Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. These are words we often hear sung, and, I’m sure that although we all have a vague idea of what it means to be holy, it’s not something we really think about too much.
According to the Miriam Webster dictionary definition of holy, it is to be “exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness”. Apparently it comes from the Middle English word hool (or whole) meaning healthy, unhurt, entire.
Perfect. Whole. Healthy. Entire.
Most of the time, I can almost relate to God as being perfect. Although, I’ll be the first to admit it’s hard for me to wrap my pea brain around that concept, but very rarely do I think of Him as whole, healthy or entire. He just is.
That being said, it’s the entire that really sticks in my mind. God is entire, meaning, “having no element or part left out”. This is different from being complete, which would insinuate that at one time He was not complete, which is not true. We are made complete in Him, but He Himself has always been whole.
I’m often reminded of the prophets and how when they saw the living God on His throne they pretty much came unhinged with fear. How can anyone be in the presence of such wholeness, such entirety, and not feel like they are totally undone?
Isaiah talks about seeing the Lord sitting on a high and lofty throne with His robe filling the temple all the while being surrounded by Seraphim who called to one another, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts:”.
Ezekiel saw the Lord on a throne that had the appearance of sapphire stone, and He was a being so brilliant to look at that it was as if fire surrounded Him. Added to that was the fact that every time Ezekiel saw God he fell down, and, God Himself had to help the man stand in His presence.
Yet, in our arrogance, self-sufficiency and unwholeness, many of us seem to think we will be able to stand before Him and not be affected like the prophets were. This seems a little foolhardy to me since they were the mouthpieces of God, and being so were probably much closer to God than we are.
Although we now have an advocate in Jesus/Yeshua who stands before the throne on our behalf and allows us to approach the throne through Him, we must have no doubts about who we are approaching and His holiness, and, not only that but through whom we are able to approach the throne at all. It is only through God’s own Spirit that we can ever hope to stand in His holy presence.
“For your Maker is your husband–the LORD Almighty is his name–the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.” Isaiah 54:5