He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalms 91:10)
My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
(Song of Songs 2:14)
If you had asked a Jewish person at the time of Jesus, what the holiest place on earth was, he would have answered without hesitation - the holy of holies. The Hebrew name is ‘kodesh hakodashim’. It was in the temple in Jerusalem. To access it, you had to pass through a number of courts, all of which admitted fewer and fewer people until, only one man, once a year, was granted access to the holy of holies. It was in the innermost chamber, the secret place. The one day in the year that the high priest entered was called Yom Kippur - Day of Atonement. As one writer has said, ‘It was ‘the holiest act, in the holiest place on the holiest day of the year’.
I have sometimes tried to picture the crowd standing outside the temple, knowing that the High Priest, that very moment was standing in the presence of God. I have wondered if something of that holy presence in the kodesh hakodashim, permeated out to the waiting pilgrims. Would those outside have experienced a sense of the holiness? Sadly, only one man could every enter in and experience the glory of God for Himself.
However, since AD 70, with the destruction of the Temple, that holiest place, that secret place, no longer exists. Some time before that, an even greater secret place replaced the kodesh hakodashim where God now meets with man. It’s the place where you come alone, away from all others around you, close the door and meet with Him. It’s your own personal, secret place.
In Hebrews 10:19-22 we read, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”
We no longer have to linger outside the holiest place, like the pilgrims of old. Gods wants to see our faces, He wants to hear our voices. Are you taking time each day to resort to the secret place and enjoy the pleasures that only His presence can bring?
Now I can go into the holy of holies
I can kneel and make my petition known
I can go into the holy of holies
And although I’m just a common man
Because of God’s redemption plan
I can boldly approach the throne
Pauline Ann Anderson
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Struthers Memorial Church is a registered Scottish Charity No. SC 006960 | Struthers Memorial Church is a company limited by guarantee incorporated in Scotland Company No SC335480 | Registered Office: 33 West Stewart Street, Greenock, PA15 1SH.