Holy

The prophet Isaiah had a vision in which he saw the Lord.  Isaiah 6:1-4 “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.  Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  And one cried to another and said:  ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!’  And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.”  The vision describes the Lord and how great and special He is.  He is seated on a throne, high and lifted up.  The train of His robe is so long that it fills the whole temple; this is another way of showing how special He is.  The seraphim are special six winged creatures, unlike anything else.  The fact that the creatures cry holy three times is to emphasize how holy God is.  No one or anything is holy like our God.  A similar description of God is given in the Revelation of John in Revelation 4:8-11 “The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:  ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!’  Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.’” The Lord God Almighty is holy and worthy to receive glory and honor and power.

What does it mean to be holy?  The idea behind the concept of holiness is “separation.”  God is separate from every other being; none is like Him.  1 Samuel 2:2 “No one is holy like the LORD, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.”  There is no evilness with God; there is no one good like God.  Luke 18:19 “So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.’” God is light and in him is no darkness at all.  1 John 1:5  “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”  God is almighty and has all power – He is called the Lord God Almighty.  He is all knowing and all seeing.  Hebrews 4:13 “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”  He is everywhere.  Psalms 139:7-10 “Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Your presence?  If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.”  There is no one like our God.  I suppose that we can never fully appreciate in this life the holiness of God. 

While there is no one holy like our God, things that are separated and devoted to God are also declared to be holy.  In this sense, the word holy means to be devoted, dedicated, or separated for God.  When Moses approached the bush that burned but was not consumed, this is what the Lord said in Exodus 3:5 “Then He said, ‘Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.’” The tabernacle that the Israelites built for God was holy and had a Holy place and a Most Holy place (Exodus 26:33).  Many things used by the Israelites to worship God were holy.  The priest’s garments were holy; the altar was holy; the anointing oil used by the priests was holy; the Sabbath was to be a holy day; sacrifices to God were holy.  Even the Israelite nation was holy.  God said in Leviticus 20:26 “And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.”  Since the Israelite nation was God’s people, they were to consecrate themselves and not defile themselves and they were to be holy.  Leviticus 11:44-45 “For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth.  For I am the LORD who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” 

Christians today are also a holy nation.  1 Peter 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”  When we appreciate that we are God’s special people, we should come to understand that we should be holy in our conduct and not defile ourselves.  1 Peter 1:13-16 “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’”  1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?  If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” 2 Corinthians 7:1 “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

Peter describes the coming day of the Lord.  2 Peter 3:10-12 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.   Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?”  You are a holy child of a holy God.  I encourage you to be holy in all of your conduct with godliness.