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Video Lessons
Worship:
In Spirit
-- A Singular Allegiance
The Samaritans had, as we saw in 2 Kings, a divided allegiance. Their
adoration was divided between the idol gods of their native land and the God
of the land in which they now dwelt. Jesus had said in the Sermon on the
Mount,

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the
other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve
God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24 KJV)

The Christ had reference to the god of possessions (the idolatry of
covetousness) which reigns in the hearts of many men today. Yet, what Jesus
said of mammon was true of the idol gods of the Samaritans. They could not
acceptably worship God with a divided allegiance.

Joshua faced this same problem as the nation of Israel had obtained all of the
land which God had promised unto their fathers (Joshua 21:43-45).  Before his
death, the successor of Moses “gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem,
and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and
for their officers; and they presented themselves before the Lord” (Joshua 24:
1). He reminded them that Abraham and his forefathers had lived in another
land and served other gods; but, Abraham left them in his homeland when he
obeyed the voice of God to go to another land. Joshua reminded them that it
was Jehovah who had given them victory over the people who worshipped the
gods of Canaan. He ends by saying,

Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put
away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in
Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD,
choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers
served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in
whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
(Joshua 24:14-15 KJV)

Having rehearsed before the people the victories which God had wrought for
them in conquering the promised land, there could be no other choice than to
serve the One True and Living God, forsaking all others.

Elijah faced the problem of a divided heart in his day. Jezebel, the wicked wife
of king Ahab, had slain many of the prophets of God although Obadiah had
saved one hundred, fifty. She erected idols thoughout the country for the
people to worship. Elijah had fled, but was now sent back by Jehovah to
conduct the “Battle of the gods.” The people of the nation were gathered
together and Elijah said to them:

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two
opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the
people answered him not a word. (1 Kings 18:21 KJV)

He proposed a test to show beyond a shadow of a doubt who was truly god.
And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and
called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear
us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the
altar which was made. And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them,
and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or
he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they
cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets,
till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was
past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening
sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that
regarded. (1 Kings 18:26-29 KJV)

Now it was Elijah’s turn. He built his altar and dug a trench around it. Then he
had the people fill four barrels with water and pour them over the sacrifice,
the wood, and the altar three different times. Twelve barrels of water were
poured over the altar so that even the trench around the altar was filled with
water.

And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that
Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of
Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy
servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD,
hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou
hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and
consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and
licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it,
they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he
is the God. (1 Kings 18:36-39 KJV)

There can be no question as to the God who deserves our undivided
allegiance. He is the same God whom Joshua chose to serve and whom Elijah
called upon. He is the Creator of all that is, the Almighty, Lord of hosts, Lord
God of all, the One True and Living God, Jehovah. When God had spoken unto
the nation of Israel from Mt. Sinai, He told them:

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out
of the house of bondage.  Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou
shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that
is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water
under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for
I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon
the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And
shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my
commandments. (Exodus 20:2-6 KJV)

To worship God acceptably, one must have a singular allegiance. Our
allegiance cannot be divided.


Worship: In Spirit
Worship: In Spirit -- A Pure Allegiance
Worship: In Spirit -- A Practical Allegiance
Worship: In Spirit -- Understanding