Wednesday, October 3, 2012
One of the things believers consistently forget about God is that He's holy. "Holy" is defined as sacred, blessed, consecrated, and set apart. We ramble through life as if Yeshua is our homeboy, conveniently forgetting the *reason* He came and died for us. We should not reduce the divine holiness of the Almighty God of the Universe to meaningless frivolity. I am guilty of this as well from time to time. But I do well to remember He is Yahweh, Lord of Hosts, Creator of Heaven and Earth...not my Poker Buddy.
Through Christ's sacrifice on the cross, we were given an unheard of privilege. He took our sins while we are given His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), and as such, we're considered priests of God (1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 1:6). We are now allowed into His manifest presence without fear (Hebrews 4:16), peeking behind the Temple Veil and walking right in to the Holy of Holies.
We've got to remember, only the HIGH PRIEST of Israel could do this ONCE a year on Yom Kippur, and if his atonement wasn't acceptable, he'd be struck down. They had to tie a rope to his foot in order to pull him out, lest any other priest be struck down for daring to come into the absolutely holy Shekinah Glory of God. God is not evil, He does not wish to kill, but sin cannot stand before Him, it is the nature of His holiness. We have no concept of such Absolute Holiness. We define "holy" as an ancient relic or scroll that's been revered for centuries. Or perhaps a well-respected priest is considered "holy". But the truth is God's Holiness is a tangible thing, not some "concept" or "idea". He is not holy because He is Deity, He is Holy because it is His very Nature. His holiness is the only attribute named in the Bible that's repeated three times, "Holy, holy, holy" (Revelation 4:8). In ancient Israel, if something was repeated twice, you needed to listen. "Truly, truly..." But if it's said three times, you needed to sit up and take note.
God's holiness is so great that any being with a single spot of sin wouldn't be able to stand a chance of surviving. The only way to come into His presence was to be covered by the holiness of another, one equally as holy -- the Son of God -- Yeshua Messiah. But in order to be covered, a sacrifice had to be made, a debt had to be paid, hence Christ's death on the cross in our stead. Now, through our belief, our lives are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).
In our exclusive privilege of coming before His Throne, we have sometimes forgotten that God is HOLY. We are free to have a relationship with Him, we are free to dance and sing and be ourselves. We are free to tell Him our hopes and fears, our anger and our sadness. But we must also have the utmost respect whenever we're before Him. His holiness should never be belittled. If we were to actually stand before Him, even covered by His redeeming blood, we would still fall lifeless to His feet as St. John did in Revelation 1:17. As Paul did on the road to Damascus in Acts 9:4.
Through Yeshua, God is our Friend. He is our Healer. He is our Redeemer. He is our Bridegroom. He is our Provider.
But He also reigns On High in absolute, unrivaled, unequaled MAJESTY. We should always be reverent, even in our joy, always be admiring, even in our excitement. We should always be obedient, even during our trials, and always be respectful, even in our anger.
God is my very Best Friend. I tell Him everything in my life. I spend time with Him, I study His Word. And I joke with Him, I sing to Him, I dance for Him (maybe not very well, but He enjoys a heart of praise). But I never forget Who He is. I never forget what had to be done in order to give me such a sweet relationship with Him.
He has given us Freedom and Life in His Son. He sits on the Throne of Glory.
Let us not grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) by reducing His beautiful Holiness to parlor tricks.