I have for years followed the advice of a Dr. at the VA who told me to pour warm salt water into the palm of each hand in turn and sniff it up each nostril. I do this each evening with a gargle between and my allergy problems have diminished dramatically. Also, I do this immediately after any dusty activity. A few nights ago, I took my cup to the kitchen, and then got distracted and when I sniffed the warm water, it had no salt! ROARING! Pain. But I thought I put the salt in. It will be a long time before that lapse happens again.
“I thought!” Naaman used those words. We do, too, to excuse our failures to live up to God’s expressed wishes. These days it seems that a lot presume mightily on THEIR concept of the fatherhood of God and treat him casually in the way they speak of him and conduct their worship. I read a commentary on Ezekiel (Block) in which he comments on Ezekiel’s attitude and deportment toward God: “Although this is the third time he sees the [throne chariot] the sight still catches him by surprise and overwhelms him with awe. His relationship with God never becomes familiar or casual—even a commissioned and authorized spokesman must prostrate himself in the presence of God.”
Yet so many have become almost irreverently casual in their speech and dress to worship services. They THOUGHT that because God reveals himself as, “Father” they can buddy up to Daddy with little to no form of expressed respect. My Dad did not allow that and neither did I, and any who do are mighty poor parents. As the Hebrew writer says, “It is for chastening that ye endure; God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father chasteneth not? But if ye are without chastening, whereof all have been made partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? (Heb 12:7-9, ASV).
Does no one notice how many times in these 3 verses we read chastening and reverence and subjection? Does it not change that casual attitude to see "Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?" (ESV & CSV).
I never spoke as casually to my boss as some speak to God. And some dress up for work and dress down for God. Did not Malachi say, "Present it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee? or will he accept thy person? saith Jehovah of hosts." (Mal 1:8). In other words, we have better sense than to try to pull off on our bosses or government what we do to God?
These “buddy up to daddy” attitudes come from a very selective view of scripture. Let our reverence be shown in dress and speech and attitude.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:28-29, ESV).
And if you invoke as Father him who judges each one impartially according to his deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile (1Pet1:17).