The worship of God in truth is everywhere and here. The nature of worship of God is from our spirits through the Spirit of God our Maker and Sustainer. Today we read of God’s call to Israel back to proper worship and Jesus’ definition of worship to the Samaritan woman.
5 This is so the Israelites will bring to the Lord the sacrifices they are now making in the open fields. They must bring them to the priest, that is, to the Lord, at the entrance to the tent of meeting and sacrifice them as fellowship offerings.
7 They must no longer offer any of their sacrifices to the goat idols to whom they prostitute themselves. This is to be a lasting ordinance for them and for the generations to come.’
10 “‘I will set my face against any Israelite or any foreigner residing among them who eats blood, and I will cut them off from the people. 11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.
Leviticus 17:5, 7, 10-11
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
At the time of the giving of the law of Moses, some Israelites were making sacrififces out in the open fields to goat idols. The Lord directed Moses and the priests to confront these practices and to get the Israelites to bring their sacrifices to the tent of meeting to be offered to the true God.
Some people needed to be called back to God because they were off track and onto idols and the worship of inanimate objects. It is interesting that at the same, they also addressed eating the blood of animals, which was forbidden.
The life of an animal is in its blood, and the blood was to be used for making atonement on the altar. Some of the people were perverting the requirements of God to suit their own preferences and ways.
When Jesus discussed worship with the Samaritan woman in John 4, she was asking about differences in thought about where worship was acceptable. Is it on the mountain only or can we worship elsewhere? Whereas God was extremely specific with the people of Israel in their worship, Jesus’ answer to the Samaritan opened up our eyes to see worship differently.
Jesus shared that a time was coming, which now is, in which worship is not spatial. It is not on the mountain or in Jerusalem. Worship is spirit and truth. We worship the true God who gave his son, Jesus, for us. And we worship from our spirits to the spirit of God. We worship from our souls through the Spirit of God.
Worship is everywhere and here.
It is all times and now.
Which brings me back to the open fields. What we do in the open fields with the idols of our own making is not separate from our life with God. Just as he saw the Israelites in the fields he sees our whole lives. We cannot escape the eyes of God, and he has made himself fully accessible to be our God every hour of every day. We ought to respond to God with true worship now, everywhere we are.