Monday, December 6, 2010

Holy, holy, holy

Exodus 33:17 And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

19 And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

21 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

Exodus 34: 5 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

8 Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. 9 “Lord,” he said, “if I have found favor in your eyes, then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance.”

This week in Sunday School it was about God's portion so I thought I would read and write a little on God's glory this week. There are many times in the Bible that God shows his glory and the result is always the same. We tend to think of us strutting into Heaven and giving God a High five, but it's not going to be that way at all. In these verses we get a glimpse of God's greatness. I can imagine Moses turning to Jello just seeing the back of God. Notice immediately he bowed to his knees and worshiped. Even the back side of God is holier than the holiest angel in Heaven. When Moses came down from the mountain the people recognized just the holiness of God still on Moses' face. His face was radiant. I imagine a bright light. It was so frightening that Moses had to put a veil over his head when he wasn't in the Lord's presence. So just how holy is God? Isaiah puts water over the whole strutting into Heaven and giving God a high five.

Isaiah 6:2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Now remember Verse 20 of Exodus again... no one may see my face and live. In Isaiah we see seraphim flying around the Lord. With 2 wings they covered their faces. Why? Because no one will see God's face and live. Even angels. With two wings they covered their feet. Why? Because the same reason God told Moses to remove his shoes on holy ground. See, we won't be going up and seeing God's face. His Holiness trumps everything everywhere. Just think, if our best is as filthy rags before the Lord, what do you think our filthy rags look like to him? God is infinitely holy and we are infinitely unholy. So what's the big deal? We've got Jesus to forgive our unholiness right? yes. but...

God is perfect holiness. If we are to live our lives as close to God as possible then it's just easy to see why we are called to be holy. If we are to have any harmony with God it has to be through our steps to holiness.

1Peter 1:14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Leviticus 11:45 I am the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.

We as sinful creatures cannot really understand or fathom the holiness of God, but it's something we must try to somewhat grasp. It's his holiness that brought us the 10 commandments, and ultimately Jesus to atone for our sins. It's only when we put aside our sinful desires and attempt a holy life that we can start to have a relationship with God.

Take a little time this week to try and feel God's holiness. Imagine yourself in the cleft of the rock with God's hand holding you to protect you. Imagine your body turning to a quivering pile of Jello with nothing at all to do but bow down and worship our Lord. For 40 days Moses didn't eat or drink and he didn't even know his face was so radiant. Nothing was of concern after viewing the holiness of God. Wouldn't it be nice to forget about all our troubles and worries and just bask in his holiness?

1 comment:

  1. One thing that always catches my eye in Exodus 34:7 "...Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” For those of us who are parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, we have to realize that our children will reap what we sow! Both good and bad!


    On another note...When you think about our Holy God, it almost brings me to tears.

    Not because of His awesomeness, rather my utter inadequacy! His glory shines powerfully into my dark places that I have no choice but to confront them!

    And because of His grace, He allows me to work on one or two things at a time, then when I feel I am making headway, He points out others!

    Serving a Holy God, being Holy because He is Hole, is such a process. I am humbly grateful for His patience with me!!