Engaging with God as He is
As Lent is unfolding, let us reflect on the most basic and principal truth: that God made us for Himself. Let us remind ourselves again that the real God is the God to whom we owe everything; and we must worship God in the way God tells us to do. If we worship Him our way, we do not dedicate ourselves to Him, and in fact we corrupt the image of God, the very act of worship. Indeed there are even acts of worship that God rejects. We find plain explanation of that truth in Malachi 1:6-14. There is a strong complaint of the Lord about worshippers: “If I am a father, where is the honour due to me? If I am a master, where is the respect due to me?”
From the very beginning of the human race, people have had tendency to praise the Lord their way. Cain and Able both worshipped God. Indeed, both of them made sacrifices. Both prepared altars, both spent time to prepare everything to worship God and they dedicated their time, energy and goods. Both of them offered their produce to God. However, as we see, God recognised only the one sacrifice, the sacrifice of Abel. Cain’s way of worshipping was not what God required.
In the same way, God reminded His chosen worshippers a number of times that the Temple is a place where man meets God. How many times did the Israelites try to build the Temple? How many times did God not allow it to happen? How many times did people change the usage of the Temple? How many times did God purify the Temple and even allow it to be destroyed? All these questions are to help us to see that we must worship God in the way God tells us to do. We need to fear the danger of worshipping God in a way He does not want.