1 Samuel, chapters 5-9

But he would return to Ramah, because his house was there, and there he also judged Israel. He built an altar there to Jehovah.
~1 Samuel 7:17

While reading the account of how Samuel went about leading the Israelites in true worship, I couldn’t help but wonder that he had built an altar at a place other than the tabernacle (De. 12:11).

Worshipping in high places was a practice God had clearly condemned until shortly before then (Jos. 22:29).
The indicated place of worship was supposed to be where God’s sacred Ark resided- the Ark symbolizing God’s divine presence.
However, with God’s sacred Ark having been robbed from the tabernacle, Jehovah allowed his worshippers to practice their faith elsewhere, so long as it remained clean of idolatry (1 Ki. 3:2-4).

God’s reasonableness is thus reflected in the flexibility he offers his servants when they are sincerely approaching him to worship.

A Samaritan woman once inquired of the Messiah about the proper place to worship (John 4:19,20).

Jesus’s reply clearly indicates that the determining factor in whether God accepts someone’s worship is the attitude with which a person approaches God, not so much the physical place the person is at.
He also mentioned that it should be spirit-based, or free of idol use (John 4:24).

An example of this can be seen today in the hundreds of conscientious objectors who are imprisoned for practicing their faith.
Although they are in most cases isolated from the worldwide brotherhood, without a doubt Jehovah hears their prayers and holds their worship in high esteem.

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