Did you watch this video last week? I wanted to give you a chance to review it again—there’s so much here.
“God is holy.” That means that God is: morally perfect, the powerful and creative force behind the whole universe, totally and utterly unique, extremely dangerous, and utterly good.
I’m not holy. You’re not holy. I might exclaim, “Holy cow!” or “Holy Smoke.” But cows and smoke are not holy. God is holy!
God was in the burning bush (Exodus 3), and when Moses approached, God warned him not to come too close and to take off his shoes (out of respect), because Moses was on holy ground. Moses was not holy, so it was very dangerous for him to be that close to the Holy God. God protected him during their conversation.
Elijah was hiding in a cave: afraid, depressed, self-pitying, and self-focused (1 Kings 19). God said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then God send storms, earthquakes, and fire—all brought by God through the natal world He created—but God was not in them. God was in the voice, in the whisper.
Isaiah’s vision (Isaiah 6) brought him into the presence of God, and he was so terrified he cowered and cried out, “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
As we read the Old Testament, we learn that the only Israelite who could enter the Holy of Holies (close interaction with the Holy God) was a ritually purified priest, once a year, to represent the people before God. A rope was tied around his waist to pull him to safety in case he was so overcome by God’s presence that he passed out or died.
God instructed his people in what it meant to be impure and gave them clear instructions and rituals that would allow them to recognize their impurity, and take the appropriate, God-given steps to be purified (Book of Leviticus). Only then was it safe to come into the temple of God.
- Do I understand how much danger is contained in the word “holy”?
- Do I respect the power and authority that is totally God’s?
- Do I have second thoughts about coming before Him with a request?
- Do I understand how terrifying it would be to get even a glimpse of God?
God is holy. And this power, authority, create-ability, vastness… this is only a part of what holy means.
God is holy. I am not. You are not.
Why am I not afraid to pray? More next Monday.