Summary: Seeing the Holiness of God and being aware of His Presence should produce a fearful wonder and reverence of God, a terrifying vision of our own sinfulness, and a sanctified yieldedness to the Holy Sovereign One.



ISAIAH 6:1-8

HOLY – HOLY – HOLY! The God of all creation is infinitely holy. But what does that mean? We have been told that the word holy means to sanctify or to be set apart. R.C. Sproul in his book The Holiness of God (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1985) writes that “The primary meaning of holy is ‘separate.’ It comes from an ancient word that meant, ‘to cut,’ or ‘to separate.’ Perhaps even more accurate would be the phrase ‘a cut above something.’ When we find a garment or another piece of merchandise that is outstanding, that has a superior excellence, we use the expression that it is ‘a cut above the rest.” When the Bible calls God holy it means that God is unsurpassed in power, incomparable in judgment and wisdom, unrivaled in love, consummate purity, and matchless in beauty. To be in His Holy Presence is awesome and transforming. Seeing the Holiness of God and being aware of His Presence should produce a fearful wonder and reverence of God, a terrifying vision of our own sinfulness, and a sanctified yieldedness to the Holy Sovereign One.

I. Produces an awe and reverence of God

A. Psalm 113:5 “Who is like the LORD our God, Who is enthroned on high?”

B. Exodus 15:11 “Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”

C. 1 Samuel 2:2 “No one is holy like the LORD, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.”

D. Isaiah 6:1-3 “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!’”

1. The seraphim, the shining ones, the guarding angels that surround the throne, in the presence of the Beauty of Holiness would not dare look on it and cover their faces with two of their wings. These holy angels paled in their holiness compared to God’s holiness to the extent that in contrition they won’t even look at God.

2. Not only did they cover their eyes but with two of their wings they covered their feet. In ancient times when one entered the presence of a king they were to take their outer cape or robe and cover their legs as they bowed before the king. It was an act of humility signifying subservience and humility. The seraphim covered their feet because they realized they were completely unworthy to be in the presence of the Holy Sovereign Creator of all existence, in spite of their sinless perfection.

3. So impacted by the Holiness of God all these holy shining ones can do is cry out to one another – “Holy! Holy! Holy is the Lord of hosts!” They are awe struck to be eternally in His presence.

E. God’s holiness is beyond anything we can possibly conceive. It ought to fill us with wonder and adoration.

F. John when seeing the unbridled holiness and glory of Christ said in Revelation 1:17, “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.”

G. Habakkuk commenting on hearing the Holy One’s voice said in Habakkuk 3, “O LORD, I have heard Your speech and was afraid” (vs. 2)... “When I heard, my body trembled; my lips quivered at the voice; rottenness entered my bones; and I trembled in myself” (vs. 16a)

H. Tragically we see throughout Christendom the loss of a sense of God’s holiness. Prayer has become a trivial pursuit. Reading God’s Holy Word has become just another book. Sitting in the pews, Christians sit in judgment on the sermon, grading it for quality, length, clarity, and interest, as the Pastor attempts to present the Word of God. People are more concerned with the clock than the realization that surely the presence of the Lord is in the house. For indeed Christ promised in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” The Lord’s Day has become more a day for relaxation, recreation, reunions, retail, and home renovation than a day of religious observance and reflection on the Holy Trinity.

I. In the Bible we are provided with accounts of people have died because they did not take the holiness of God seriously enough. Our approach to God and His worship must never be casual. Even though we can approach the throne of God with boldness and confidence because of Jesus, we must do so with fear and reverence.

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