Okay, this is a tough one this morning. Here is where I picked up reading – 1 Samuel 6:19-21.
19 But God struck down some of the men of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they had looked into the ark of the LORD. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the LORD had dealt them,
Wow, that seems harsh, but here we go again, they knew that they weren't supposed to do that; it was strictly forbidden. "But we danced, sang, and gave offerings before the Lord! Can't we just get by with a peek?"
That sounds all too familiar.
And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn't prepared and doesn't carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. Luke 12:47
God didn't kill them to be cruel; He did not want the whole cycle of disrespect, disobedience and defeat to start all over again. God killed them because overlooking their sin would have encouraged the entire nation to ignore God.
20 and the men of Beth Shemesh asked, "Who can stand in the presence of the LORD, this holy God?
God answers that question for us:
Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
Those who refuse to gossip
or harm their neighbors
or speak evil of their friends.
Those who despise flagrant sinners,
and honor the faithful followers of the Lord,
and keep their promises even when it hurts.
Those who lend money without charging interest,
and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever. Psalm 15:1-5
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matt 5:8
The requirement for standing and ministering has not changed, even though we may downplay the issue of personal holiness, God doesn't.
In God's eye, your character comes before your charisma.