The leaders tell the people to stay about a half-mile from the Ark (the symbol of God’s presence). This distance was a matter of respect. God isn’t someone to trifle with. While the Ark appeared to be just a fancy box, it was the symbol of a holy God’s presence. The people were to recognize God’s holiness and show their respect for God by obeying and giving his symbol space.
Today, we often focus on God’s love and acceptance. While those are two great attributes of God, he is also trancendent and holy. God is distinctly different than his creation and above it. He is completely good and nothing in him is not good or sinful. Because His essence is goodness and he always does right, there is a barrier between people who choose to do wrong and the God who is intrinsically good. Thankfully, Jesus came to earth to live the perfect life and wants to gift us his rightness. When we receive this gift, we have a relationship with a holy God.
What does it mean to recognize God’s transcendence and holiness today? It means we respect and reverence God by recognizing his authority in our lives (see Psalm 111:10). We place ourselves under his authority. We follow his plan for our life by partnering with him to mold our character into the character demonstrated by Jesus. We recognize he is completely good and his desire for our life is completely good—so we submit to it. Today, watch and listen to the song “How Great Thou Art” performed by Lauren Daigle to remind yourself of the holiness of God.