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News for Monday, May 26, 2014
Sunday School Lesson — Bible Studies for Life
June 1: God is Holy
By Gene Nelson
pastor, Russellville Baptist, Russellville
Focal Passage: Psalm 99:1-9
It is not just a characteristic of God, but it is who He is! Our God is a Holy God, as established and proclaimed throughout all of heaven. It is the cry of the cherubim which surround the throne of grace every moment of every day, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come” (Revelation 4:8). It is significant that the cry is not “Love, Love, Love,” which would be appropriate. It is not “Grace, Grace, Grace” which flows freely from our Savior. It is not even “Just, Just, Just” which would be a fitting cry about the One who reigns supreme. No, it is His holiness, His Sovereign “Otherness” which totally defines the Lord God Almighty!
The holiness of God is even expressed in His name, Yahweh! The personal, covenant name for God that, at the time this Psalm was written, it was thought to be too holy to pronounce at all! It calls us to consider the words of the Apostle Paul who speaks of the power found in the name of Jesus, “That at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those in heaven, and of those under the Earth, and that every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2: 9-10). Holiness and power are found in a personal relationship with the Savior of the world. Truly, “there’s just something about that name.”
Once you and I come to a rediscovery of the holiness of God, there can truly be one response. That response is worship! Because He is enthroned, because He is exalted, because He is Holy, He is the only one worthy of worship! Verse 2 tells us to “worship at His footstool.” Don’t you find it interesting that we are called to worship at His feet and not at His face! Why? Because who among us can stand face to face with a Holy God. No, throughout Scripture, when man experienced the holiness of God, they assumed the position of recognition … they fall on their face. Isaiah assumed the position in chapter 6 when he saw the Lord high and lifted up. Peter, James, and John did the same when on the Mount of Transfiguration. Paul fell on His face when the risen Lord appeared to him on the Damascus Road. The Apostle John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day on the island of Patmos, when he saw Jesus; he fell at His feet as though he were dead! When you come in contact with the holiness of God, you don’t say “Wow” like Isaiah, you say “Woe.” It is the only response for those who have experienced the fact that He is the God who forgives. It is the only response for those who have experienced His Majesty in the pillar cloud of His Glory! When we see God as He really is, and we see ourselves for who we are in comparison, then bowing down is the purest response to His holiness.
So often, people sit in church services hoping that they will feel better about themselves when they leave. Truth is, worship is not about us! We desire our kind of music, our kind of sermon, something that pleases our preferences, and we turn what should be given and directed only to Jesus into something that is solely about self! Let us strive to not make worship about what is going to make ourselves feel good, but rather, when we exit the worship centers of our churches, we feel good about who God is in us!
Let us exalt the Lord our God, for the Lord God is Holy!
— Nelson is pastor of Russellville Baptist Church, Russellville.
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