Pathway to Praise:Look at God’s Holiness
Looking at the holiness of God is like looking at the sun. His holiness is too pure for us. Moses asked to see the glory of God, but only got to see Him pass by because the Lord covered him in the cleft of a rock. (Exodus 33:19-23)
Looking at God’s holiness is another pathway to praise. How can we do that, especially when we are faced with tough situations and discouragement? We judge we have failed and are unworthy of being in God’s presence. In spite of this, God beckons us to look at His holiness.
The prophet Isaiah lived during the time of King Uzziah, who reigned 52 years as a godly and powerful king. Uzziah accomplished much, providing prosperity, safety and security for his people for decades. His death was terrible news, raising questions of what would happen next. It was at this point of discouragement and despair that Isaiah saw a vision of the Lord.
He wrote in Isaiah 6:1-5:
“In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: with two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of His glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
When faced with the astounding holiness of God Isaiah felt totally unworthy. He realized his despair and sin.
But God didn’t leave him in his hopelessness.
“Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said,”See, your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” (v.6)
God initiated an act of grace. He touched Isaiah with forgiveness so he could stand in His presence of holiness.
Isn’t that the way it is with us? Things look bleak or we think we have failed. We are without hope. Nothing worked out as we hoped. Here is when we need to change our focus. We, too, can look at the holiness of God as Isaiah did, be moved by a reality check to see how much we need Him, and then receive His grace.
Later in Isaiah 57:15 we read:
“For this is what the high and lofty One says–he who lives forever, whose name is holy: I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
It amazes me that the Holy God does not remain far off, but seeks to live with us and desires to revive our weary hearts.
The holiness of God demands a response from us. We can be fearful and turn away from Him, as if turning away from bright scorching sun, or we can draw closer to Him by His grace. His purity leads us to look inward to see where we miss the mark. By laying our imperfections down we can receive His forgiveness through His grace. Then we see a glimpse of His holiness. The Holy God doesn’t stay on a distant mountain, but comes down to us right where we are. He doesn’t change, but we change when we are in His presence. Praise rises in our hearts. We are empowered by the Lord to face the challenges of our lives with new strength and hope.
Be drawn to praise God’s holiness.