Then and Now
“He shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins” – Leviticus 16:16
Sin is a revolt against God’s holy and sovereign will, and it therefore destroys all fellowship with Him. To try to restore this fellowship through religious observance or good deeds is useless, for these leave the root of the problem untouched. The unregenerate human heart, tainted by sin since Adam’s fall can never produce deeds to win God’s acceptance, much less compensate for evil deeds already done.
The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), observed on the tenth day of the seventh month (Tishri), was the only fast day among Israel’s annual festivals. The Lord commanded that it should be a holy convocation, a day where they would afflict their souls. It was a Sabbath on which no work could be done, the people were expected to spend a full twenty-four hours sorrowing over their sins. Can you imagine asking congregants to come and stay in the church twenty-four hours praying, fasting, and confessing their sins what the reply would be? It’s hard to get them to attend regular Sunday worship, and Bible Study, and if the service is more than two hours they will complain about it being to long.
The people of God wanted the presence of God, and they didn’t care how long they had to wait to get into His presence. This is the reason why many churches don’t have the presence of God, because their not willing to wait on His presence. Sometimes we have to worship and praise Him until His presence comes, and many don’t have the time to wait, they want to get in and get out church and they miss His presence, they miss His touch. When we praise and worship Him long enough, we will get out of ourselves and begin to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
The priest would have to go in and take a bull and offer it as a sin offering for himself. This had to be done before he could enter the Holy of Holies and approach the mercy-seat on the lid of the ark of the covenant; otherwise he would die. Although he had been appointed high priest, he was still a sinful human being. Sin couldn’t enter the presence of God, the high priest couldn’t rush into the communion with God before he was cleansed of his sins. This is the reason why today, God doesn’t enter the sanctuary as He did then, because the people come in, they’re in a rush to get out, they haven’t examined themselves to see if they have sinned against God in any way before trying to come into His presence. Unconfessed sins will not allow us to come into the presence of God.
Many attend church on Sunday, and have lived completely opposite of the instructions God has given us through His written word, then they try to worship Him in songs and praise when their hearts haven’t been cleansed. Before the Lord will enter into the sanctuary, the heart of the people must reverence and desire His presence, our spirits and hearts need to be cleansed through the actions we did through the week, the things we saw and heard. He want us to have a grateful heart, worship with sincerity, confessing our sins before Him (If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness – 1st John 1:9). The presence of God will come into the sanctuary, our homes, cars wherever we worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Let us examine ourselves, confess our sin prior to trying to invoke God’s presence, the truth sets us free, and it makes us acceptable to come before Him.