The Holiness of God

by Tammy on December 18, 2017

I have been listening to Dr. R.C. Sproul teach on God’s holiness. He spoke about Isaiah’s vision of heaven and how he saw the Lord Jesus in all His majesty.

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the a King, the Lord of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” (Isaiah 6:1-7)

Isaiah saw this vision just before he was called to a prophet, and it was right after Kind Uzziah died. Sproul pointed out that Uzziah had reigned over the Southern Kingdom for over fifty years, and he had reigned righteously until the end, when he was struck with leprosy and forced to live alone. But the bottom line is that he was a mainstay in the land of Israel, and now that he was gone, the people wondered how they would carry on. The vision that Isaiah saw reminded him that even though Uzziah was dead, the King was alive and well and would not falter as human kings often do. Isaiah’s sins were forgiven and he was given a commission, prophet to the House of Israel. He was loved by some and hated by others, but he carried out his commission coram deo, always in God’s presence.

I love the stories of people seeing God’s glory because it is a wonderful yet frightful thing. We cannot look upon His holiness with our human eyes and live, which is why God protected Moses in the cleft of the rock as He passed by, revealing only a glimpse of His glory. And John had the same reaction as Isaiah when he saw heaven in his vision in the book of Revelation; he recognized his utter uncleanness and nearly died. This is why I get angry when charismatics treat God’s glory with utter disdain. Glory clouds in the sanctuary and singing about being shown God’s glory or publicity stunts at best and dangerous at worst. Even the the seraphim in Isaiah 6:2 had wings to cover their eyes to protect them from God’s glory.

In 1741, Jonathan Edwards preached to his congregation a message called “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” It had a profound impact on those who heard it. In fact, according to Wikipedia, “Jonathan Edwards was interrupted many times before finishing the sermon by people moaning and crying out, ‘What shall I do to be saved?'” How dull many of us have become to not fully understand God’s holiness. I encourage you right now to stop and contemplate God, not for what He can do for you, but for who He truly is; righteous, holy, other-worldly, just, and glorious. Do not let another day go by without giving God the glory that is due His glorious name!

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