God is Awesomely Holy

From Genesis to Revelation, Scripture boldly proclaims that  GOD IS HOLY. The Old Testament word “holy” means separation, or apart from. God’s nature separates Him from all His creation. No being is the same as God, or even similar to God. Not even mankind, who God created… in his own image… male and female… are like God (Genesis 1:27). Only humans are imprinted with the image of God, yet God remains set apart and different from mankind.

God does NOT have the capacity to sin. God is set apart from all levels of evil, sinless in purity and beauty. Holiness distinguishes God from everything and everyone. Holiness defines and permeates every facet of Yahweh’s character and actions. No-one gave God holiness, and no-one contributes to or enriches His holiness. God lacks the capacity for even the most microscopic degree of unholiness. He is simply NOT capable of anything less than ultimate perfection and purity. God is the standard of holiness, and everyone is measured according to God’s standard.

The all-consuming theme of God’s holiness echoes through heaven. Around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creaturesday and night they never cease to say, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! (Revelation 4:6-8). These mighty creatures are not calling out about God’s love, or any other wonderful quality, but ONLY His holiness. Habakkuk 1:13 testifies that God, you are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong. All degrees of sin are repugnant to God, causing Him to look away. Sin is humanity’s violation of God’s holy image and offensive to the Lord. Holiness shapes and directs every divine attribute and action of the Almighty. Holiness is the foundation and the summation of all that IS God. Holiness encapsulates every facet of His nature and indelibly imprints itself into everything that IS God. It is impossible to be exposed to any facet of God without being exposed to His holiness.

In Exodus 15:11, the song of Moses reveals that God’s holiness is majestic. Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?  While manmade idols are oppressive, demanding, and unforgiving, God towers above them all with His holiness being self-evident in majesty. His holiness is awe inspiring as it radiates through His spectacular works. When we consider the wonders of what God does, we are magnetically drawn to worship Him. In Exodus 15:11, the word “awesome” means to fear, to revere, to be afraid. As Moses thought about all that he knew and had experienced of God, he realised God’s enormity and difference. Moses  was compelled to acknowledge that he was puny, weak, and impure compared to God.

Understanding a little of God’s holiness helps us understand the ugly violation that our sin is against God. The believer’s desire for holiness is a practical desire. Jesus prayed; I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one (John 17:15). We are to remain living amongst the world but separated from the sinful beliefs and behaviour of the world. Holiness is NOT a call for isolation but a call to purity in a hostile environment.

Let us invite God’s holiness to impact us, and to change us as an act of worship (Rom 12:1-2). Beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God  (2 Corinthians 7:1).

To be continued…

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