Thursday, June 30, 2011

He is Glorious

Isaiah 6:3 And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"

 וְקָרָ֙א זֶ֤ה אֶל־זֶה֙ וְאָמַ֔ר קָד֧וֹשׁ׀ קָד֛וֹשׁ קָד֖וֹשׁ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת מְלֹ֥א כָל־הָאָ֖רֶץ כְּבוֹדֽוֹ׃


I wanted to try out posting in Hebrew, so I thought I'd pick one of my favorite verses.This is one of those verses that is easy to overlook because we have become so accustomed to the language here. Yeah, yeah, we know that God is holy. But what does that mean?

First of all, it is noteworthy that this is the only place in Scripture that contains the construct קָד֧וֹשׁ׀ קָד֛וֹשׁ קָד֖וֹשׁ. This term for the Lord is special. We tend to think of holy fairly simplistically. We think of it like a church is "holy ground" as in the Highlander movies. Or maybe we think of something consecrated like "holy water." Basically, we tend to put a lot of Roman Catholic symbolism around this term. At least I do.

But if we get into what this word means we realize that it speaks to something special about God. The term "holy" really refers to being set apart. In other words, this passage speaks to God's transcendence. There is no one else like God. No one else is holy and set apart like He is. 

I love that the Hebrew word translated "glory" is כְּבוֹדֽוֹ. Why? It very literally means "weighty" or "heavy." In other words, the whole earth is filled with the weightiness of God. We think of something important as being a "weighty matter." Think of what this means with respect to God. All of creation is filled with His glory or weightiness.

What does this mean? It means that it is impossible for sinful beings like us to approach a holy God. It also means that hell is perfectly just punishment for a sinner. How can such holiness abide sin? It is impossible.

Yet in His love God provided a way. That happened at the cross of Christ. There Christ's sacrifice covered our sin so that we may approach this holy God.

Will you rejoice with me in this fact?

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