2015-11-19 - Handling the Holy
Originally Preached 2005-03-17 ~ Originally Published 2011-05-13
I like simple games, so I have rock, paper, scissors. I brought in a clear cup of dirt and rocks from behind the church, a roll of toilet paper taken from the men's room, and a pair of scissors from my Sunday school class. OK this is clearly not the normal version of rock, paper, scissors; it's a question and answer game. The question is "which if any of these are holy?" Before anyone answers, let's read a passage of scripture.
Notice the term here - holy things. It is also rendered holy articles, holy furniture, or holy furnishings. Reading the previous part of the chapter, you'd see that these holy things are pretty normal things like bowls, tables, and candlesticks. But the Bible says they are holy. I don't know about you, but I normally think of God as holy, and some great saints as holy, but we (and by that I mean I) don't usually think of things like candlesticks, tables, bowls and forks as holy - let alone rocks, paper, and scissors.
But they are nonetheless referred to here as holy. The Hebrew word qodesh translated as holy means "sanctified" or "set apart" for divine service. It's not to be confused with qawdosh, also translated as holy, which means "morally or ceremonially sacred," or "pure," as in God is holy. Qodesh holiness is what I want to talk about. Qodesh holiness comes about when we surrender the ordinary things of the world to the extraordinary will of God
Once given to God, it is his and not ours anymore. It becomes holy. I went to a friend's church for Christmas Eve. He is a denomination of the Episcopalian or Anglican Church. Anyway, they brought a cross in at the beginning of the service. Not understanding its purpose, I asked about it ,and he said it symbolized God's presence when two or more are gathered. My friend explained how the brass cross was holy, and would only be used in church services. When it was replaced, it would be given to another church or destroyed, not ever hung on someone's wall as art, or thrown out as trash. That cross is holy; it's a simple thing given to a specific function of the Lord's church.
In Exodus, God instructed people to give of their gold, silver, and stuff to make lots of common things like bowls, tables, and candlesticks. They were pretty common things, but they were made for use in God's tabernacle, and were therefore holy things. Here in Numbers, we find instructions for handling these holy things.
With true Christianity, you give yourself to God. You surrender your will to him; you surrender your life to him. You are entirely his. That is why the Bible says you are "bought with a price" in 1 Corinthians 6:20, 7:23, you are "servants of God" in Romans 6:22 and Ephesians 6:6, and why Jesus refers to us in his prayer as "them which thou hast given me" as recorded in John 17:9,24. We are to make no mistake about it - we are his. Therefore, we are holy - set apart for God's use. We are qodesh holy, on our way to becoming qawdosh holy. Thus the command to "be ye separate from the world" in 2 Corinthians 6:17.
Until next time …
All scripture references from KJV (King James Version) unless otherwise noted