In your mind, what does the word “holy” mean? We hear the word used to describe various objects that are in some way revered, sacred or considered religious, such as a holy day, hour, pledge, orders or even paintings. There are other times when the word “holy” is used to describe someone that is morally or spiritually excellent or devout or God-fearing. It can also simply be an adjective that is used to emphasize the feeling of surprise or dismay, as in “holy smoke” or “holy moley”. The dictionary’s first definition simply says, “dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; associated with divine power, sacred.” Would you agree that these insights offer us very little help when it comes to the idea of the holiness of God, the very essence of the character of God?
When God came to Isaiah in a vision, his first response was to hear the words from the angelic beings saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty. The whole earth is full of His glory.” Isaiah refers to God as “the Holy one of Israel” 29 times in his book. The Psalmist in Psalm 99 portrays some of the aspects of God’s holiness. Actually “God’s holiness is far beyond anything we are capable of imagining or understanding. Even our highest concepts fall far short of divine holiness. It stands alone, incomprehensible and unapproachable by finite human beings. Our word ‘transcendent’ perhaps comes closest to the meaning of the word ‘holiness.’” (Bible Study Fellowship notes on Isaiah 6) He is absolute in His purity, majesty and glory. He is completely worthy of our devotion, adoration, worship and veneration. There is no other! It is only when we are able to begin to grasp what God’s holiness and glory really mean that we are also able to start to realize why it is that His judgments are totally right and fair and just.
Yet, the Holy One, calls out to you and to me, just as He did to Isaiah so long ago. He knows your name. He understands exactly who you are and what is in your heart. He patiently waits for you to bow before Him, acknowledging your need of His cleansing and forgiveness. He longs for you to respond to His invitation, “Who will go for me?” He wants to empower you through His Holy Spirit to patiently represent Him in the places where He has called you. What has been and is your response?