Why do you sweat the small stuff?
We are frequently criticized for being too picky about religious details God does not care about. We are accused of straining at gnats, when God is totally pleased by a happy and sincere heart. But what does the Bible say about such an attitude?
Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:19). Jesus said details are important! If you want to be great in His sight, you will care about the least commandment.
Consider Cain. He was a farmer. When it was time to sacrifice to God, Cain brought a beautiful arrangement of the finest produce. It was clean, organic, and the very best of his profession. He watched while Abel slashed the throat of a lamb and burned its gentle body on an altar. Cain was sure he had improved on Abel’s cruel, dirty, and smelly way of worship. But God thought differently! He rejected Cain’s offering, and He rejected Cain (Gen 4:1-5)! Details count!
Consider Moses. He was one of God’s greatest men. But when God told him to speak to a rock to get water for Israel, he hit the rock instead. Though he got results, God was angry with him and would not let him enter Canaan for that single minor offence. He used the right rod on the right rock and got results, but God rejected his modification (Num 20:7-12). Details count!
Consider Nadab and Abihu, two of Aaron’s sons. They loved the LORD and wanted to worship Him at the tabernacle with new contemporary incense. But the LORD burned them up on the spot! Though they were God’s appointed priests, worshipping the right God, at the right place, their innovation was unacceptable, regardless of their sincerity. God consumed them and would not let Aaron their father or their brothers grieve for them (Lev 10:1-7). Details count!
Consider David. He was the man after God’s own heart, the sweet psalmist of Israel. He loved God more than any man. He loved to worship God. But when he moved the Ark of the Covenant, he moved it the wrong way, and God killed a man in the middle of his joyful parade. David used a new ox cart, and the man was only trying to keep it from falling (II Sam 6:1-11)! Details count!
Consider King Uzziah. He was a good king that God blessed abundantly. But he thought God’s blessings meant he could take liberties in worship. When he took it upon himself to offer incense to God in the temple, God gave him facial leprosy for life (II Chr 26:16-23). Details count!
Do not say God is different in the New Testament. Is that how we should interpret, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever” (Heb 13:8)? Did you read the opening words of Jesus that the least commandment is important to Him? Paul said this: “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire” (Heb 12:28-29).
We sweat the small stuff for good reason, and you should be sweating it with us. We would love to introduce you to New Testament worship in apostolic simplicity and accuracy.