True Reverence for God
by Gilbert Alexander
A man dressed in splendid robes, with chains of gold about his neck and a great ring of gold on his finger, stands before a multitude of people, an ornate miter upon his head. In one hand he holds a golden censer with burning incense in it, and in the other hand he holds a sprinkler with which to sprinkle water on the people. With great ceremony and solemnity he passes among the people, sprinkling and pronouncing blessings upon them. Is God impressed and pleased? NO! Is this a scene of true piety and reverence toward God? NO! Why? God has not told him to do any of these things. True reverence for God is shown in sincere, faithful obedience to God's instruction in righteousness.
Let us learn the lesson on reverence found in Leviticus 10. The opening scene is quite impressive. Nadab and Abihu, sons of Aaron, were wearing their priestly garments as God had commanded. They took censers authorized by God, apparently put the incense authorized by God into them, and offered "profane fire," before the Lord. Fire went out from the Lord and killed them. Why? They died for offering "profane fire, which He had not commanded them." God had said, "By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified." These two priests had failed to do that. "Oh details! Details!" someone might say. Yes, God was concerned about obedience to ALL of His instruction in ALL particulars of instruction.
God is STILL expecting full submission and careful obedience on the part of all who would draw near to Him and seek to glorify Him. Those who would please Him must learn to revere Him with godly fear (Hebrews 12:28,29). "Our God is a consuming fire." Reverence toward God demands that we do not play mechanical instruments of music in worship, do not pray to Mary, do not burn incense, and do nothing else which has not been authorized. Do you believe that the Lord's "musts" are really "musts?" Read the words of Jesus in John 4:24. Do you serve God daily with reverence and awe?