God has a purpose for everything He does. Man’s obligation is to obey all the instructions of the Lord without alteration (Revelation 22:18-19). In changing any command of God, we may unintentionally be tampering with God’s purpose.
An illustration of this purpose is found in the veil of the tabernacle. In Exodus 26:31-33, God commanded Moses to construct and place a veil in the tabernacle to separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. In Exodus 36:35-38, Moses records the completion of this task.
It is readily apparent that the veil certainly served the purpose of separating the two sections of the tabernacle, but the New Testament records for us another purpose. Matthew 27:50-51 says, “Jesus when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.” So when Jesus died on the cross, the tearing of the veil represented the abrogation of the Old Testament system and the institution of a new way to God (Hebrews 10:20).
But what if Moses had altered God’s commandment regarding the veil? That would have altered the purpose of the veil regarding the death of Christ, but Moses would have been oblivious to this fact.
The importance of God’s commandments with respect to His purpose has always given me great cause for care and circumspection in obeying God. For example, many in the religious world blatantly disregard the commands and examples in the New Testament to sing when we worship God (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Matthew 26:30; Acts 16:25; Romans 15:9; 1 Corinthians 14:15; James 5:13; Hebrews 2:12; 13:15).
I wonder how many have ever considered that singing with the voice and melody in our hearts only may be part of a larger purpose of God that we do not know now? It may be that the ultimate purpose of a capella singing will not be revealed until we reach Heaven, if at all. “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
Be reverential and careful toward God’s precepts. They carry with them a purpose important to God and critical to a man.