Daily Devotions


Day 217

"Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth." Psalm 96:9

Text: Exodus 24 : 6


Perhaps Israel had never had a chance to observe this special worship of the Lord. The children of Israel would never have been allowed to kill oxen in the land of Egypt. This animal was considered sacred to the Egyptians! Thus all must have watched every little detail of this special worship.

As the oxen were slaughtered, Moses collected some of the blood of the sacrificial animals.

“And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins,
and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar.”

Obviously, Moses attached great significance to “blood”. How should we understand this text?

1. Reminiscent of Patriarchal Worship (and before)

It was Abraham who practised the worship of God, involving a blood sacrifice. (This manner of worship could be traced to earlier times, all the way back to Abel)! The significance of blood in the worship was more assumed than explained.

2. Reminiscent of the Blood of the Passover Lamb

In more recent times, the children of Israel participated in the slaying of a Passover Lamb, on the night before they departed from Egypt. The blood of the Passover lamb became even more prominent then.

3. The symbolic meaning behind the application of blood on the altar

What did Moses teach the children of Israel when he slew the oxen and then sprinkled their blood on the altar? Two things may be highlighted!

a) A confession of the need for an atonement to be made
Who was this God Israel worshipped? Surely, He was a great and awesome God! How could mere mortals, and sinful at that, approach this holy God? On their own merit, they could not hope to offer worship that would be acceptable to God!
The blood of the oxen had a deep symbolic meaning! It represented an important truth! Atonement was needed before worship could be given! Blood represented life! And life must be shed as an atonement before God could be approached!
b) A confession of faith that believed God would graciously forgive
It was God who taught the patriarchs and the children of Israel concerning sacrifices. Worship based on God’s own word would surely be acceptable! It was only a question of exercising personal faith in God as worship is offered! With deep understanding and faith in the Lord, Moses led the children of Israel into a memorable time of worship!