by Mike Ratliff
36 “You shall also make a plate of pure gold and shall engrave on it, like the engravings of a seal, ‘Holy to the LORD.’ 37 You shall fasten it on a blue cord, and it shall be on the turban; it shall be at the front of the turban. 38 It shall be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron shall take away the iniquity of the holy things which the sons of Israel consecrate, with regard to all their holy gifts; and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD. Exodus 28:36-38 (NASB)
I have written much over the years about our battle with pride pretending to be humility especially when it comes to service and worship. I struggle with this as much as any of you. When I was a new Christian I had the mistaken concept that the more I served the Lord and better the quality of that service was, the more I would acceptable to Him. It took many years and many trials and a personal revival to cleanse me of that. A huge part of being cleansed of that is to understand that God is Sovereign and we are saved by Grace alone through Faith alone. We are acceptable to God because of the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ, not our works. Yes, we are given works to walk in (Ephesians 2:10), but that is also by and through God’s Grace.
The following devotion if from Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning for January 8.
C. H. Spurgeon
“The iniquity of the holy things.”—Exodus 28:38.
WHAT a veil is lifted up by these words, and what a disclosure is made! It will be humbling and profitable for us to pause awhile and see this sad sight. The iniquities of our public worship, its hypocrisy, formality, lukewarmness, irreverence, wandering of heart and forgetfulness of God, what a full measure have we there! Our work for the Lord, its emulation, selfishness, carelessness, slackness, unbelief, what a mass of defilement is there! Our private devotions, their laxity, coldness, neglect, sleepiness, and vanity, what a mountain of dead earth is there! If we looked more carefully we should find this iniquity to be far greater than appears at first sight. Dr. Payson, writing to his brother, says, “My parish, as well as my heart, very much resembles the garden of the sluggard; and what is worse, I find that very many of my desires for the melioration of both, proceed either from pride or vanity or indolence. I look at the weeds which overspread my garden, and breathe out an earnest wish that they were eradicated. But why? What prompts the wish? It may be that I may walk out and say to myself, ‘In what fine order is my garden kept!’ This is pride. Or, it may be that my neighbours may look over the wall and say, ‘How finely your garden flourishes!’ This is vanity. Or I may wish for the destruction of the weeds, because I am weary of pulling them up. This is indolence.” So that even our desires after holiness may be polluted by ill motives. Under the greenest sods worms hide themselves; we need not look long to discover them. How cheering is the thought, that when the High Priest bore the iniquity of the holy things he wore upon his brow the words, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD:” and even so while Jesus bears our sin, He presents before His Father’s face not our unholiness, but his own holiness. O for grace to view our great High Priest by the eye of faith!
Soli Deo Gloria!