“There is none holy like the Lord, there is none besides thee.” 1 Samuel 2:2
“I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst.” Hosea 11:9
God is holy because He is God and not man. His holiness is his essence and it is utterly unique. It is who He is, what He is and is not determined by anyone or anything else.
His holiness is what he is as God and is what no one else is or ever will be. He alone is infinite, unchanging, eternal. He is in a class by himself. He is the Alpha and Omega. Everything begins and ends with God.
We can never understand the full significance of anything until we understand its relation to God. This also means that ultimately, everything is about Him. All praise and thanksgiving; all worship, honor and glory are due Him. All.
Unfortunately, because He has been so very gracious to us who have believed; because Has been so wonderfully kind to us, it is easy for us to begin to think and act like everything is about us, but it most certainly is not.
All existence holds its being in Him and the zeal of God burns for the holiness of his great name. (Ezekiel 36:22). That holiness is manifested dramatically whenever it encounters un-holiness in any form.
As Habakkuk says: “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and you cannot tolerate wrong.” (1:13).
Furthermore, because He alone is Holy, in the final analysis, all the evil in the world is an offense against Him only. David understood this in a most personal way. He cried out, “against you and you only have I sinned.”
I wrote last week that the holiness of God cannot be described or expressed in words. Rather we understand the holiness of God through its effect upon the unholy.
When the un-holiness of men is confronted with the holiness of God, the result is dramatic. Isaiah, upon seeing the Lord cried out, “Woe unto me. I am undone for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell among a people of unclean lips!”
Even God’s prophet, chosen for his faithfulness and obedience to God, could not stand comfortably in His presence but felt apart. A psychologist would describe his experience as one of personal disintegration.
A person who believes he or she did the right thing to get saved has no awareness of how deeply stained they really are. We must be undone before we can be remade. The Holy Spirit has to awaken us to our sinfulness before we can be summoned to His grace.
I close this week’s column with an illustration. I understand that it is a true account and helps to illustrate the kind of attitude the Lord is looking for as he reaches out to draw a man or woman to him.
KING FREDERICK II, an 18th-century king in Prussia (Germany), was visiting a prison in Berlin when the inmates crowded around him to proclaim their innocence. All, that is, except one man. He sat quietly in the corner, head bowed.
“Frederick walked over to him and said, ‘What are you here for?’” “Armed robbery, your majesty,’ the man replied. ‘And, are you guilty?’ the king asked. ‘Yes, sir. I deserve this punishment.’
“The king turned to the guard and ordered, ‘Set this guilty man free. I don’t want him corrupting all these other innocent people.’”
Pastor David M. Grey
Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church