In his "Lectures To My Students," C. H. Spurgeon stated, "Sometimes the manners of our people are inimical to attention. They are in the habit of attending; they attend the chapel, but they do not attend to the preacher. They are accustomed to look around at every one who enters the place, and they come in at all times, sometimes with much stamping, squeaking of boots, and banging the doors. I was preaching once to a people who continually looked round, and I adopted the expedient saying, ‘Now, friends, as it is so very interesting to you to know who comes in, and it disturbs me so very much for you to look round, I will, if you like, describe each one as he comes in, so that you may sit and look at me, and keep up at least a show of decency."
In the Bible, covering the face was a sign of reverence in the presence of God. Moses, when the Lord appeared to him in the burning bush, "hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God" (Exodus 3:6). Elijah, upon being aware that he was in the presence of God, "wrapped his face in a mantle" (1 Kings 19:13). Furthermore, the seraphim are seen by Isaiah in his temple-vision, covering their faces with two wings, in God's presence (Isaiah 6:2).
According to Acts 10:2, long before Cornelius was converted, he was "a devout man, and one who feared God with all his household." Fear can mean the terror a man feels when he senses evil or danger, but, with Cornelius' household, it speaks of the awe and reverence a man feels in the presence of God. He never allowed his family to speak of, nor treat, the things of God lightly.
A young girl, touring Europe, went to Vienna to the museum where Beethoven's piano is displayed. She frivolously sat down, and played some inappropriate songs. The old caretaker endured it, and after it was over, he said, "Paderewski was through here some time ago." "Oh?' she said, "and what did he play?" "Nothing," the caretaker said. "He said he was not worthy to touch Beethoven's piano!"
"Our brains are no longer conditioned for reverence and awe" (John Updike).
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654