God’s Attributes: He is Holy
This post was written by Mel Lawrenz
[This post is in a weekly devotional series called Everything New. Sign up here if you're interested.]
Having looked at attributes of God’s greatness in recent weeks (see archive), we now turn to attributes of God’s goodness. First, his holiness.
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty. The whole earth is full of his glory.” Those were the words the prophet Isaiah heard during his vision of God high and exalted, seated on a throne, the train of his robe filling the temple (Isaiah 6:1-4). “Holy” means separate, different, unique, and this is one of the best assurances we have that God is only interested in the good. He is separate from all the evil and malice in the world-not ignorant of it-but neither is he defiled or influenced by it.
God made a bold and clear statement about his holy character long ago in the Old Testament. All those laws, for instance, were God’s way of setting aside one tribe in the human race for something different, a sure signal that any of us can be elevated to and experience a different life. The children of Abraham learned over centuries about the holiness of God through the object lessons of the holy temple, holy basins, holy garments, holy days, and holy Sabbath. But they also were learning about love. Why else would God want any of us to learn of his holiness if not because, out of his deep love, he longs for us to know that life can be different.
Relationships can be right. Decisions can be just. All the laws about what the Israelites could eat and wear, and how they should sacrifice, and the holy time they should reserve for God’s special purposes-they all pointed toward a single truth: God is unique.
Sometimes we run to God because he is holy and we know that the only hope that we have in this world is a God who is so different from the world that he is our lifeline out of the chaos. But our instincts often cause us to shrink back from the holy God. For some it means a lifetime of avoiding him. Whether we realize how desperately we need him or not, we often consider it too risky to approach a God who is that different. So we may shrink from the holiness of God, but we should also long to live in his holy presence because we all know that we need something and someone truly different from the vulgarities of this world. What other hope do we have that things can be different from what they are?
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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 at 2:00 am and is filed under Everything New.
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