Profaning a Holy God

In Exodus 3, Moses finds himself tending his father-in-law’s sheep in the wilderness of Midian. Probably chasing down a wandering sheep, Moses is confronted by God manifested in a burning bush. God immediately calls Moses to himself and commands that Moses remove his sandals, stating, “for the place where you are standing is holy ground (5).” Moses is introduced to an idea found throughout Scripture that has been greatly lost in our world today: reverence.


Hebrews 12:28 states, “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” The word reverence in Greek is εὐλάβεια (eulabeia). This word means to have a deep respect and worshipful awe toward God. The idea of this word implies the expectation of obedience to God. When Moses was told to approach God in the burning bush, the resulting conversation was the expectation that Moses would listen and obey the commandments of God.

If you have been paying attention to recent events in our world, you have probably noticed the complete absence of any type of reverence toward God. Our world looks more like the period of the Judges, “when man did what was right in his own eyes.” Even so, the name of God is never far from the lips of man. Whether using his name as profanity or simply cursing him, a world that hates God can’t seem to shake proclaiming His name.


However, the absence of the name of God is not what has been lost. What we have lost is a biblical understanding of reverence. Ecclesiastes 5:2 states, "Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth.” The ancient Jews understood this well. They were so afraid of dishonoring God’s name that they refused to even utter His divine name. They truly had a deep respect and awe for God.


Having reverence for God does not mean that we have to go back to wearing robes and acting solemn. Having reverence does not even require that we bow our heads and close our eyes. Jesus  gave us the perfect example of how to pray as He Himself looked to heaven with His hands open wide. There is no legalistic requirements for how we worship.


However, the posture of our body may speak to the posture of our heart.


What I am arguing is this: we must model biblical reverence in our homes. Our families are not going to find it in the world. They will certainly not find it in our modern-day celebrities and role models.


Reverence does not come naturally to our sinful nature. No. Dads, Moms, Grandparents, you must model this for your families. Use God’s name to worship God. Let your children find you praying, singing, and shouting to God.


Show them what it means to revere a holy God.



Article written by BJ Eason.


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