A veteran minister expressed, “I met a man, and the music of God had gone out of him. With great honesty, he told me how the glory had departed. First, he had disliked a preacher’s style of preaching. Then, he grew to dislike the preacher himself. Irreverence for the minister and his message expanded in the man’s heart. Finally, he found himself feeling irreverent toward the church where the man spoke Sunday after Sunday. You see how it is? It is all a sad pattern. We cannot lose reverence for things spiritual without losing reverence for the Author of spirituality – God. The road to irreverence usually does not begin with disrespect toward God, but disrespect toward the things of God.” 1
God told the people, concerning the Ark of the Covenant, in Joshua 3:4,
“Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.”
The space between the people and the Ark of the Covenant (about 1,000 yards) is a reminder that there must be no undue familiarity with the sacred things. God must be reverenced by everyone.
“Earth is crammed with heaven
And every bush aflame with God
But only those who see take off their shoes.” 2
“Reverence is an ennobling sentiment; it is felt to be degrading only by the vulgar mind, which would escape the sense of its own littleness by elevating itself into an antagonist of what is above it. He that has no pleasure in looking up is not fit so much as to look down” (Washington Allison). 3
© 2016 D & L Publications
- Walter B. Knight, Knight’s Master Book of New Illustrations, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, Copyright 1956, p. 496
- Poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning – Philip Yancey, Finding God in Unexpected Place, Moorings, Nashville, TN, A Division of the Ballantine Publishing Group, Random House, Inc., Copyright, 1995, p. 27
- Troy Edwards, D.D., A Dictionary of Thoughts, F. B. Dickerson Co., Detroit, MI, Copyright, 1908, p. 492.