The Splendor of Holiness

I’ve referred to it as “the hidden psalm” in the past. There’s a few of these songs tucked within the pages of Scripture outside of the Bible’s main hymnal, the Psalter. But this one, I think, always surprises me the most when I come upon it. Maybe because it’s almost like God has not only hidden it within 1Chronicles, but, in a sense, made it so “difficult” to get to. In order to get here, you’ve had to work your way through pages and pages of names — to be honest, pretty dry reading and not for the faint of heart. Next to Leviticus, I wouldn’t be surprised if the first chapters of 1Chronicles might be the next most common place for people to bail out on their “Through the Bible in a Year” reading plan. But working your way through the dense brush of the early chapters of Chronicles is worth it if only to come across this treasure.

The song David gave the singers to sing appears to be a remix. You read this hidden psalm and much of it sounds familiar. It’s a composite of other songs you’ll encounter in Psalms. And the one line in this song which ignites my soul is a line I’ve encountered twice already this year as I’ve been reading through the psalms. First, back in February when Psalm 29 was on my reading plan. Then, in late April or early May when I read Psalm 96. And now, for the third time this year, the Spirit says . . .

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name;
bring an offering and come before Him!
Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.
(1Chronicles 16:29 ESV)

Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness! Is there a command to obey more glorious? Is there an occupation of the soul more wondrous? Worship the LORD . . . and do so in the splendor . . . the beauty . . . the adorning glory . . . of holiness.

In this divinely ordained activity both parties — He who is to be worshiped and the one who is to do the worshiping — are “dressed up with some place to go.”

The object of our worship, Jehovah, the Existing One, is to be approached in the splendor of His holiness. Our God is Holy, Holy, Holy. He defines the term. Set apart alone in His glory, He so defines what it is to be sacred that to come into His presence is to instinctively fall on one’s face. He lives in unapproachable light and yet the songwriter calls to the people, “come before Him!” — the splendor of His holiness also encompassing the manner in which He has torn the curtain of the holy of holies from top to bottom in order that all who believe might enter before Him and before His throne of grace.

And that brings us to us . . . the worshipers of the Object of our worship. We come in the splendor of our holiness. Not that which is of our own making, but that of Another which, at great cost to Him, has been given to us freely. We have been set apart and declared holy. Having been consecrated according to the will of God the Father, with the blood shed for our sin by God the Son, through the life-giving, holiness-imparting active agency of God the Spirit, we seek to obey David’s command to “ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name” adorned in our own beautiful holiness . . . in the splendor of that which has been given us by grace, through faith.

The splendor of holiness. What privilege it is to be invited to come before our Holy, Holy, Holy God as His holy people that we might bring an offering of praise?  Praise birthed in the hearts of redeemed souls and well-pleasing to the ears of Him who has bought us for Himself. It is great privilege indeed!

Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness . . . His and ours.

All because of amazing grace . . . all to the glory of an awesome God!

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