“Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.” 1 Samuel 12:24
Growing up my mother had things scattered around the house that we were to never touch. She called them “what not’s” and “knick knacks” which in my mind meant they were nothing of significance but they were to her and if you touched them or broke them you would find yourself in quite a bit of trouble. To my mother these perceivably non-essential things were sacred things.
As I thought of this it reminded me of my earlier years in the church when many things were sacred. Lay people were never allowed to walk onto the pulpit, you did not move during prayer or scripture reading, and eating, chewing gum, and drinking were absolute no no’s in the sanctuary. Rigid and strict they were but they also ushered in a sense of respect for the presence of God. This took be back to a story in scripture where a man by the name of “Uzzah” son of Abinadab took hold of the ark of the covenant because the oxen had stumbled. The Lord considered Uzzah’s act irreverent and struck him down. He died right there beside the ark (2 Samuel 6:1-6). Imagine if that was God’s response today in the way church services are conducted or in the irreverent things we do when we come to worship Him? How many people would be alive? “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not (Lamentations 3:22).”
Church may have changed but God has not. There should always be a sense of reverence and respect for who He is. He is holy and He told us to be likewise (1 Peter 1:16). It would change our focus and our response when in His presence. God taught the Israelites how to worship Him (e.g. in spirit and in truth) and if we are truly doing that our lives would demonstrate our homage to Him. Treating God casually or as an insignificant relationship does not demonstrate reverence. The danger in that is He is so much higher than any relationship we have. Maybe if we went back to some of those teachings of yesterday our world would be a better place. It’s worth a try don’t you think?