But the Lord is in his holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before him. (Habakkuk 2:20)
Worship Him In Silence
There is value in stillness, the quiet of a day, a calm spirit standing before the Almighty seeking peace and comfort. The world is filled with noise, clamor, activity and the unending pursuit of gain on a daily, unending cycle. God gave man the task of labor but He also instilled in man the need for rest. Regardless of the strength of the will of man, the physical body requires rest or it will destroy itself. Sleep is a biological clock determined to refresh, renew and strengthen the body from disease. Man has no choice but to rest as the body demands it. This same need is found in the spirit of man to enter a place of silence to ponder his place in the universal scheme of his life. When God created the heavens and the earth, He rested on the seventh day, not because He was wearied or tired but as a time to reflect the grandeur of His creation which expressed all the glory of a loving Creator. Under the Law of Moses, the seventh day was called a Sabbath rest and became a required day of non-activity for the people of Israel. On one occasion there was a man found picking up sticks on the seventh day and he was stoned to death according to the word of the Lord. Why? He had not hallowed the day of rest. It was not the intention of the Lord to punish the people by making them have a Sabbath rest. His intent was for the spirit of man to spend time peering more closely into the nature and character of the One who created Him. The Lord does not approve of a slothful man or a lazy man. Remembering the Sabbath was a day to be kept holy as a hallowed day. While the Law of Moses and the Sabbath law has been annulled and taken away, the principle of God to spend time in silence before Him remains. Habakkuk warns the wicked to remember who the Creator is and what He has given to all men and to understand the place of man before God.
The world of modern man is full of conveniences and comfort that drives him into a constant hum of business that almost seems unending. It is hard to get someone to slow down to smell the roses much less take the time to plant the roses in this crazy world. Worship is a time when the soul of man finds refreshment in the praise and glory of the Lord God. The early church assembled on the first day of every week to spend time in worship and praise. Through the writings of the New Testament disciples the lessons of weekly worship are firmly established as the pattern for the modern man. God expects and demands that His people gather together each week and stop their busy pursuits of useless matters and worship Him. Before Jesus died on the cross, He took His disciples and instituted a memorial feast that would become the hallmark of worship for the early Christians. The Lord’s Supper was given by God so that His people could reflect upon the gift of God to give His Son and the love of Christ to die a horrible death for the sins of all men. Paul would later describe the manner of the partaking as reflective worship to commune with the body and blood of Jesus. He also adds that if done in an improper manner judgment would be placed upon the individual. All of this points to the need of the child of God to stop, look and listen to the love of God every first day of the week. Habakkuk reminds the modern people of God to remember where the Lord is and that He must be regarded as holy and honored by the silence of respect to His holy name. Worship is not a place of frivolity, playing with children, reading Facebook or talking to one another about shopping at the mall. Worship to the Lord God must be done with respect and honor. The Lord is in His holy temple and when a man disregards the presence of the Lord he will be held accountable. The laws of worship have changed but the principles have never changed.
If more of God’s children would take to heart the words of Habakkuk and reflect upon the presence of God worship would be very different. The Lord’s Supper is not the only part of worship that must be taken in a holy manner. Singing to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs comes from hearts that are filled with the Spirit of God. Listening attentively with Bibles open shows respect for the word of God. Far too many saints sit passively in the pews never opening the Bible or listening with an attentive ear. Worship is a place of honor for the Lord God Creator. The first day of the week should be a holy day to reflect upon the mercy and grace of God – not a day filled with the hectic pleasures of life that drown the soul in perdition. It is not a day of slothfulness but a day of worship. The Lord is in His holy temple and all the earth should be in silence before Him to honor Him and adore Him for the greatest gift He has given to all men. This is the day the Lord has made and we should rejoice in this day because it is a day when we gather to worship God.