In the book of Genesis, Abraham is called to a strange land far from home where he is given the entire land of Canaan. Abraham is given the deed of the land, but of course, God says that it will be hundreds of years before the land will look like it is his. But Abraham understands that ownership begins with worship. He understood that dominion begins with prayer. This is exactly what Abraham does; all through his life he moves all around his new property building altars and worshipping. At those altars, Abraham takes portions of his new land and places them on the altar to be consumed with fire for Yahweh. It is over 400 years later, when the descendents of Abraham return to the land to begin the conquest in the book of Joshua. But we should not fail to notice that several of the key battles in Joshua occur in the very places were Abraham built altars and worshipped hundreds of years before. Not only that, but the beginning of the conquest is marked by the circling of the city Jericho with blasting trumpets and shouts of praise to the Lord. When the city falls, it is offered up to God as a sacrifice, completely consumed in fire, and many of the other cities in Canaan are the same. Mt. Sinai is a picture of this same reality: the mountain is a gigantic altar, covered in smoke and fire, and the voice of thunder and trumpets. When Israel conquered Jericho they were re-enacting Abrahamís altar worship, they were re-enacting Mt. Sinai at Jericho. And the lesson is the same for us today. Jesus has already told us that every square inch of heaven and earth belong to him and therefore to us. Therefore, we are called to take dominion just as Abraham did many centuries ago; we take dominion by worship and sacrifices of praise. This means that worship is conquest, worship is warfare, worship is dominion. Just as Jericho fell to the thunderous sounds of marching feet, shouting voices, and a blasting trumpet, so too, what we are doing here is no less effective. Therefore sing out as though your voice was engaged in battle, shout out your responses, and say Amen! in unison at the close of our hymns and psalms. We are come to a mountain that cannot be touched; we are come to the presence of God which is a consuming fire, a thunderous storm cloud, and in the kindness of God we have been invited into storm, into that battle. So come, worship the living God.
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