In yesterday’s video, Benjamin went through several passages that declared without question that God is holy. But what does that even mean? As I sat down to write this, I realized that my idea of holiness is pretty vague. If somebody asked me what it was, I wouldn’t be able to give an answer other than, “Um…. What God is…”
So I turned to Merriam-Webster, and I love the definition that it gave: “exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness.”
So, what can we glean from that definition? Well, first, we see that it requires action. Somebody has to be doing the exalting and somebody has to have the devotion. Since God is the one that’s holy and we’re the ones who aren’t, that means us. Secondly, it says that God is holy because He is perfect. (And as a side note, that means that we aren’t holy because we aren’t perfect. Which leads us back to why our whole purpose is exalting Him and why we don’t deserve exultation. It all ties together quite nicely.)
Now, Merriam-Webster is not by any means the inspired word of God. So how can we back this up with the Bible?
First, we aren’t perfect. We’re not. I’m sure that you have realized this just from knowing people, especially yourself. People do bad things. You do bad things. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23 says. And it’s not like we’re trained into it. We just do it. We are as unholy as it gets.
On the other hand, God is holy, and according to our definition, He then must be perfect, completely righteous, and completely good. Does the Bible prove that?
Psalm 18:30 says, “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true…” There we go, He is perfect. Psalm 100:5 says, “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Again, pretty clear. Psalm 145:17—“The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.”
The world is full of images of God that are very irreverent, even in churches. People make jokes about “the man upstairs,” and almost every day, I hear someone use His name as an exclamation of surprise, anger, or excitement. God is HOLY! Can we even comprehend what that means? One of the names of God, Yahweh, was considered to so represent God’s holiness that the Jews wouldn’t even write it down because of their human unworthiness.
Holiness demands a response, and that response is reverence. We need to be aware of who God is and that He is more than just our best friend. When people saw mere glimpses of God, they fell to their faces, and the sound of His voice caused trembling and fear.
Now, for me, and probably some of you, this isn’t new. I grew up in church. I know that God is holy and that He is perfect. I’ve known it since I was 3. The question I have to ask myself then is: Does my life prove that I know it?
My struggle is being conscious of who God is all the time. When I am singing to Him, I need to be focused on Him. When I am praying, He merits my honest adoration. When I read what His word asks me to do, He deserves nothing but pure obedience.
Our God is holy. Unfathomably holy. Do our lives look like it?