Moses got a new lease on life when God called him from the burning bush. Although Moses would become a great man, God had to first teach him some important lessons. God began by teaching Moses about holiness.
Here’s what God said to Moses in Exodus chapter number three:
Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.Exodus 3:5
God had to teach Moses the difference between ordinary ground and holy ground. If Moses failed to learn this lesson, he would’ve missed his destiny.
Do you recognize what’s holy? Do you comprehend the concept of holiness?
Before you can build a successful life, you must fear God and understand holiness.
I want to use
The Ark of God
as another example.
Later in Moses’ life, God had him build a sacred container that held holy things (Exodus 25:10 & 22). They called it “The Ark of the Covenant” or “The Ark of God.” It was symbolic of God’s presence.
Later, a situation arose during a time when the people of Israel did not have knowledge of the holy. You can read about this in 1 Samuel chapter six.
On that occasion, the enemy was returning the Ark of God to Israel. Although the people rejoiced about having God’s presence back in their lives, they treated it disrespectfully. They treated the Ark as an ordinary thing. As a result, 50,070 men died (1 Samuel 6:19).
God used that horrible experience to teach the people about holiness. Afterward, here’s what they had to say:
Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God?1 Samuel 6:20
The people had gained, through experience, a
Knowledge of the holy.
I remember a day when most businesses closed on Sunday. Religious and secular Americans collectively recognized the holiness of the Lord’s Day.
Also, a time existed when people who testified under oath placed one hand on the Bible and raised their other. Everyone, regardless of their background, recognized the holiness of God’s Word.
Do you remember when people attempted to look their best and conduct themselves properly in church? They did that because they instinctively recognized the difference between the holy and the ordinary.
How are things nowadays?
I’d say that American society is almost universally unaware of (if not in rebellion against) the holy things of God.
Jesus illustrates this as he speaks about
Dogs and swine.
Holiness isn’t just an Old Testament precept: Jesus affirms the need for us to learn to recognize and appreciate holy and valuable things.
In Matthew chapter 7, verse six, Jesus says
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine…Matthew 7:6
His message comes with a warning: You can’t share precious things with people who lack discernment. Moreover, people who cannot discern value cannot build a solid foundation for life.
With that being said, let’s go
Back to the beginning.
I remind you of a scripture that I previously used while speaking of the fear of God. Proverbs chapter 9, verse 10 says
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.Proverbs 9:10
I invite you to join with me by seeking a fresh start. Whether you need to break out of the quarantine doldrums or recover from a setback, you can begin by fearing the Lord.
Why should we fear God? The answer lies in the second portion of our text: God is holy.
You can’t have understanding until you can recognize holy things.
Ezekiel prophesied to Israel regarding a fresh start. At that time, the people had abandoned God and ruin had ensued. The restoration of the nation would begin by teaching the people the difference between the holy and the profane (Ezekiel 44:23).
As you build a solid foundation on which to reboot your life, learn to distinguish between good things and bad. Choose the clean way of life. Develop a respect and reverence for God.
Such knowledge of the holy will guide you as you navigate your path towards success.
In closing, I leave you with First Peter chapter 1, verse 15:
He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;1 Peter 1:15