Enjoy Life, Enjoy God

Dale Patterson


July 15, 2009

We religious people are in the habit of ritual, religious acts, as if God is in need of our ritual, our religious observances.

 When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the Lord spoke to him.
-Numbers 7:89 TNIV

 Numbers 7 records a great series of offerings to the altar, each given one by one by the twelve tribes of Israel. We often misunderstand this as if God needs the ritual and sacrifices: offerings, fatted calves, bowed heads, loud-singing praises, tears of joy or grief. I believe in principle, we're mistaken. It's not what God needs; it's what we need.

Our religious acts, our devotions, our rituals--God has no need for it, but we do. It turns our attention from the self, directs us to our center, our hope, our focus, and ritual gives us a means to do it, if we're mindful. The great offerings and ritual of Israel led Moses and the people of God to hear the voice of God speak. God does not need our bowing down or genuflecting, but we do!

Dale Patterson