Sacred is defined as entitled to reverence and respect, synonymous with holy; sacred can also mean highly valued and important1. Let’s pause and consider what is sacred.
I looked up some answers on Quora and quite a few common themes are:
- Personal freedom
- Human rights
When something is sacred to us, we don’t destroy it, we protect it, we fight for it, we keep them close to our hearts. Is God sacred to us? For Christians today, we may find it hard to imagine how treating God as sacred looks like – but God’s character does not change, so let’s take a look at what He said in Leviticus:
…’Among those who approach meLeviticus 10:3 (NIV)
I will be proved holy;
in the sight of all the people
I will be honored.’…
What happened in Leviticus 10
Leviticus 10 is about two sons of Aaron (brother of Moses) who were priests but did not respect God’s commands. They offered unauthorized fire which they knew they were not supposed to. There were no reasons given for why they did so, but it was clear it was wrong. What happened next was a fire came out from God and consumed them. They died on the spot.
Leviticus 10:3 was what Moses told Aaron that this was what God said about the sons’ death. For those who came near to God, God expected to be treated with holy respect and to all people, He was to be glorified and honored.
I selected this bible verse to memorize before I looked up the verse (simply because out of that chapter during my cover-to-cover bible reading, this was one of the more ‘memorizable’ one). And throughout the week, there were several revelations about how this verse could be applied in Christian living. As you read my sharing, I also invite you to share your thoughts.
What Sacred Looks like
- Treating God as Holy
In the early part of the week after I selected to memorize Leviticus 10:3, I came across a Pinterest comment where someone commented that an image of bible journaling (where the image was drawn over more than half the bible page) was ‘a bit too much’. My bible journaling was limited to the wider margin of the journal bible and I had not given much thought about journaling/ drawing over the bible. But because I was trying to memorize Leviticus 10:3, I suddenly wondered whether it was holy/ not to draw on the bible.
At the same time, my bible study group was learning about 1 Samuel and came across another instance of disrespect for God’s commands.
But God struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the ark of the LORD. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the LORD had dealt them.1 Samuel 6:19
What does reverence for God look like?
It is clear therefore that the reverence that God expected was utmost. And He took it very seriously. It was important to Him. So I ask myself what would treating God as holy look like today:
- When we pray to God, is it ok to mutter a quick casual prayer? Would we find it unfathomable to speak as casually to the president of our country or to the richest man or to our boss?
- When we go to church, is it unholy to dress like we’re buying coffee from across the block? Would we scoff if someone turned up at the Emmys wearing what we wore to church?
- When we attend worship service, is it ok to check our phones? Would we balk at someone if he/she surfed social media when witnessing our wedding vows?
One may argue that interacting with God or the church is nothing like meeting the president, attending the Emmys or your best friend’s wedding. But maybe there in lies what we hold as sacred. (for further reading from The Gospel Coalition, see footnote 2)
I understand glorifying something or someone as giving importance, honor and behaving in a way that reflects so much of our admiration that others would want to find out more about this thing/ person.
As you may know from my About page, I took extended unpaid leave this year to help kiddo with grade 6 exam (PSLE) and also to do something for God. I was joyfully writing the devotionals despite the effort and time each devotional took (average 5.5 hours per post), until I started working on my social media accounts. Within the first few days, I was discouraged and fretted about how to gain followers, get ‘likes’ and grow the reach of my social media posts. So much so that I knew something was not right, because it didn’t feel right to be fretting so much about how (un)popular I was.
Then suddenly one morning during the week (we’re still in the week of memorizing Leviticus 10:3), a thought came to me as I woke up.
I don’t have to worry so much about how no one is reading my writing and posts, after all, our focus and intention is just to glorify God.Mei aka Clueless
Gradually for the rest of the week, even as I continued working on my site and social media’s reach, there was more joy replacing the worry.
Admiration in Right Location
Just as a faulty compass or GPS, we would not be pointing anyone to the correct direction if we live our life showing admiration for things/ persons more than God. Maybe it’s our admiration for a prominent Christian leader, for Elon Musk/ Jeff Bezos/ Tom Brady, for money… not that they are not worthy but that our admiration for them exceeds that for God.
During the week, try journaling about what you hold sacred and admire. Share your comments as this is an area that we can help each other navigate.
What we hold sacred
Leviticus 10 Journaling Prompt
What do you hold sacred in your life?
What does glorifying God mean to you? Do you need to change your daily actions to glorify God?
God, many days I take my prayers and worship too lightly. I don’t even think enough of whether I’m admiring You and pointing people to You by how I live my life and show admiration. Please teach me.
Books on Holy Living
I recently came across Joyce Meyer‘s Enjoying Everyday Life Show and find that they are very grounded in the bible. Found these bestseller books of hers that are relevant for Christian living, she has written over 100 books.
I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
1 Merriam-Webster. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sacred Accessed 21 Feb 2021.
2 Garrett Kell. Why Did God Kill Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10? The Gospel Coalition.org https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/two-priests-strange-fire-holy-god/ Accessed 21 Feb 2021