Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 16, 2022

“By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.” – “Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling.”

Today’s devotion comes from Exodus 30:34-38.

“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense;  there shall be an equal part of each.  With it you shall make incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure, and holy.  You shall beat some of it very fine, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting where I will meet with you;  it shall be most holy to you.  The incense which you shall make, you shall not make in the same proportions for yourselves;  it shall be holy to you for the LORD.  Whoever shall make any like it, to use as perfume, shall be cut off from his people.”  Exodus 30:34-38.


There are things that are set apart as holy, reserved for use in worship to God, not for our personal use as we please, as we see by the incense in today’s Scripture (particularly in verse 37 highlighted above).

In the immediate preceding Scripture, we also saw that the anointing oil was likewise set apart as holy, reserved for use in worship to God, not for our personal use as we please.  “It shall not be poured on anyone’s body, nor shall you make any like it in the same proportions;  it is holy, and it shall be holy to you.”  Exodus 30:32.

So, what are some examples of holy things, reserved for use in worship to God, that we improperly take for our personal use as we please? 

We take praise language that we use in our worship of God and improperly use the same language for our personal use as we please.  For example, we call God “awesome” in our worship of God.  But how often do we so casually use the same word “awesome” to describe persons and even things?!

We can properly pray to God for even minor things.  But how often do we casually say to others “I will pray for you” to appear sympathetic and kind to others without a sincere intent to do so?! Or, how often do we casually say “I pray” to indicate just a personal wish without even thinking of God!    

Rather than using Psalms and well-known hymns to encourage singing and praise of God by the whole congregation, we choose songs that only we know and that best show our talent to sing, using mics and loud music to drown out the singing and praise of the congregation.

We attend church to look good to others. We think more of ourselves than God.

We saw in Scripture a specific example of the improper use of the Lord’s Supper.  “Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first;  and one is hungry and another is drunk.  What!  Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink?  Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing?”  1 Corinthians 11:20-22.

Here is one example in Scripture of God’s punishment on those who took holy things and used them for their own personal use.

“Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them.  And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.  Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the LORD spoke, saying,

By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy,
And before all the people I will be honored.

So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.” Leviticus 10:1-3.

“10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship the LORD with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.

12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! Psalm 2:10-12.

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  1 Corinthians 10:31.

But, there is hope!

“… To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:  Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;  seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”  2 Peter 1:1-3.

“… Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”  Ephesians 5:25-27.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  …”  Ephesians 1:3-4.


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