“Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.”
“WORSHIP” is the most important activities of a Christian church and Christians from the beginning of Biblical history of mankind. Yet it is the most misunderstood by the majority and practiced variously. Here in this passage God’s word requires us to “worship Him in the beauty of holiness”(1Ch 16:29, 2Ch 20:21, Psa 96:9). We will consider two main words for our short contemplation which are found in this verse – “worship” and “beauty of Holiness”. What does it mean to us?
1. True Worship:
The word for “worship” in the original languages Hebrew and Greek denotes the idea, “to prostrate, bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do reverence, make to stoop, to kiss (like a dog licking his master’s hand), hold in awe.” to render religious service of homage etc. The term Greek latreia and its cognates are directly associated with both service & sacrifice when directed toward God.
In other words, the right understanding of the word worship is ‘serve’, ‘service’ and ‘minister’. The word in English language literally means to ascribe worth to something. So, the true worship begins with a deep respect or reverence for God, a frame of heart, an attitude. Thus, an “act” of worship is an act proceeding from or the result of that attitude. Consequently, worship is the highest form of reverence and is dedicated to
God alone, in honour, service and sacrifice towards our awesome God. Yet we have failed to render the fullest service in the highest devotion for Him in many ways. So in layman term worship is a “heart service to God the almighty with highest veneration to Him and Him alone.
2. Beauty of Holiness:
The next word or phrase “in the beauty of holiness”, which denotes the total aspect of the act of worship must be in accordance and clothed with inner and outer beauty of His holiness. According to Matthew Henry “the glorious majesty of God is called the beauty of holiness”. The beauty of holiness is something which God’s standard that expects from His children in our worship services are the kind of sanctity, purity, holiness in mind, heart and action. The areas to consider in our worship are
[1.] The object of our worship; In the worship of God we must have an eye to his beauty, and adore him, not only as infinitely awesome and therefore to be feared above all, but as infinitely amiable and therefore to be loved and delighted in above all; especially we must have an eye to the beauty of his holiness.
[2.] The place of worship. The beauty of the sanctuary was the exact agreement of the worship there performed with the divine appointment – the pattern in the mount. Now, under the gospel, solemn assemblies of Christians (which purity is the beauty of) are the places where God is to be worshipped.
[3.] The manner of worship. We must be holy in all our religious performances, devoted to God, and to his will and glory. There is a beauty in holiness, and it is that which puts an acceptable beauty upon all the acts of worship.
What kind of attitude is expected here in this passage? We are expected of the purity of mind, heart, and actions. Therefore, worship is an act of heart not of actions alone, outward beauty is not essential but it is inner beauty that is demanded. In the parameter of purity, sanctity or holiness, everything must be done, not only in the worship services, even in every day walk of our life (Psalm 15).
As Paul exhorts us in Romans 12:1-2, “that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. and be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” so I urge and encourage one and all to do a meaningful worship service, by showing the true repentance and service to Him who has called us to be His children, understanding what really God expects from us.
So I here exhort you beloved, that how you present yourself in the church shows your real honor and reverence to God and it also reflects your holy adorning of your heart. Beauty is an aesthetic value and sense, the beholder must be able see our beauty of His holiness in our life and service to Him through our conduct and behavior.
Man may see outside of our life but God does see our inner heart and mind. God is not interested in our lip service or mockery in worship service to Him. So God requires us to have sacred thinking, sacred feelings and sacred conduct. In other words in order to have a right relationship with Him, i.e. to worship Him, we need the inner beauty of His holiness. Likewise we need to have holy relationship with each other, in our presentation, relationship and conduct. Especially our relationships must be sacred and not violating the law of God’s standard of His holiness, which may edify and encourage one another to worship our awesome God with due reverence and highest honour with proper attitude, as a result that, we may please God, and lead others to the Holy God to worship Him in the inner beauty of His holiness. Let us give our best of all to Him, who is worthy of our sincere Worship through Inner glow of beauty.