The results of the ‘come as you are’ mindset. The testimony of believers.
Jacob had God on his mind but his family did not have Him in their hearts. He built an altar but they did not prepare themselves for worship! They met the world as they were and reaped the terrible results. Jacob learned the lesson that a casual heart leads to careless living.
Genesis 33:17-34:1; 34:30; 35:1-5
Jacob, because of his casual attitude in leading his family, was responsible for the defilement of his daughter, the disgraceful actions of his sons, and the destruction of Shechem.
Some will argue that encouraging a “dress in your best” attitude equates to Pharisaism, Matthew 23:25. Others consider casual dress to result from a casual heart.
Jacob instructed his family to separate themselves from the things of the world and separate themselves unto the Lord. They were on their way to worship the Lord and they prepared their hearts and their dress accordingly.
Believers should ask themselves “does my manner of dressing communicate my belief that coming together for worship and service is important”?
Most of us will not attend a wedding or a funeral in “tennis shoes and shorts,”out of respect for the families represented. While a period of worship is not the same as a funeral or wedding, the principle is similar. Human beings have a sense of propriety; a sense of what is appropriate for certain occasions.When we see a man or woman “dressed up” we see them ready for an important client, an important task or responsibility. Similarly, in worship we should dress in accordance to the significance of the task before us. When we come into the assembly to give praise, honor and respect to His wonderful Name, our apparel should complement that honor along with the respect we have for God.
A worshipper’s apparel was important under the Mosaic code:
David wrote, “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psa. 29:2). Priests under the Old Testament were to wear certain garments during their worship. See Exodus 28; Ezekiel 44; Leviticus 6, 16. While we are not are the OT law, it puts us in good stead to apply the principles. God demands of us no more than we can do; but when we come to worship Him, we should dress in a manner that expresses our love, respect, and reverence for Him. Sloppy, soiled garments do not indicate “respect” for Him. T-shirts advertising things that are less than spiritual and apparel that says recreation are not garments of worship. Let us all dress and behave in ways that reveal our love for God – every time we come together.
At Mount Sinai God expected Israel to take three days to prepare to meet Him.