lord Will Choose
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: Having rehearsed the beauties, benefits, and obligations of living in the Promised Land, Moses instructs Israel on how they are to worship the Lord collectively as the people of God. First, they are instructed to recognize worship as God-ordained and God-centered by removing all remnants of false worship from the land. Second, they are required to worship at the place which God has chosen for them. While accommodations are made for those who are unable to attend, the clear expectation is that they will prioritize corporate worship over individual convenience. Third, they are reminded of their obligation to place a premium on God’s Word as an act of worship. This stipulation supersedes attachments to charismatic personalities, family ties, or even cultural trends. Fourth, they are directed to give their tithes and offerings to God for the work of the ministry and the needs of the people among them. Fifth, they are expected to be a distinctly different people as an act of worship in their daily lives. Though it is not a full theology of worship, Moses’s instructions provide a pattern of worship for the church today.
01. Worshipping the Lord is a precious privilege for the people of God where we are instruments of praise to His glorious being, His marvelous works, and His gracious provision.
02. Worshipping the Lord is a joyous duty of the people of God where we gather together weekly, serve one another continually, and live for Him daily.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. What differences do you find in Deuteronomy 12-15 between God’s instructions to Israel and God’s directives to the church? For example, the church does not follow the dietary restrictions listed in chapter 14. What other differences can you find? Despite these differences, what areas of continuity can you find?
2. Consider the fact that God calls Israel to remove all elements of false worship prior to establishing a place of worship (12:1-6). In what ways do you prepare your heart for worship each week? What areas of “heart cleansing” do you need to focus on in order to worship God rightly?
3. How important is church attendance, according to Scripture? Why is it wrong to say, “I don’t need to go to church; I can worship God in my own way on my own time”? Based on Deuteronomy 12:21, what provisions for non-attendance might be permissible today?
4. Note the multiple possibilities of being led astray from the Lord and His Word in Deuteronomy 13. Why are people so easily led astray by charismatic leaders? In what ways do family influence or cultural pressure entice people to depart from God’s Word? How do the people of Northpoint encourage you to remain steadfast to God’s Word?
5. What do our giving patterns suggest about our worship? What does God require from His people in terms of quantity and quality of giving? What reasons are given for giving generously? How does our attitude toward giving factor in with our giving as an act of worship?
For Further Reading: Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Worship (Baker, 2009)