Isaiah 6:1-7 In the year that King Uzziah died I then saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphs; each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of Hosts; the whole earth full of His glory. 4 And the doorposts moved at the voice of the one who cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then I said, Woe is me! For I am undone; 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 King, Jehovah of Hosts. 6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, having a live coal in his hand, snatched with tongs from the altar. 7 And he laid it on my mouth and said, Lo, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.
King Uzziah reigned prosperously for 52 years before the Lord struck him with leprosy. He was a strong and competent ruler whose name was well known from Israel to Egypt. It is written in 2Chronicles 26:5, that King Uzziah reigned under the influence of the prophet Zechariah, and did right in the sight of the Lord. In that same chapter we learn that King Uzziah had become proud and arrogant because of his power, and sinned against God by taking unto himself the role of the Priest by burning incense on the Alter in the temple of the Lord. As the king entered the temple, where it was said that the holy presence of the Lord was; the priest ran in after the king forbidding him to enter, and in front of the priest, the Lord struck the king with leprosy.
Another similar scenario is found in 1Chronicles 13:7-10, where King David and many were traveling with the Ark playing music and worshiping God, when one of the ox’s stumbled; Uzza placed his hands on the Ark of the Covenant most probably to prevent it from falling, breaking one of God’s commandments written in Numbers 4:15 which reads, “And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation.” When Uzza placed his hands on the Ark of the Covenant; scripture reads that God’s anger was kindled and Jehovah struck Uzza dead on sight for placing his hands on the Ark. The Ark of the Covenant was a wooden and golden chest which contained the Ten Commandments. There is so much to teach regarding the Ark, but that could require an entire systematic lecture. Two things that are immanent about the Ark are that, it was the physical manifestation of God’s presence on earth, which typifies our Lord Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ is Immanuel, God with us; the physical manifestation of God. Also the Ark represented the real Holy presence of God. Numbers 4:20 says that if anyone looked at it while it was covered; they would die immediately by the hand of God. What must be understood about the Holiness of God is that, His holiness is so holy, powerful, pure, so sanctified, and separated from evil and sin, that any sin within its presence will automatically be destroyed. The most dangerous proximity to a sinner is the Holy presence of God. The Ark of the Covenant represented God’s law, Jesus Christ and the holiness of God. It may have been more acceptable to God for the Ark to fall on the ground than for unclean, impure human hands to touch it; because sin cannot subsist in the presence of God’s holiness.
Remember in Exodus 3:4,5 God called Moses; Moses responds “here I am.” God said, “Do not come near here. Pull off your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground.” The holiness of God transcends any area He is present. John Gill claims Moses was told to remove his sandals to prevent dirt and contaminants from entering the holy place, which God had sanctified with His presence. Mathew Henry writes that, it was to show humility and submission; although the true meaning is slightly ambiguous, I think it may be safe to conclude that, removing his sandals symbolizes that anyone who draws near to the Lord needs to approach His Holiness with humility, fear, and a repentant heart that recognizes the true wicked nature of man in the presence of Holiness. What is most significant about this passage is God telling Moses not to approach any closer. If Moses would have disobeyed and took another step; the Holiness of God may have consumed him.
Corruption cannot survive anywhere near the presence of God, because to be holy; the very biblical definition of holy, according to Dr. Barry Horner means, “separation from defilement,” (Horner). The verb to this would be to sanctify. In application to us, who believe in Christ; would mean that we have been sanctified by God according to the purity of His will; we have been set apart from defilement to the glory to God.
Regarding the attribute of God’s Holiness; 17th century Puritan Thomas Watson writes, “Holiness is the most sparkling jewel of his crown; it is the name by which God is known. Holy and reverend is his name.’ He is ‘the holy One. Seraphims cry, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory. His power makes him mighty, his holiness makes him glorious. God’s holiness consists in his perfect love of righteousness, and abhorrence of evil, and cannot look on iniquity,” (Watson).
Calvinist biblical scholar and theologian John Gill wrote, “Holiness is an essential attribute of God; it is his nature and essence; it is himself; he is holiness itself; “he swears by himself, because he can swear by no greater”; and he will not swear by any less, and yet he swears by his holiness,” (Gill).
Exodus 15:11 Who is like You, O Jehovah, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
1Samual 2:2 There is none holy as Jehovah, for there is none beside You. Neither is there any rock like our God.
Isaiah 57:15 For so says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity; whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place.
Who is like our almighty God Jehovah? By gods is meant the mighty ones of heaven such as God’s most powerful angels, and the mightiest men on earth. No king, president, or military general together with the greatest intentions can match the Holiness of God. Though these mighty rulers may try to bring security and a false sense of righteousness for the people with their humanistic secular laws; nothing they achieve can provide what the Holiness of God’s attribute brings to His people, and that is our eternal salvation. We fearfully praise our God for the mighty wonders He has done and continue to do until the end of time as we know it. There is none like our God who condemns evil and rewards righteousness. We fearfully praise God for the incarnation of Christ who died and resurrected from the dead and will return to judge all the unrighteous works of men according to His holiness.
The Holiness of God is our moral standard
1John 1:5 And this is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.
Psalm 19:8-10 The Precepts of Jehovah are right, rejoicing the heart; the Commandments of Jehovah are pure, giving light to the eyes. 9 the fear of Jehovah is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of Jehovah are true and righteous altogether,10 more to be desired than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Psalm 145:17 Jehovah is righteous in all His ways and holy in all His works.
Romans 7:12 So indeed the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.
1Peter 1:15,16 but according to the Holy One who has called you, you also become holy in all conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
The standard of God’s morality left to us is found in His message, which is the Gospel of Christ, which reveals to us that the light of God is found in none other than our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom there is no trace of darkness, no trace of sin; which is what made His sacrifice on the cross valuable and worthy of taking all the sins of the world, that whosoever believes in His Holy name may be saved. With our heart we rejoice for those of us who believe in Christ, that our eyes have been illuminated by God to see Jesus Christ and understand His Holiness; by His Holy standard we recognize the degree of our wretchedness. We men are absolutely lost without the Holy moral compass of God. It is the eternal fear of Jehovah that is clean and endures forever since the ceremonial law has been done away with. The word of God is Holy and eternal, which cleanses our sins away with the blood of Christ. The judgments of Jehovah are true and righteous all together. Although the ceremonial law is fulfilled and abolished by Christ; the ordinances of God and Christ still stand and are to be obeyed. These moral laws are righteous and all individuals to include world governments ought to subject themselves to them; for God’s statutes are finer than gold and sweeter than the purest honey. Our God has commanded to all; be Holy for I am Holy. No other attribute of God has He commanded us to obey. God has not said; be omniscient for I am omniscient, be omnipresent for I am omnipresent, be omnipotent for I am omnipotent, No! God has said, be Holy for I am Holy.
The Holiness of God ought to compel all men to do nothing but give God praise for His Holiness.
Psalm 99:3 Let them praise Your great and fearful name; it is holy.
Psalm 103:1 Bless Jehovah, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Exodus 20:7 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
May God have mercy on those who take God’s Holy name in vain!
The primacy of God’s attribute of Holiness is dominant throughout the bible. The words Holy, holiness, and its synonyms such as; sacred, sanctify, and sanctification are found in scripture more than love, or mercy. The word love is found in 281 versus of the King James Bible. The word Holy is found in 544 versus of the King James Bible. It is unfortunate that our modern evangelical churches have replaced God’s Holiness with love. They speak of God’s love as if it is the superior attribute over all. They consider themselves noble because they choose to only exalt the love of God to make the people feel good. These ministers; if they may even be called such a title are negligent with the word of God and will be judged. They neglect the declaration of God’s Holiness because it will obligate the preacher to reveal in their messages what the Holiness of God’s character exposes; His absolute hatred toward sin and the sinner, which His Holiness is obligated to condemn and punish. It presses the preacher to talk about the most offensive things such as man’s true biblical anthropology, which is of less value than the filthiest rag, and God would be just and Holy to dispose of all of them. The Holiness of God exposes the true contrast between man and His God. It reveals the true nature of mans corruption; deep in within man’s heart he is not good, as most say; instead he hates God and all He stands for.
2Chronicles 19:2 And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him. And he said to King Jehoshaphat, Should you help the ungodly and love those who hate Jehovah? And by this bring wrath on you from before Jehovah.
John 7:7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its works are evil.
John 15:23 He who hates Me hates My Father also.
James 4:4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever desires to be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
The unregenerate disposition of man’s nature is a grave position to be in. These verses here portray the true temperament of man’s heart toward God. Notice in John 7:7 Christ said that the world hates Him because He testifies of the world’s evil works. What do you think was significant about this? Jesus Christ condemned their evil works, and works that seemed righteous to the Pharisees according to selfish desires not done with a pure heart of true faith to God. Christ was Holy and He used the absolute standard of His Holiness to contrast and reveal to men their ungodliness. So it is the same today; that whatever we do in life do for the glory of God. Let us not do anything for any other intention but to only Glorify God, for anything less is wicked; and fall short of His holy standad.
Ephesians 2:16 and so that He might reconcile both to God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity in Himself.
Glory and praise to God the Father for providing the body of Christ on the cross for the purpose of our reconciliation between man and God. In the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ the enmity between those who believe in Christ and God has been put to death. Now for those of us who worship the Lord; love, and obey His commandments are no longer enemies of God, and can have peace on earth with our God and eternity in heaven. But for those who have not yet repented and turned to a life with Christ; they are still enemies of God, atonement has not yet been made for them, and if they die in their wicked state they will receive the full measure of God’s wrath. May the Lord use us to bring many to the kingdom of God.
Nahum 1:2 reads; God is jealous, and the LORD revenges; the LORD revenges, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserves wrath for his enemies.
Habakkuk 1:13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look upon vexation. Why do You look upon those who deal deceitfully? Will you be silent when the wicked swallows one more righteous than he?
Revelation 15:4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your righteousnesses were made known.