Respect for God’s holiness
by Terry Broome
A talk show I heard about a number of years ago was dealing with the issue of school violence. This was after the string of high school shootings that terrified parents and teachers alike. The question that was asked is, why are these kids doing this? Montel Williams was the host of the show, and he had a number of top psychologists who offered opinions ranging from brain abnormalities, to cultural influences such as rock music and video games. After they had made their opinions, Williams gave his theory, and it may shock you. He said that he thought the reason why these kids were doing this was that they no longer had any fear of God. He explained, “That’s why they can go and murder 10 classmates and then turn the gun on themselves because in their mind, that is the end to all their suffering. These kids no longer fear either God or death, so in their mind they can do whatever they want and not be held accountable for it.”
The fear of God is a controversial issue for some. The argument made is that we should be telling people about the love of God, that God loves us and is our best friend. All this is true, but it is only part of the truth. Throughout the bible we are taught that we ought to fear God: to stand in awe of His awesome power and might, and to fear His awful wrath. The bible says that “the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” (Psa. 111:10). Deuteronomy 10:12 – “And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God.”
The fear of God is a healthy fear to have, and the more I see the more I recognize the need for us to regain this fear. Fearing God means to have respect for Him and to obey Him. It means that you acknowledge Him to be your creator and thus He has the right to be your lord. It means that you act out of reverence for Him. This kind of fear is that of honoring the holiness and majesty of God. In our culture, God-bashing has become a popular thing. This attitude is all too familiar. Though we may not be so brazen as to use verbal disrespect, we can still be guilty of profaning the holiness of God in how we approach spiritual things. Failure to have the proper respect for His holiness brings about the following kind of fear: Hebrews 10:31 (KJV) 31 “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Habakkuk 2:20 (KJV) 20 “But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.” This passage speaks of godly reverence, respect for God’s holiness! We don’t honor the physical building as Israel honored the temple and consecrated it because it was holy, but we are to honor the spiritual temple of God, the church, and the worship of the church as holy. If we walk into the house of worship with no respect or honor for worship…. If we come to the Lord’s table with a careless attitude and a wandering mind…. We profane the holy things of God, and by doing so we profane the name of God.
There is nothing the church needs more desperately today than a fresh encounter with the holiness of God to make us aware of the dangers of playing with sin. We sing about His holiness very often:
“You Are Holy, You are mighty, You are worthy, worthy of praise….”
“Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty. All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea….”
“This is holy ground, we’re standing on holy ground, For the Lord is present and where He is, is holy…”
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.