Holiness Unto the Lord
Zech. 14:20 On that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the LORD.” And the cooking pots in the house of the LORD shall be as holy as the bowls in front of the altar; 21 and every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be sacred to the LORD of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and use them to boil the flesh of the sacrifice. And there shall no longer be traders in the house of the LORD of hosts on that day.
The label, “Holy to the LORD,” or, as the King James Version put it, “Holiness Unto the Lord” had been reserved for the high priest. This is what was inscribed on his turban (Exodus 28:36). The prophetic word of a restored Jerusalem speaks to a future where holiness will not be reserved for the select high priest, but for everything — even the very ordinary cooking pots and horse bells! Everything becomes sacred when it is in the presence of the Lord.
As a child I used to wonder about that phrase “Holiness unto the Lord.” I would see it written across the front of many churches. Later as I studied more about our church’s history I saw that the early “holiness” people would wear and carry banners with this phrase. In the King James Version this passage is where that exact phrase “holiness unto the Lord” is found.
This prophetic vision of the new Jerusalem might help us understand the passion with which the early holiness folks grabbed onto this phrase. In the presence of the Lord, everything becomes sacred. Therefore as a people seeking a deeper walk with Jesus Christ, we are called into ever-increasing participation with our holy God. The ordinary in our lives becomes the extraordinary in God’s presence. The high priests had been the ones who were able to bring the sacrifices before God. Now, the everyday life of one living in the presence of the Lord becomes a living sacrifice.
Somehow I think those early “holiness” folk were onto something. In the presence of God most high he takes our ordinary selves and transforms them into his holy utensils to be used for his kingdom glory and all of this is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. God’s people — sacred in the presence of God. We are all called to live a life of “holiness unto the Lord.”
Lord, may your banner be spread over my life. Amen.
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