For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,

      Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

“I dwell in the high and holy place,

     and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,

to revive the spirit of the lowly,

     and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

(Isaiah 57:15)

God’s attributes cannot be adequately honored or explored in snapshots, even though we’ve endeavored to do this (previous releases are linked below). Today, we are considering the holiness of God; an attribute worthy of book volumes!

Have you noticed how, even among His people, there seems to be few discussions on God’s holiness? When our thoughts, studies, and prayer lives fail to prioritize this attribute, however, our speech and walk in this world unfortunately fail to be tempered by it. In fact, we forfeit the bedrock to all wisdom (see Proverbs 9:10).

Lack of reverential fear of God’s holiness (and the subsequent absence of wisdom’s foundation), will always manifest itself in one form or another:

  • Within our questionable priorities and values.
  • The slide into cavalier prayers, compromised references to God (including “OMG” or any of its derivatives), and worship which increasingly focuses on Him meeting our needs.
  • How we may sing of His holiness one moment and within hours dishonor Him by what we choose to watch, participate in, say, or neglect.
  • The way we view or interface with others who have been created in His image.

If anything you’ve just read is disconcerting, welcome!

You aren’t alone… but it’s time to recalibrate:

God is Holy.  The Hebrew word for holy means ‘apartness, set-apartness.’ God is separate and apart from all else—above all else. Notably, this is the only of God’s attributes the Bible places together three times. He is holy, holy holy. Such emphasis! Yet this Holy God chooses to reveal Himself and show compassion to humans— who fall short of His glory:

In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said,

‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory.’

And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. (Isaiah 6:1-4)

The prophet, Isaiah, was momentarily brought into God’s presence and further reading in this passage reveals his terror:

Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. (Isaiah 6:5)

I find it easy to lose sight of the overwhelming holiness of God in everyday living. And, somewhat in parallel to Isaiah, I live among a people who have grown dull to the great chasm between God’s holiness and what we are: humans who are sinful by nature.

God’s holiness, beloved, is to be both appreciated by His dear children and feared by all. It is His all-consuming holiness which required a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.

This is why God gave Jesus Christ, the Savior; God the Son who existed in eternity past. He came as the holy sacrifice for our sin; fully God and fully man. God’s plan for man’s redemption and cleansing of sin is the only way any mortal can have right relationship with Him. (see John 3:16; John 10:30; John 8:58; John 1:1;14; John 14:6). For more on this, consider the blog What Is Eternal Life?

The bottom line is that if we think we can contribute anything to our worthiness to stand before God or fellowship with Him, it means we do not believe what He has revealed of His holiness or the sinful nature of man.

Within the biblical record, we meet individuals who really knew and walked with God. Despite their differing backgrounds and circumstances, they shared one thing in common: a healthy fear (terror or awe) of God’s holiness. Job, Abraham, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, David, Christ’s disciples and many others fell to the ground in fear and worship of God. We see it in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and know that reverential awe, joy, and worship of God will continue throughout eternity. (Job 1:20, Genesis 17:1-3; Numbers 16:20-22; Joshua 7:6; I Chronicles 21:16; Psalm 145:1; Revelation 5:13; Revelation 19:4-6)

Consider the significance of Christ’s response to His own disciples’ request for teaching on how to pray! He began with:

“Our Father who is in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name…

(Matthew 6:9)

The fear of the Lord is, indeed, the beginning of wisdom—and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)

* * *

The holiness of God does not conflict with His other characteristics. This means His love never diminishes His holiness, nor is the order reversed. All God’s attributes flawlessly, fully, and eternally exist to His glory.

God is Spirit

He is Unity (God in Three Persons)

He is Infinite

Eternal

God is Unchanging

He is Omnipresent

Sovereign

God is Omniscient (all knowing)

He is Omnipotent (all powerful)

He is Just

God is Love

He is Truth

God is Self-Sufficient

God is Holy

As to fallen humanity’s plight and praise, A.W. Tozer attests:

“When God justifies a sinner, everything in God is on the sinner’s side. All the attributes of God are on the sinner’s side. It isn’t that mercy is pleading for the sinner and justice is trying to beat him to death. All of God does all that God does.”

No wonder the Psalmist declares:

Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary! (Psalm 96:6).

* * * 

Link to:  All ETL Blogs

Links referenced today:

What Is Eternal Life?

1st in Series: God’s Attributes (and why they should be known and treasured)

2nd in Series:  More of God’s Attributes (and why they matter)

3rd in Series:  God of Wonders – His Attributes

4th in Series:  Who is Like Our God?

June

June

People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.

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