By Tim Frank
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Carthage
Words have great power. Words have great meaning. Words are used to communicate important concepts. Yet, we can use words and fail to grasp their power, meaning, or importance. There are words we know, words we have used for years, but they become lost in our familiarity. This lesson unpacks one such word, the word “holy.”
The word holy is used 576 times in the Bible and communicates the essence of being set apart, separate from, other than. Its meaning centers on its connection to God. God is holy. Moses uses the word holy 76 times in Leviticus as he relates God’s holiness to the people.
In fact, the Israelites themselves were to be holy because they were the chosen people of God. Leviticus 19:2 says, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.”
Isaiah the prophet, writing hundreds of years after Moses, describes for the people the holy characteristics of God. It was during Isaiah’s call in Isaiah 6 that he sees a vision of God on the throne and the six-winged Seraphim crying out continually before God, “Holy, holy, holy.” Isaiah communicates throughout his prophecies that there is none in the universe like God. He is holy, set apart as the one true and living God.
Isaiah 40:25-31 gives us three aspects of the holiness of God. First, God is holy in His position (Isaiah 40:25-26). He has no equal, no rival. God is the Creator of all things. He created the stars, numbered them, and calls them by name.
On a clear night one can see thousands of stars illuminating the heavens. However, there are actually billions of stars. It is estimated that there are more stars than there are grains of sand on the face of the earth. That gives a glimmer of understanding of the position of God. He is, has been, and forever will be the one and only Creator of all.
In the second aspect, God is holy in His person. Isaiah 40:27-28 gives four demonstrations that God has no equal to His person. He is everlasting, eternal, without beginning or end. Everything except God has a beginning and an end.
Another demonstration of His person is that He is always present. As the Creator of the ends of the earth, He is everywhere, not just everywhere on the earth but everywhere throughout the thousands of galaxies, solar systems, and universes. He is even in the different dimensions of existence. He is present in the physical and the spiritual. He is with the living and the dead. A third demonstration is realized in His power. He never faints nor grows weary. His ability and strength have no limit. A final demonstration of God’s holiness is realized in His understanding and knowledge. God will never say, “I didn’t think of that.” There is no thought God has not had or information that is new to God. God is totally holy and set apart from all of His creation.
The third aspect of God’s holiness is in Isaiah 40:29-31; God is holy in His passion. God loves mankind in all our frailty, weakness, and sin. He has demonstrated His great love for us in the cross of Jesus Christ. God has no equal in love for human beings. He gives strength and power to those who wait upon Him, to those who trust in Him. He comes to us in our weakness and, through His love and grace, we can soar on wings like eagles, we can run with endurance the race set before us, and we can walk as children of the light. Truly we can say to God, “You are holy. There is none like You.”