podcast

#588 – Guard Against Casually Approaching God (Exodus 28:35)

Pray The Word
Exodus
28
35
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“And it shall be on Aaron when he ministers, and its sound shall be heard when he goes into the holy place before the Lord and when he comes out so that he does not die.”
(Exodus 28:35)

Oh, you’ve got to get this picture. This is talking about a golden bell that will be on the hem of Aaron, the priest’s robe when he ministers so that when he goes into the holy place, the holy of holies, he will be moving around, and people outside will be able to hear him, and they will know that if that bell stops making a noise, that means Aaron has stopped, which means they will need to pull him out, and there’s actually a way so that when he goes into the most holy place, they would be able to, if Aaron was struck down in the presence of God, he would be able to be pulled out.

We are tempted to neglect the seriousness of the privilege of calling upon God. May God help us to have right reverence when it comes to approaching Him.

So, just imagine the intensity of that scene. When this person goes into the most holy presence of God, and everybody around is just listening to make sure that bell is still making a noise because everybody’s in silent awe of the fact that there’s a person meeting with God, and their life is at stake in that.

When I read this verse, I just am reminded of the seriousness in a sense, certainly here in the Old Testament, but even in the New Testament under the new covenant through Jesus, the seriousness involved in coming before God, and I’m convicted in my own life. So, there’s a sense in which like pray without ceasing. So, I want to pray before God as my father. I have access to his presence all the time, so I want to speak to him all the time. At the same time, I never want to forget the reality of whose presence I’m in, and I find myself doing that, and I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I’m praying. I can just bow my head like before a meal or even in the church, like I can bow my head and pray, “Dear God.” And I can just start to talk, and I’m not even thinking about who I’m talking to. Like that’s dangerous. I don’t want to pray like that. We should never pray like that. We should pray, realizing who we’re talking to with a sense, an ever constant sense, of awe at who God is and the fact that we are before him.

So let me encourage you to guard against, in your heart and your mind, a casual approach to God that forgets his holiness and his greatness and this seriousness that’s involved in coming before him, not in a way that makes us forget he’s our father or his children, but in a way that helps us remember that, yes, while he is our father and we were as children, he is also the holy creator, God of the universe, and we are prone to sin in so many ways, and we need to remind ourselves of his glory and his greatness all the time as we are speaking with him in prayer.

So, God, we pray for that even right now. We pray that you would give us a holy sense of who you are as we’re praying to you and as we bow our heads before meals, as we pray or quiet time or just without ceasing during the day, and help us not to pray less, help us to pray more, but also to pray more with a cognizance of who we’re praying to and help us not to forget your glory, your greatness. Help us to bow our heads in awe, to speak before you with humility and reverence, and God, we want just, just as Jesus taught us to pray, hallowed be your name in all the earth. We want your name to be known and treated as holy in our lives, in all the earth.

God, we pray for the Crimean Tatar people in Ukraine, just a few hundred thousand of them there in Ukraine and many others in different countries for the Tatat people, this unreached people group. God, we pray for the hallowing of your name among them. Please cause the name of Jesus to be known and revered and worshiped among them.

And as we pray for that among them and other people groups, we pray for that in our own lives. Cause your name to be hallowed, to be feared, to be honored in our lives and specifically in our praying, in our worship. When we gather together as the church for worship, keep us from casual worship, we pray. Keep us from just standing and singing some songs, mindlessly. That is not honoring to you. It’s not what you deserve. Keep us from that, we pray.

David Platt: Help us to remember whose presence we’re in, in prayer, in worship, in our lives. Help us to live for the hallowing of your name, honoring of your name. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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