"Again David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, 30,000. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baalejudah (Kiriath-jearim) to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts, Who sits enthroned above the cherubim."
II Samuel 6: 1, 2, Amplified Bible
"The Holiness of the Lord of Hosts"
"Before I begin to think and consider the love of God and the mercy and compassion of God I must start with the holiness of God."
What do I think about when I hear the words, "God is holy"?
How do I think I would act if I believed I were in the presence of God?
"The radiance of the Divine beauty is wholly inexpressible: words cannot describe it, nor can ear grasp it."
"The holiness of God is His glory, as His grace is His riches."
The Bible is such a fascinating book, especially as you read it in the order it is put together. Here in Transformation Garden, rather than jump from story-to-story or text-to-text, reading through the Bible as we do, helps us place the lives and experiences of people in the context not only of history, but also in the context of what else was going on at the time the people we are studying were living.
The chapter we are reading for the next few days is II Samuel 6 and it is extremely instructional for the focus of this chapter is on God's holiness and the blessings and cursings that accompany a sacred respect for our Father's hallowed and glorious presence. This particular chapter is rarely looked at in a thorough way, but if it were, I believe it would greatly assist all of us in our respect for following the will of a holy God.
What makes this chapter and its placement even more interesting is that it precedes David's lustful encounter with Bathsheba. This fact causes me to again take time in my own life to reflect on the importance of making God's holiness central in my life, for when we make this choice, we are kept from wandering off the pathway of the purpose God has for us.
I'll never forget when I was young and the pulpit on the platform in the church we attended had a phrase carved into the beautiful wood finish. It said, "Holiness to the Lord." These words made a huge impression on my mind for back in those days, when you entered any church sanctuary, you were told to keep your mouth closed and act in a reverent manner. Please don't get me wrong, I love a gloriously worshipful and expressive church service. But by the same token, some church services I've been to in recent years, have become such technological productions, they remind me more of a Broadway show that a reverent, adoration to the King of the Universe.
This is why I believe spending time looking at II Samuel 6 applies perfectly to our lives today.
What had happened at the time of David was that God's children had become careless and irreverent. They had forgotten God was holy. The spiritual had been tarnished by the commercial. What was once holy had been relegated to commonplace. Sound familiar? What's more, God's requests for specific behavior in His presence seemed old fashioned.
David decided he wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. This was a noble desire on his part. He wanted Jerusalem to become the center of worship to God. This was also a very honorable desire.
But, before David undertook this task, little thought was given to how the move would transpire. The act of transporting the Ark was undertaken as a routine jaunt from one place to another. The Bible states they put the ark on a new cart, brought it out of the house of Abinadab and then David and all the house of Israel, "played before the Lord with all their might, with songs, lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals"
(II Samuel 6: 5 Amplified Bible).
Sounds pretty exciting to me! Quite a joyous celebration -- except for one thing. David and the people of Israel chose to celebrate their own way, not God's way. They created the party the way they wanted it to be -- the way they wanted it to look and sound. They didn't consult their heavenly Father who had given detailed instructions on how to move the Ark of the Covenant.
I'm reminded as I read this passage of another story in Exodus 3: 5 (Amplified Bible) when Moses was out herding sheep one day. Low and behold he wandered upon a bush that was burning but not "burning up." Suddenly a voice commanded him, "Do not come near; put your shoes off your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground."
Somewhere between being in God's presence in the desert, or being in His presence in a church or on a mountain trail, we have forgotten the "holy ground" part of our Father's holy character. And when you and I lose respect for God's holiness, we lose respect for ourselves. We forget who we are and who created us when we forget the majestic, holiness of our Eternal Father.
I love these words penned by Richard Baxter which are a wonderful reminder to each of us: "Remember your ultimate purpose, and when you set yourself to your day's work or approach any activity in the world, let HOLINESS TO THE LORD be written upon your hearts in all that you do."
When the holy becomes common, when our Father's greatness is forgotten and replaced by the likeness of humans and their desires, we miss what "Holiness to the Lord" means in all we are and all we do. The results -- as we will find out -- is tragic!
No attribute of God is more rejoiced in by unfallen angels and redeemed men and women than His holiness."
William S. Plumer
"Holy holy holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, Blessed Trinity!
Holy, holy, holy! Angels adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Thousands and ten thousands worship low before Thee,
Which wert and art, and evermore shall be.
Holy, holy, holy! Though darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy great glory may not see.
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee
Perfect in power, in love, and purity."
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus is available where Christian books are sold. They can also be purchased through Paypal at www.transformationgarden.com or by calling our office toll-free at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.