The Holy and the Profane
Marty Kessler | January 21st, 2008

God is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). Through the centuries, however, there have been many who were innovators. Not a single one of them ever gained God’s approval. Isn’t there a lesson in there somewhere for us?

Cain was first. He offered a sacrifice without faith and got his ‘nose out of joint‘ when God disapproved, Genesis 4:1-8. Rather than correct his mistake, he chose to kill his brother who was doing as he was supposed to do. Interesting, isn’t it, what senseless things self-will can compel us to do?

Then there was Nadab and Abihu; two priests who took it upon themselves to offer fire to God that they had not been directed to offer, Leviticus 10:1-11. Their problem? They evidently failed to make a distinction between things that are holy and those that are not. Perhaps this is why Ezekiel was inspired to repeat this idea:

Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy
things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane,
and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean…
Ezekiel 22:26

Moreover, they (the Levites - mk) shall teach My people the difference
between the holy and the profane, and cause them to discern between
the unclean and the clean.     Ezekiel 44:23

Saul, the first king of Israel, lost the kingdom for taking authority upon himself to do things differently than God had directed, 1st Samuel 13:5-14. It was no excuse that he felt great pressure from his circumstances to make the change. Many today claim the need for change because of similar pressures. Do they want to lose the kingdom too?

In Isaiah’s day, some seemed to have the form of worship down, but their lives failed to reflect righteousness, Isaiah 1:1-15. For this, God said He would ‘hide His eyes from them and not listen to their prayers, though they would multiply them. Yes, for our worship to be holy, our lives must first be holy. Anything else is profane hypocrisy.

What do you offer God when you come to worship? The Almighty openly wished through the prophet Malachi:

Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might
not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you, ‘says the Lord
of Hosts’ nor will I accept an offering from you.     Malachi 1:10

May God never want to shut the gates for you and me. But alas! It is totally up to us.

Marty Kessler