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Summary: This transfiguration Sunday it has to mean something that we See God as Holy and understand the holy nature of God. We are clear to make sure that we Deal with the idea of doing enough to live holy and reach the needs of the lest of these.

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Transfiguration Sunday

February 7, 2016 (Last Sunday before Lent Black History)

Exodus 34:29-35 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2 Luke 9:28-36,(37-43a)

“Holy, Yes, Holy!” Psalm 99

Psalm 99The Message (MSG)

99

1-3 God rules. On your toes, everybody!

He rules from his angel throne—take notice!

God looms majestic in Zion,

He towers in splendor over all the big names.

Great and terrible your beauty: let everyone praise you!

Holy. Yes, holy.

4-5

Strong King, lover of justice,

You laid things out fair and square;

You set down the foundations in Jacob,

Foundation stones of just and right ways.

Honor God, our God; worship his rule!

Holy. Yes, holy.

6-9

Moses and Aaron were his priests,

Samuel among those who prayed to him.

They prayed to God and he answered them;

He spoke from the pillar of cloud.

And they did what he said; they kept the law he gave them.

And then God, our God, answered them

(But you were never soft on their sins).

Lift high God, our God; worship at his holy mountain.

Holy. Yes, holy is God our God.

We need to take God Seriously. This transfiguration Sunday it has to mean something that we See God as Holy and understand the holy nature of God. There is probably no attribute of God which needs to be taught and recognized more in our day than His holiness. David Wells emphasized this in God in the Wasteland [Eerdmans, 1994], his analysis of how the modern culture has infected the church. He observes (p. 114),

We have turned to a God that we can use rather than to a God we must obey; we have turned to a God who will fulfill all our needs rather than to a God before whom we must surrender our rights to ourselves. He is a God for us, for our satisfaction—not because we have learned to think of him this way through Christ but because we have learned to think of him this way through the marketplace. In the marketplace, everything is for us, for our pleasure, for our satisfaction, and we have come to assume that it must be so in the church as well. And so we transform the God of mercy into a God who is at our mercy. We have forgotten “Treat the people’s needs as holy,” Dr. Obery M. Hendricks, Jr. is Professor of Biblical Interpretation at New York Theological Seminary and author of the new book The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus’ Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted. We have to understand what it means “treat the people’s needs as holy” as well as “give a voice to the voiceless” and “expose the workings of oppression” —to challenge the established order of things.

Psalm 99 calls us reverently to worship God because He is holy. There is an obvious contrast with Psalm 97:1, “The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice.” Here (Ps. 99:1) it is, “The Lord reigns, let the peoples tremble.”

Psalm 99 falls into three sections, the first two (1-3, 4-5) ending with the refrain, “Holy is He,” and the third (6-9) with, “Holy is the Lord our God.” This threefold repetition of God’s holiness reminds us of the angelic refrain in Isaiah’s vision of God (Isa. 6:3), “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” In Isaiah, the foundations of the thresholds trembled; here (Ps. 99:1b), the earth shakes.


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