Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Holiness Unto the Lord





Scripture

And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.
(Zechariah 14:9 NASB)
In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “HOLY TO THE LORD.” And the cooking pots in the LORDS house will be like the bowls before the altar.
(Zechariah 14:20 NASB)
Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the LORD of hosts; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them. And there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts in that day.
(Zechariah 14:21 NASB)

 

Observation


This passage of scripture is the place where we find the old King James Version using the phrase "Holiness Unto the Lord." This is what was to be written or inscribed on the bells of the horses. What was the significance of this event? Zechariah is prophesying about a major change which will occur in the days ahead. In the past only the High Priests were the ones who were holy enough to enter into the Holy of Holies and meet personally with God. To infer that the bells on the horses -- on an animal could have anything to do with holiness might have almost sounded absurd, but the key to this is in verse 9 where we see that Zechariah is seeing a day in which God will be the Lord and king over the entire earth. Everything within the structures of the past will change.

This change came about through the work of Jesus Christ and the sending of the Holy Spirit. Holiness moved out of the confines of the Temple and was now available to all of those who would be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Canaanite -- representing the one who could make things unclean, would no longer be able to make things unclean! Holiness was now to be about the presence of the Holy Spirit and not about a list of clean and unclean items. The power of God's holiness is so great that even the ordinary things of life could become holy. The bells of the horses rang as they walked or trotted down the street ringing out the good news that everything could now be "Holy to the Lord!" Even the cooking pots -- the things that represented the most ordinary work of life could be made holy and the very act of eating, when done by the sanctified individual becomes an act of worship to God.

 

Application


Sunday evening I preached a message in a small Nazarene church in East Palestine, Ohio. This church was founded in 1908 and I was told she is the oldest Church of the Nazarene east of the Mississippi river. Just above the place where I was preaching there hung a sign which read, "Holiness Unto the Lord." When that church was founded a little over 100 years ago I would guess that this was the war-cry of the congregation. Those old-time holiness people really believed that the power of the Holy Spirit was transformational and could reach out to the most dirty down and out sinner and transform them into holy individuals in service to God. They believed it so much so that they made signs and plaques and sewed banners which read "Holiness Unto the Lord" and hung them around their church buildings, and even wore and carried them in parades!

The reality is that we are living in the day about which Zechariah prophesied. We are living in a time when even the most ordinary can be made holy, because the Holy Spirit is here living among us. Many of our churches have removed those old signs that read "Holiness Unto the Lord" thinking that the phrase is rather old fashioned sounding and not relevant today. Or maybe we've simply forgotten what that sign really stood for and the incredible message borne therein! "Holiness unto the Lord" is the most hopeful message we can share in the world today -- the message that God is here on earth and can take very ordinary individuals, clean them up, transform them and turn them into holy vessels for his use. Let us consecrate every aspect of our lives to him and to his use -- even the cooking pots -- and allow him to make us "Holy to the Lord."

 

Prayer


Lord, my desires is for you to fill me on a daily basis until every part of me is made holy by you. Please, help me to lives this way on a daily basis. Amen.

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