Summary: This sermon takes a look at the holiness of God and how we should respond to that holiness.
I’m not real big on the whole idea of talk-shows. But one show I saw a number of years ago was dealing with the issue of school violence. This was after the string of high school shootings that terrified parents and teachers alike. The question that was asked is why are these kids doing this? Montel Williams was the host of the show and he had a number of top psychologists who offered opinions ranging from brain abnormalities, to cultural influences such as rock music and video games.
After they had made their opinions, the host of the show Montel Williams gave his theory, and it may shock you. He said that he thought the reason why these kids were doing this was that they no longer had any fear of God. That’s why, he explained, they can go and murder ten classmates and then turn the gun on themselves because in their mind, that is the end to all their suffering. He said, “These kids no longer fear neither God nor death, so in their mind they can do what ever they want and not beheld accountable for it.”
The fear of God; It’s a controversial issue for some. The idea is that we should be telling people about the love of God that God loves us and is our best friend. All this is true, but it is only part of the truth. Throughout the bible we are taught that we ought to fear God; to stand in awe of His awesome power and might, and to fear His awful wrath.
The Bible says that the fear of God is the beginning of all knowledge. Deuteronomy 10:12 says, “And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God.” Even in our own best loved hymn we are told that it was grace…that taught my heart to fear. And grace my fears relieved.
The fear of God is a healthy fear to have, and the more I see the more I recognize the need for us to regain this fear. In our culture, God bashing has become a popular thing. A number of years ago, Keith Richards the guitarist for the Rolling Stones, was interviewed for US magazine. This was right after a huge concert that was about to take place that was rained out. In the article he was quoted as saying, “It’s not the devil who gets me mad. It’s that blankity-blank God and His blankity-blank rain! Wait ‘till I see Him. Doesn’t He know who we are, we’re the Rolling Stones!” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be around Keith Richards when Christ returns.
But his attitude is all to familiar. We see it in how we approach spiritual things. We walk into the house of God, with no respect or honor for it. We come to the Lord’s table with a careless attitude and a wandering mind. We profane the holy things of God, and by doing so we profane the name of God. Do you remember the story found in the book of 2 Samuel about the ark of God? Listen to this. It’s found in chapter 6 verses 5-7. “David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD , with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals. When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God.”
Kind of makes you sit up and pay attention doesn’t it. Now David got mad at God for that, but it shows us that when we fail to respect the holiness and might of God, His wrath is poured out. And it is that fear that leads us to respect. God is to be feared. Isaiah 8:12-13 says, ‘do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread,”.
Now, in our text that was read for you this morning, the prophet Isaiah was given a vision of God and of His holiness. I want us to see this morning how Isaiah responded to that vision of God’s holiness, and for us to see the proper response that each of us must have as well. When you come in contact with the Holy, one thing is for sure…you’ll never forget it.
Now the first response I want you to see is that when Isaiah saw the Lord, He trembled before His Holiness. Look at verses 1-4. “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.”