I recently read a line that struck me to the quick. “Sound theology results in worship that exalts and honors God for who He truly is.” I have been concerned about so many people today that take a verse, or several verses from various areas and make a religion out of just those verses that match their preconceived ideas about God. I don’t believe we can fully comprehend just how majestic God is, and we definitely try hard to forget how holy He is. What kind of theology takes just a small part of scriptures and says, “Uh, that’s all there is, folks?” Does it fit the context of what thee writer was saying? Of who the writer was, and the times he lived in?
Isaiah 6:15 says, In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. Then I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because 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 King, the Lord of hosts.”
When Isaiah saw the heavens opened and the seraphim that serve God continually, he realized what a poor man he was, that God is holy and he was not. Are you holy before God? Do you know the meaning of the term?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines holy as: Divine, as in Psalm 99: 9. Exalt the Lord our God, And worship at His holy hill; For the Lord our God is holy. Two other definitions were, “exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness,” and, “devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity.”
Are you holy, set apart for the Lord God and His work? Do you exalt the Lord God wherever you are? Do you even know anything about God, other than what your pastor, or rabbi, or priest has told you? Have you searched the scriptures for yourself to see if you are being taught correctly? That’s part of worship, looking to God for guidance and direction in your life.
Music can help lead you into worship, a sermon or teaching can help, but are you looking for entertainment or God? Can you echo the Psalmist’s words: I will lift up my eyes to the hills From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. (Psalms 121:1,2) Are you looking for the One who helps you?
I love the words of the prophet Isaiah. For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 51:15)
God loves anyone who will come to Him with a contrite and humble heart. He wants to revive the spirit of those who are hurting. The Psalmist put it this way.
Psalm 27: 4-8. One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Dr. R.C. Sproul says, “The holiness of God affects every aspect of our lives—economics, politics, athletics, romance—everything with which we are involved.”
“God’s grace is not infinite. God is infinite, and God is gracious. We experience the grace of an infinite God, but grace is not infinite. God sets limits to His patience and forbearance. He warns us over and over again that someday the ax will fall and His judgment will be poured out.”
― R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God
Those who worship God in His holiness will not have that judgment poured out upon them because God is gracious, merciful, and forgiving those who call upon Him. There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.1 Samuel 2:2
Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! Psalm 96:9
Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. Psalm 98:1
For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 51:15)
The prophets and the Psalmists all proclaimed that God will accept all who come to Him with a lowly spirit and a contrite heart. Seek His face and He will acknowledge you.
Psalm 29: 2. Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Holiness. Here it is again. In ourselves we cannot become holy, but when we seek God’s face, He can make us holy, and only He can do it.
Jew and Gentile alike need to remember this from the prophet Isaiah: Isaiah 41: 8-10. “But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend. You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest regions, and said to You, `You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
God still has a plan for Israel and He has one for the Gentiles. Christians believe in Jesus and He made the claim, and I believe He proved it, that He was God, the Son of God. Being born into a Jewish family, growing up in Israel, teaching in Israel, and sending His disciples first to Jerusalem, Judea, and then to the world with His message, Christians need to honor and respect and support Israel. God promised that He would bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel.
God is holy and will enforce His laws and His words. If not today, He will when you face Him. Follow His words, not some speaker, teacher, or friend who may give you advice in some way. I always tell my classes to verify, verify, verify. Verify with the scriptures what you hear or read. Put it into context. Twenty verses before and twenty verses after will give you clarity, especially if you pray and ask God to teach you..