A subject that can get very lost in Christian circles is that of reverence. What comes to the mind initially, is reverence for God Himself. That is what reverence is about after-all, but there are many areas in our lives that reverence covers. Lack of reverence in the sanctuary, in our dress and behaviour, for the sacred word, our words and speech. All of us would most probably feel a twinge of guilt as we go through the list, and the list could grow. But as the days go past and we don't see or feel the displeasure of God, we can become lax in our standards and our behaviour – including our reverence.

I have attended churches in the past that have a beautifully crafted wooden plaque over the entrance door into the church itself, "Reverence My Sanctuary" but upon entering and encountering the noise inside, one has to really wonder if anyone read it on their way in, but there is some sobering counsel on this.

"Nearly all need to be taught how to conduct themselves in the house of God. Parents should not only teach, but command, their children to enter the sanctuary with sobriety and reverence…

“There has been a great change, not for the better, but for the worse, in the habits and customs of the people in reference to religious worship. The precious, the sacred things which connect us with God are fast losing their hold upon our minds and hearts and are being brought down to the level of the common things. The reverence which the people had anciently for the sanctuary, where they met with God in sacred service, has largely passed away.

“The house of God is often desecrated, and the Sabbath violated by Sabbath-believers' children. In some cases they are even allowed to run about the house, play, talk, and manifest their evil tempers in the very meetings where the saints should worship God in the beauty of holiness. And the place that should be holy, and where a holy stillness should reign, and where there should be perfect order, neatness, and humility, is made to be a perfect Babylon, ‘confusion.’ This is enough to bring God's displeasure and shut His presence from our assemblies." —Child Guidance, p540

So now in fairness with that rebuke, we should study who God is? To get that right may put some perspective on how we approach Him. Very often in the Old Testament we have the impressive presence of God, His power is often exhibited and His presence made known. But coming up to the New Testament, perhaps some of the strongest words of the majesty of God comes from these words. "Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen." —I Timothy 6:15,16. These words surely do give a sense of His wonderful power.

To add to His power, the Bible reveals His majesty, His greatness and His holiness. "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke." —Isaiah 6:1-4

This puts us in our place as to who we are as weak fallen human beings, approaching our God, who is majesty on high — high and lifted up! When Isaiah saw this in vision, he became completely inadequate. "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." —Isaiah 6:5

This should start to give us some understanding of who we are coming into the presence of. But with that power — that majesty and holiness, we see another character trait of His being. "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." —Isaiah 55:6-9

With all that divine power and majesty which we struggle to comprehend in our small sphere of time and space of our weak humanity, we see mercy. Oh, mercy and love and pardon, don't we need that? Don't we all need the rest assurance that there is One who can reach down, who understands and can help us. Yes, so much so. Our God has given so much for us, even to His own dear Son. That has opened the way for us to come before Him to seek His mercy and grace. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." —Hebrews 4:15,16

In all what we have just read, this should inspire the human heart with a royal reverence and love to our God. "True reverence for God is inspired by a sense of His infinite greatness and a realization of His presence. With this sense of the Unseen, every heart should be deeply impressed. The hour and place of prayer are sacred, because God is there. And as reverence is manifested in attitude and demeanor, the feeling that inspires it will be deepened. 'Holy and reverend is His name,' the psalmist declares. Angels, when they speak that name, veil their faces. With what reverence, then, should we, who are fallen and sinful, take it upon our lips!" —Prophets and Kings, p.48,49

So how does God claim to be holy, worthy to receive reverence. There are sacred oracles that He has reserved for Himself that are holy. The following list is not exhaustive.

God Himself Is Holy

"There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God." —I Samuel 2:2

"God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him." —Psalm 89:7

"Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy." —Psalm 99:9

"And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." —Isaiah 6:3

"Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire." —Hebrews 12:28,29

"And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest the name of thy holy child Jesus." —Acts 4:30

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name…" —John 14:26

"How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" —Luke 11:13

"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." —Ephesians 4:30

God's Name Is Holy

"Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you.”  —Leviticus 22:32

"Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD." —I Chronicles 16:8

"Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy." —Psalm 99:3

"And if any man shall take away from the words of the book "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name." —Psalm 103:1

"He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name." —Psalm 111:9

"My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever." —Psalm 145:21

"For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name." —Luke 1:49

"The second commandment forbids the worship of the true God by images or similitudes…This commandment not only prohibits false oaths and common swearing, but it forbids us to use the name of God in a light or careless manner, without regard to its awful significance… All should meditate upon His majesty, His purity and holiness, that the heart may be impressed with a sense of His exalted character; and His holy name should be uttered with reverence and solemnity." —Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 306,307

Jerusalem Is Holy

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."  —Revelation 21:2

"And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God." —Revelation 21:10

"So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more." of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." —Revelation 22:19

God's Word Is Holy

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." —Psalm 12:6,7  

"Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him." — Proverbs 30:5

“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." —II Timothy 3:15-17

"By example as well as precept, you must show that you reverence your faith, speaking reverently of sacred things. Never allow one expression of lightness and trifling to escape your lips when quoting Scripture. As you take the Bible in your hands, remember that you are on holy ground." —Fundamentals of Christian Education, p.194,195

We should reverence God's word. For the printed volume we should show respect, never putting it to common uses, or handling it carelessly. And never should Scripture be quoted in a jest, or paraphrased to point a witty saying. "Every word of God is pure;" "as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." —Education, p.244

God's Law and His Sabbath Are Holy

"That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God." —Numbers 15:40

"Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." — Romans 7:12

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy."  —Exodus 20:11

"Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people."  —Exodus 31:14

God's Sanctuary Is Holy

And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation." Leviticus 16:33

"Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD." —Leviticus 19:30

"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." —Psalm 138:2  

"But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him." —Habakkuk 2:4  

God's True People Are Holy

"For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy…For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy." —Leviticus 11:44,45

"Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy." —Leviticus 19:2  

"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth." —Deuteronomy 7:6

"If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." —I Corinthians 3:17

"But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." —I Peter 1:15,16

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:" —I Peter 2:9  

“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." —Revelation 22:11

God's Covenant Is Holy

"Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land… For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant." —Daniel 11:28,30

"To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant." — Luke 1:72

"God created the world in six days and rested upon the seventh. He sanctified and blessed the seventh day and made it His sacred memorial. ‘Wherefore,’ He declares, ‘the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant.’ Those who do this, keeping all of God’s commandments, may claim the promises contained in Isaiah 58:11-14. Those who refrain from labour on the Sabbath may claim divine comfort and consultation. Shall we not forget God? Shall we not call holy the day which He calls holy? Man should not be ashamed to acknowledge as sacred that which God calls sacred." — Medical Missionary, p.215

God's Tithe Is Holy

"And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD." — Leviticus 27:30

"The tithe is sacred, reserved by God for Himself."  —Testimonies for the Church, vol.9, p.249

“In like manner, a tithe of our income is ‘holy’ unto the Lord.” —Review & Herald, May 16, 1882

"’All the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s, it is holy unto the Lord.’ This law was not to pass away with the ordinances and sacrificial offerings that typified Christ. As long as God has a people upon the earth, His claims upon them will be the same.

“A tithe of all our increase is the Lord’s. He has reserved it to Himself, to be employed for religious purposes. It is holy. Nothing less than this has He accepted in any dispensation. A neglect or postponement of this duty, will provoke the divine displeasure. If all professed Christians would faithfully bring their tithes to God, His treasury would be full."  —Review & Herald, May 16, 1882

God's Ministers, Teachers, Workers and Parents Are Holy

"And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them." —II Kings 2:23,24

"For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist…" —Luke 7:28

"Reverence should be shown for God's representatives – for ministers, teachers, and parents who are called to speak and act in His stead. In the respect shown to them He is honored. And God has especially enjoined tender respect toward the aged. He says, "The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness." — Education, p.244

Shall we not now be more aware of reverence due to our God upon entering the sanctuary on the Sabbath day and be able to say, ‘Surely our God is in this place’?