Thursday, February 23, 2017

I Cannot Wait to See Him

A Good Article on the 2nd Commandment
Tim Challies has a good post on the second commandment over at

Praise the Lord that Mr. Challies is speaking plainly about a simple issue upon which the "Reformed" in our day have equivocated so unhelpfully. It's good to see that the increasing breadth of his audience and 'fame' has not shortened the range of issues to which he is willing to put his keyboard plainly.

Now, I would love to see him do the same with the 4th Commandment!

But Aren't the Reformed Just Overreacting to Roman Catholicism?
To think further about the right way to worship God, approach Him, and even think about Him, may I suggest considering Nadab and Abihu? Only, this time, begin at Leviticus 8:1, and immerse yourself slowly in the context that leads up to the more famous portion in 10:1-3.

They were two of the five men ordained to do it; they had just completed the full process for their ordination and installation; there is no indication of a lack of sincerity--in fact, after that week's worth of sacrifice and being repeatedly stained with animal blood, it is highly likely that they took this very seriously and were very sincere.

And yet God burned them up. Why? Because they were creative about worship. Worship is not a place for creativity or innovation. Only what God has commanded may be called true worship, and everything else offends Him. When we are creative with worship, we take upon ourselves the prerogative of God Himself.

I am repeatedly shocked to observe candidates for the ministry, whose education included being steeped in the kind of sophistry that permits of images of the second person of the Trinity.

We have lost a sense of the holiness of God.

Even Well-Instructed Children Understand Better the Holiness of God
As one 7th grader recently answered, when his youth leader asked, "what would you do if Jesus were here?"... the lad answered, "I would faint, of course."

Even the apostle fell on his face as though dead. It is precisely because we cannot conceive of the great holiness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, that we must never "image" Him, not even in our minds. Shall we invite our young ones to imagine Christ? They will only create for themselves an idolatrous caricature! Or to imagine what they "would do" in His presence? They would of course do whatever He commanded!

His glory is no longer veiled.

Or as a five year old girl, who had already been catechized, once told the dear and sincere Christian grandma who was babysitting her... the Grandma had brought over a Bible story book, and they were happily reading along, until they came to a page with a picture that was obviously purporting to include the second person of the Trinity.

The little girl froze, not wanting to participate in breaking the second commandment, but keenly aware that she needed to honor the grandma to keep the fifth commandment. The dear lady from church was now seriously concerned for the soul of a five year old who apparently could not identify the picture... "don't you know who that is? That's Jesus!"

"Oh no, ma'am. That cannot be Jesus. Jesus is in heaven, and He is so glorious that we cannot imagine what He looks like. I can't wait to see Him!"

If We Do Not Have the Faith of These Children, We Impoverish Our View of the Gospel
It is this Holy One, who alone defines worship, and this Terrifyingly Glorious One, before whom apostles fall on their faces as though dead... this one, God the Creator, and Almighty King, and Terrifying Judge of all, who dwells in unapproachable light who suffered humiliation, submitting Himself to humanity, and to death--even that of the cross.

He before whom angels cover their faces endured the mocking of men and demons and suffered the wrath of God for me.

For all eternity, I will wonder at this, never fully understanding it. In my current condition, if I were to see Him, I would fall down as though dead. But, He is sitting on His throne, and fitting me for glory. I cannot imagine, now, what He looks like, but I cannot wait to see Him!

For Further Study
For more Christ-exalting, affections-stirring understanding of Holy Scripture on this issue, I recommend that you read and digest