1 Chronicles 16:29-Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! NKJV
We think of a lot of things as beautiful. We recognize beautiful people, beautiful homes, beautiful places, and even beautiful words. Such was the case when David watched the Levites place the ark of the covenant in the tent:
Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!1 Chronicles 16:29 NKJV
As I woke this morning, this was one of my first thoughts. Worship the Lord in the beauty of His holiness. As I have thought about that intermittently throughout the day, I couldn’t help but want to blog about His holiness.
Hannah worshipped Him, acknowledging His holiness, after He gave her Samuel.
“No one is holy like the Lord, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.1 Samuel 2:2 NKJV
Moses sang these words after crossing the Red Sea in safety and watching the destruction of the Egyptians:
“Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?Exodus 15:11 NKJV
John, in the book of Revelation, saw a sea of people who had overcome the beast rejoice with these words:
Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.”Revelation 15:4 NKJV
God set Himself apart from everything and everyone in the uniqueness of His character as the Most Holy God. His very nature is that of holiness. Everything He touches becomes holy because He is holiness personified. As people worshipped Him in the scriptures, they acknowledged He was the God of holiness. Songs were sung of His holiness. Prayers were prayed that mentioned His holiness. His name even includes His attribute of holiness, the Most Holy God!
Yet, today in 2022, we often forget, as people under grace, the significance of His holiness. God called out to Moses one day and as he approached, God said:
“Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”Exodus 3:5 NKJV
The ground was made holy, and God told Moses to take off his shoes to walk on that holy ground. God told Moses to construct the tabernacle in the wilderness. Everything in the tabernacle was declared holy. Every item, every piece of garment, and every room was holy because it was the place where God’s Spirit would dwell and commune with His people.
Today, if we are honest with ourselves, we have lost the reverence of God that was once noted and expected in the house of God. I realize that ritualism isn’t the way to honor the beauty of His holiness. However, there should be something majestic and worshipful, about the house of God, for if God is there, it is a place of holiness. We should refrain from treating God’s house like our house. People have begun to treat the church as just another building to conduct business. Jesus was not happy with that attitude in the New Testament and I’m pretty sure He hasn’t changed.
When I was growing up, I thought the elders of the church were a bit extreme in their attitude about the sanctuary and the pulpit. But during that timeframe of history, few churches worried about burglaries because people feared the house of God. There was a reverence even amongst the heathens that caused them to pause when it came to desecrating the church. Yes, there were those who overlooked it then as they do now, but today there appears to be little reverence from the people of God, and even less from the ungodly.
I spoke of His name being Holy! Some wouldn’t even utter His name because it was so holy! Today, He is flippantly referred to as the “Man upstairs”, “the Big Guy”, “the Co-pilot”, and a host of other names that place Him in too familiar of a place. Our relationship with Him gives us access to call Him “Abba, Father” and therefore we can be as familiar with Him as we are with a parent. But I am one of those parents who still believe that our daughters are to address us as “mama” and “dad”. It’s called respect!
Beautiful things catch our attention and cause us to stop and admire them. We visited Charleston, South Carolina last summer. While we were there, we spent a great deal of our time walking through the streets to see historic homes in the Old District. Every place we walked was a great place to take a picture because the area is beautiful. At least some part of our day was spent admiring the beauty of the city parks and homes. We didn’t want to leave and we would love to return.
That’s the picture of the beauty of His holiness. We are to stop when His holiness is around and admire the beauty, the preciousness of His holy state. We are to give His Holiness the place of honor worthy of Him. Then that beauty will cause the only response that is appropriate to come forth: worship! We should want to experience His holiness while reluctantly departing from it. But most importantly, we should long for it!
Jehosophat was the king of Judah when the people of Moab, Ammon, and Mount Seir decided to come against them in battle! But Jehosophat prayed to God and God told him to not be afraid for the battle belonged to Him. On the morning of the battle, Jehosophat organized a time of praise:
And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.”2 Chronicles 20:21 NKJV
Here we see the singers honoring the holiness of our God. As they praised the beauty of the holiness of God, God set up ambushes against the enemy and destroyed them before Jehosophat! I always attributed this victory to praise without recognizing that the praise was to His holiness. Isaiah wrote these words:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!”Isaiah 6:3 NKJV
Our God is a holy God. His holiness is an intricate part of who He is and how He operates. There is beauty in His holiness which says to me, it’s noteworthy and He should be praised for it. As we approach the end of the week and head to another service that hopefully will honor His great name, let’s not forget to worship Him in the beauty of His holiness. Wonderful Jesus!