Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Holy, holy, holy

God is a HOLY God. And just to be sure we are talking about the same God, I mean the Creator; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; Jehovah; Yaweh . That is who I mean when I say that God is a Holy God. Websters defines holy, as it is applied to God, as perfectly pure, immaculate and complete in moral character. But do any of us really grasp the true holiness of God?

Isaiah 6:1-4
1: In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2: Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3: And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4: And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

Notice that the door posts shook at the voice of the seraphim. These were not just door posts as we have in our houses. I have to think that the door posts in the temple of God are pretty substantial! And the seraphim is merely a creature created by God. Can you imagine how much more powerful the voice of God himself is! Notice also that the seraphim says; "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts". I have heard it preached that since this is the only time that one of God's attributes is declared 3 times in a row, it means that holiness is his over riding attribute. I am not sure that is true, but neither would I argue with it. God's holiness certainly does help us understand some things about him.

Is it not God's holiness that demanded the substitutionary death of Christ? After all, if God's perfect love were to overshadow his perfect justice, could not he have forgiven us our sins without anyone paying the penalty. But that would have compromised his holiness, would it not? And conversely, if God's perfect justice was a stronger attribute than his love, he needn't have sent his son to pay the penalty of sin, he would have required us each to pay our own debt. But that too would have compromised his holiness as he would no longer then be a God of mercy!

I once had a man tell me that he believed that God is most of all merciful and that he would give everyone one last chance to be saved after they died. But where do we find that in the Bible? The Bible shows that he is a God of justice and judgment. Revelation 20: 12 tells of judgment.

"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. "

The only way any of us can escape the judgement that we deserve is through the perfect justice of a holy God being satisfied by Christ taking our place in judgement! His suffering and death on the cross to pay the penalty that we earned with our sin!

Do any of us really grasp the holiness of God? I think not, or we would each day fall on our faces and say as Isaiah did when he saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up:
"Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

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