April 20, 2009 Ration

Numbers 20:12

But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them."

Unbelief, once again, is the root of man’s error. And the holiness of God is once more the paramount issue.

Artists, when have we acted in the way of Moses and Aaron by not respecting God as holy in the sight of others with our artistry? God told them to tell the rock to yield its water; they struck it twice. When we follow our own ways rather than the Lord’s ways, we disrespect the holiness of God. We naturally prefer to act on our own – for many reasons – because we naturally do not revere the holiness of God according to its strength and beauty!

But let us not be mistaken, God reveres His holiness for what it is, and God will not stand for His holiness being soiled by man!

By “soiling” I mean that we, by our actions, impede our ability to see, benefit from, and enjoy God’s holiness. Man does not make God dirty, or less worthy, or less valuable when he slights God’s holiness, but man can hinder what he sees of the glory of God. It is like spitting into the wind. Spit will always return to the eyes, and the wind is never slowed by it. So it is with such careless or foul regard for the holiness of God. The result will be a shamed face.

God intends for His holiness to be clearly seen and enjoyed, not slurred and dismissed. It will go hard with the one who obstructs the view of God. It went hard with Moses and Aaron in this way: they were not granted to enjoy God’s blessing of the promise land. They would die at its border.

In the arts, we soil the holiness of God whenever we get in the way of God’s glory. The result is always less pleasure. It results in less pleasure for us because an unpleasant discipline will be necessary for our disobedience. It results in less pleasure for others where we cloud or disrupt their view of God. When we do not respect and present the holiness of God, we prove our unbelief in the weight, value, and glory of His holiness. This, if God values His holiness, will initiate a response from the Lord. And if God loves us, He will rebuke us for our good. We must not casually handle the holiness of God in our artistry.

Artists, God, in His holiness, created the world for the revelation of, and our enjoyment in, the holiness of God. Let us all be attentive, then, to give careful ear to His word so that we would not forfeit the pleasures of God’s fellowship or favor due to a slipshod handling of His charge on our artistic life and expression. When God gives your heart something to say in your art, be careful to say it as He gives it. Our negligence reveals our unbelief in that moment of the weight and pleasure of the holiness of God.

Jason Harms


© 2009 The Gaius Project