Saved by the bell, or did they come from Hell?
Exodus 28: 31-35
God is giving instructions for what Aaron should do to be in the presence of the Lord in the Holy Place:
31 "Make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, 32 with an opening for the head in its center. There shall be a woven edge like a collar [d] around this opening, so that it will not tear. 33 Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. 34 The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. 35 Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the LORD and when he comes out, so that he will not die.
There is a rock group called AC/DC, and on their album titled “Back in Black”, there is a song named “Hells Bells”. There is no mention of any bells in Hell in the bible that I am aware of. But sometimes I wonder if there shouldn’t be. When you hear bells ringing, what do you think of? Someone is calling you to come.
Churches have had bells for centuries, and the old custom was for them to ring to alert the community that the time for the Sunday service was drawing near. Fire Stations have used bells to alert the firemen to race to the trucks to go rescue someone or someone’s property. Fire Trucks have long used the bell to alert people that help is coming.
Satan is like a bell. He beckons us to come to him, to do his bidding. Telling us that “help is on the way”, if only we will come toward the bells. But too often we find out too late that there really wasn’t any help after all. It was just a trick of Satan to lure us near him and further away from God.
But look at how God uses the sound of bells in the Old Testament. . The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the LORD and when he comes out, so that he will not die.
Now, was the Lord saying, ok, ring the bells so that I will know you are coming. NO, I don’t think so. It was to alert the others in the temple that the priest was about to enter the Holy of Holy’s. God always knows where we are, and what we are doing, thinking, planning. He doesn’t need a warning. But I think He wanted Aaron to be strong enough so that he wasn’t tempted to sneak into the Holy of Holies, but to alert all those who were near that a man of God was approaching where God’s presence would be. Priests were always given a rope that was tied around their waist before they entered the Holy Place, in case they were struck down, they could be pulled out of that place, as no one else was allowed to enter the Holy Place. Could it have been to alert the others to prepare for the possibility of such an event? Possibly. But I like the idea that it may have been so that Aaron could be an example before the other men that he was not afraid to stand before God.
Sometimes I think churches need to follow the same example. Think about it, does your pastor/priest lead a life that would cause him to be struck down if he were to enter the Holy Place? Is he an example of being willing to alert all those near him when he enters the presence of the Lord, or does he sneak around and enter by himself? Have you ever seen your pastor truly come before the Lord, with a clean spirit and a clean heart, worshipping Him as the only true and almighty God? Or does he simply go about approaching God with a rote sense of prayer and attitude? And what about you, parents? Are you embarrassed to show your faith in front of your family? Do you find yourself sneaking around when it comes to your time spent with God? Or do your kids see you being an example of going to God, seeking His wisdom and guidance? And children, what do you do at school or on the playground, or during “sleepovers”? Do you stop to pray before that school lunch with your buddies? Do you still stop to say your prayers at bedtime with all of your buddies/friends watching you?
Do you need to borrow a set of bells? Don’t you think that it’s time for you to be an example? Or has anyone, including God, ever heard you? Don’t you think it’s about time you start to ring the bells, start letting people know you’re a Christian.
But don’t do it in a proud way. In Luke vs. 9 thru 14, Jesus warns about self righteous prayers also:
9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Let’s be that tax collector, admitting our sins before God and everyone else around us. Let’s ring the bells!!!