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Reverence for the House of God


Why did God instruct His people to build a sanctuary?


“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8.


How did He tell them to regard this dwelling place of God?


“Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.”

Leviticus 19:30. 


What does the Lord say of things dedicated to His service?


“But nothing that a man owns and devotes to the Lord – whether man or animal or family land – may be sold or redeemed; everything so devoted is most holy to the Lord.”

Leviticus 27:28.  


When God met Moses at the burning bush, why did He tell him to take off his shoes?


“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5. (See also Joshua 5:15.)


Note – The presence of God made the place holy. Wherever God meets with His people, that place is holy.


When the tabernacle was reared anciently, what occurred?


“Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” Exodus 40:34. (See also 2 Chronicles 5:13,14.)


Why should all show respect for the house of worship?


“But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” Habakkuk 2:20.


Note - A failure to recognize this fact leads many to treat the house of worship without due respect. Nothing seems more appropriate to divine worship than that of awe and silence should pervade the place of worship, and that only the sound of prayer, praise and thanksgiving to God should be heard within its walls. Both upon entering and just before leaving the house of God it is highly appropriate and a most excellent practice for each worshiper to bow the head for a few moments in silent prayer.


God’s Frown Upon Irreverence


How did Christ manifest His regard for the sanctuary of God’s house?


“Upon reaching Jerusalem Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said,  “It is written: “’My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”

Mark 11:15-17.


Note – This cleansing occurred at the close of Christ’s public ministry. There was a similar cleansing also at the beginning of His ministry. (See John 2:13-17.)


What punishment did God bring upon Nadab and Abihu for offering strange, or common, fire in the tabernacle service?


“Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.” Leviticus 10:1,2.


Note – This, like the two cleansings of the Temple by Christ at the beginning and close of His ministry (John 2:13-17; Matthew 21:12-16), shows that God is particular in regard to the worship and conduct of the worshipers in His house. No performance or exercise should be permitted in any church or building especially dedicated to God’s service which is not in keeping with its sacred character, or conducive to reverence for God and for holy things. It should not be a place for feasting, visiting, or worldly entertainment and amusement.


Reverence and Godly Fear


For what purpose are we warned to have grace? 


“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28,29.


In what spirit did the psalmist say he would worship?


“But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple.” Psalm 5:7. 


What instruction has Solomon given respecting our conduct in the house of God?


“Guard your steps when you go into the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.” Ecclesiastes 5:1.


Who is present in all assemblies met in Christ’s name?  


“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

Matthew 18:20.


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