Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 27, 2022

“just as the LORD had commanded Moses”

Today’s devotion comes from Exodus 39:1-7.

“Moreover, from the blue and purple and scarlet material, they made finely woven garments for ministering in the holy place as well as the holy garments which were for Aaron, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

He made the ephod of gold, and of blue and purple and scarlet material, and fine twisted linen.  Then they hammered out gold sheets and cut them into threads to be woven in with the blue and the purple and the scarlet material, and the fine linen, the work of a skillful workman.  They made attaching shoulder pieces for the ephod;  it was attached at its two upper ends.  The skillfully woven band which was on it was like its workmanship, of the same material: of gold and of blue and purple and scarlet material, and fine twisted linen, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

They made the onyx stones, set in gold filigree settings; they were engraved like the engravings of a signet, according to the names of the sons of Israel.  And he placed them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod, as memorial stones for the sons of Israel, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.”  Exodus 39:1-7.


If the holy garments for Aaron had to be made exactly as specified “just as the LORD had commanded Moses”, as we see repeated three times in today’s Scripture, then how much more should our congregational worship of God (by what we do and say) be “just as the LORD had commanded Moses”!

And yet, we see a movement in churches today to worship God just as they please.  Nowhere is it more evident than in the praise music sung by professional polished performers edging out congregational singing with their own lyrics of 7 words repeated 11 times louder and louder, drifting away from Scripture-based lyrics.  

Every Sunday, it bothers me.  But, it bothers me most at Christmas time.  We all go to church wanting to sing our favorite Christmas songs, and yet the praise singers dominate the songs with their mics turned up in order to drown out the singing of the congregation to show off their own polished voices.  If that was not enough, the lyrics are changed to include unknown refrains (parts of the song) mixed into the traditional songs, to make the congregation just give up singing so that they will stand silently to listen in awe to the polished performer, and then of course, to clap loudly at the end of the song to praise only the polished performer. 

And, if that was not bad enough, we see other parts of the service such as “Call to Worship”, “Scripture Reading”, “Congregational Prayer”, sacraments, offerings, and even the sermon minimized or edged out altogether to make more room for the polished, professional performers, and their praise music. 

Unfortunately, we see this even in some conservative Reformed and Presbyterian churches which at least pay lip service to the Regulative Principle of Worship.  The format of a short devotion does not allow space to fully lay out and support the Regulative Principle other than briefly explain it.  There is an article written titled “Public Worship and the Reformed Faith” by Professor Barrett L. Gritters of the Protestant Reformed Churches.  In his article, Professor Gritters explains the  Regulative Principle as follows:  “Reformed believers teach that our worship is to be just what God commands it to be—nothing more, nothing less. This is of utmost importance for us to understand in connection with Biblical, Reformed worship. God does not leave it up to us to determine the manner of our worship of God. God’s Word regulates us in how we must worship Him.”  (Highlight in bold italic font added by Bill).  

Here is the link to the article –

“10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship the LORD with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.” Psalm 2:10-11.

“Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.” Psalm 100:1-2.

“O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD,
Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving,
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” Psalm 95:1-2.


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