Exalt you the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.
The grand distinction between real godliness and every description of its counterfeit lies in this one point; all counterfeit professions tend to exalt the creature, and all real godliness aims at exalting God alone.
I. THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF CHRISTIANITY IS THE EXALTING OF JEHOVAH. "Exalt ye the Lord our God," by ascribing to Him the plan of salvation whereby millions upon millions of ruined sinners shall be brought home to glory.
II. THE ORDER OF WORSHIP WHICH EXALTS JEHOVAH, AND WHICH WE ARE CALLED ON TO DO PERSONALLY. "Worship at His footstool."
1. Mark the position, and say, have you ever been there, so low at the footstool of Divine mercy as to be ashamed and confounded before God, respecting all that we find and feel in ourselves, and yet favoured with a glimpse of Divine glory in the face of Jesus Christ by a supernatural aid? Oh, wondrous position! Then, indeed, we may look on the world, with all its toys and trifles, as utterly contemptible. This is not only compatible with, but the true consequence of, the highest attainments a Christian can make.
2. Now what shall we say about the worship? The two prominent acts of worship are prayer and praise; and I do not know if they may not be said to include everything. But they must be "in spirit and in truth"; and if our offering of prayer is a mere ceremony, a mere repetition of words, a mere display of talent, it is rather mockery than worship.
III. THE REASON ASSIGNED. "For He is holy." All the persons and perfections of Deity are our inheritance, to be enjoyed personally as long as eternity shall endure. And then mark, that this inherent holiness is in Him, not in us. The man who possesses real holiness has it imparted to him; and hence the exhortation, "Be ye holy, for I am holy." A solemn command, and a gift with it; so that Jehovah the Spirit imparts a holy nature, and a holy life to the soul of the real believer, to make him like God, that he may grow up into Christ Jesus and perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. Follow on to mark, that it is an official holiness, which is given as the reason why we should exalt Him. The Father is so holy in His covenant engagements of an official kind that He cannot withhold any good thing from the objects of His love who walk uprightly. The Son is so holy in His mediatorial character, that He cannot allow it to be tarnished by the failure of any one part of the work He undertook to perform. The Holy Ghost is so holy, as Comforter, over and above the inherent holiness on which I have been dwelling, that He cannot allow a sanctified vessel to be polluted; but will cleanse it thoroughly from every sin. Moreover, it must be a national holiness that we derive from our God, and on account of which we exalt Him (1 Peter 2:9).
Parallel VersesKJV: Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.