I have been reading through the Psalms and admit I am completely captivated by this phrase along with the words that precede it. The word picture Psalm 110:3 depicts in the Amplified version is so beautiful. It reads “Your people will offer themselves willingly…in the beauty of holiness and in holy array out of the womb of the morning…”.
I have known for many years that followers of Jesus are to offer themselves to God. But, this verse describes this offering in such vivid language that it has taken on a whole new meaning for me. We are to offer ourselves willingly. Why? Because it is an offering. Webster defines offering as “the act of an offer” and “offer” is defined as “to present as an act of worship or devotion”. If we offer ourselves unwillingly it is not truly an offering because is it not an act of worship or devotion. It is a contrived act, often with ulterior motives.
For me, the real elegance (if I can call it that) begins to unfold with the rest of the verse. We offer ourselves willingly…in the beauty of holiness and holy array. God is HOLY, but we are holy also as His followers – we are sinners, forgiven because of God’s mercy and grace. We are clean and pure, spotless and holy. Can you think of anything with more beauty than that? But wait, it goes on with…and holy array. What an incredible word to use here because it means “to dress or decorate especially in splendid or impressive attire”. We offer ourselves willingly in holiness, because God has made us holy – AND that holiness is in the form of holy array. We are dressed in holiness. It covers us – decorates us, splendidly.
But there is more because that holy array is out of the womb….. I have never thought of my offering to God in these terms before. A womb is “a place where something is generated”. This entails action. Think about a babe in the womb. There is constant activity as cells divide, entire blood systems form along with organs, hands and feet. The “place where something is generated” in this verse is talking about the action of Jesus Christ being crucified, buried and resurrected from the dead in order to decorate us in the splendor of holiness.
Finally, it is out of the womb of the morning. Morning is the “first of beginning period of anything”. This entire phrase has a circular motion to it! We offer ourselves willingly, as holy offerings to God, dressed and decorated in splendid and impressive attire. That impressive attire comes from God himself and it was generated in the womb that represents salvation – the action that was the beginning of our ability to be holy and thus offer ourselves willingly to God.