Dear Members in Christ,
Worshipping and Serving God (Exodus 7:16)
When one is a servant, especially if the word is used in the Bible, it conveys a meaning of being in bondage or servitude. The word "serve" in the Old Testament is used often to mean to work, labour, be in bondage, as well as to worship and serve God. This expression is especially clear in the book of Exodus were we read, "And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour" (Exodus 1:13). The work required by the Egyptians of a Hebrew slave was quite intense. They were required to fulfil the production quota of bricks with no materials provided. Their bondage also meant subjection to the cruel command of the Pharoah to commit infanticide.
Serving sin is being under the yoke of bondage
It is with this backdrop that the Almighty God of Israel visited His people to deliver them. Firstly, the Lord God called upon His servant Moses to lead His people out of Egypt. When Moses protested on the basis of lack of credentials, God answered him, "And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain" (Exodus 3:12). And God commanded him to tell the Pharoah, "...The LORD God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness ..." (Exodus 7:16).
The Bible paints a picture of one who is in sin as being in bondage and slavery. In the New Testament, we read that as believers, we ought to, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Galatians 5:1). Just as the Hebrew slaves who were freed from Pharoah's bondage would gladly journey away from Egypt to serve Him. We also, who are freed from the bondage of sin ought to gladly depart from the pleasures of this world and to serve the Lord our God. "Gladly" is a word used with emphasis, because sin is a deadly and tyrannical master. Its bondage is an unbearable torment and its result is homicidal - it results in certain death. No wonder, once free from sin, the ex-slave is now full of gladness to serve his God.
Serving with gladness - our worship and service towards God
What does this teach us, brothers and sisters? The Psalmist exhorts us in Psalm 100:2 to serve the Lord with gladness. Let us who has savoured freedom from sin, come and gladly serve the Lord. Let us be minded to worship and serve God with a glad heart. Serving God involves worshipping Him and doing service for Him. Thank God that despite the MCO, God's people were able to serve and worship by virtual services enabled by the recording facilities. Thank God for the work of the PA crew doing the weekly recording. Many others continue to labour and serve the Lord behind the scenes. The teachers continued their service by conducting the weekly online Sunday School sessions. The choir had practices conducted by virtual means, prayer meeting and fellowship meetings continue on a weekly basis. These are all opportunities to serve the Lord.
Everyone of us have the means by which we can gladly serve the Lord. You too can play a part. You may not be a Sunday School teacher, or a ministry leader. But, perhaps you may know of someone who has been missing out on worship, or fellowship or prayer meeting, or some child who is missing out on Sunday school. This is an opportunity to go and tell someone of the services available. Encourage someone to come together with us to serve and worship God. Let us all be like minded to edify one another and to serve God with gladness. Amen.
Dn Lim Seh Beng