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In His holy presence

Then Jehoshaphat knelt low with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord to worship him. Then the Levites from the sons of the Kohathites and the Korahites stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel shouting loudly. In the morning they got up early and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa. As they were about to go out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem. Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.” Then he consulted with the people and appointed some to sing for the Lord and some to praise the splendor of his holiness. When they went out in front of the armed forces, they kept singing: Give thanks to the Lord, for his faithful love endures forever. 2 Chronicles 20:18-21

From the text, Jehoshaphat led the Israelites to offer their worship to God. He knew that he was in God’s presence that he “knelt low with his face to the ground.” Jehoshaphat acknowledged God’s holiness that he prostrated before God’s presence. It was an attitude believing that God’s holiness is gloriously beautiful. This was how the Scripture described Him. “Who is like you among the gods, O Lord—glorious in holiness, awesome in splendor, performing great wonders? You raised your right hand, and the earth swallowed our enemies. With your unfailing love you lead the people you have redeemed. In your might, you guide them to your sacred home” (Exodus 15:11-13). He is identified as supremely holy. “But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy” (1 Peter 1:16). For the Israelites, God’s expression of His holiness is seen through His expression of “faithful love that endures forever.” Since His holiness is set apart among others, all expressions of His attributes extend to every aspect of His being. People who trust God realize that they can count on His faithfulness. Because of His holiness, we can trust Him for His love endures forever. The reason why we bow down in awe when we recognize we are in God’s presence is because we see our inadequacy and sinfulness. We realize our shortcoming as seen first and foremost in our disregard of His command. “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37). God’s holiness should compel us to offer our worship and our complete dependence on His power. There should be a constant realization that our source of joy is found in His presence. “The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple” (Psalm 37:4).


Noel De Guzman

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