You shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
I. How THE SANCTUARY IS TO BE REVERENCED.
1. The sanctuary is reverenced when proper ideas are entertained of its nature and holiness. This appropriate and sacred respect will be shown by not permitting the sanctuary to be dishonoured by any profane use of it, by keeping it in decent repair and cleanliness, and, as far as in us lies, in a state of magnificence worthy of the Great Being to whom it is dedicated; and by those outward tokens of reverence, by which we can express, without an idle superstition, our respect for the Being, the dwelling-places of whose honour are the temples devoted to His service.
2. After having proper ideas of the nature and holiness of the sanctuary, the next step towards reverencing it is to love to be in it, and to join in its services. When a place is consecrated to the worship of God; when He has promised to be there with a blessing; when He has proffered His word to be there as a fountain, set open for sin and uncleanness; and has appointed a priesthood to minister between Him and His people; when the priesthood of Christ is there enjoyed after His ordinance; to be wholly absent, or but partially present, comports little with a reverence for the sanctuary.
3. It is essential to a reverence for the sanctuary that we strive not to bring thither our worldly thoughts and improper affections.
4. In order to discharge the duty enforced in the text, we must be attentive to decorum, when entering the sanctuary, while continuing in it, and when returning from it.
II. THE FOUNDATION AND IMPORTANCE OF THE DUTY ENJOINED. This is briefly and fully assigned in the words, "I am the Lord."
1. If we consider the nature of the Being, to whom the sanctuary belongs, and whom we there meet, this is sufficient to fill us with awe.
2. The authority of the Lord, as our Sovereign, renders an obedience to His law indispensable.
Parallel VersesKJV: Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.