Holy God (Revelation 4:8). In Revelation 4:8 we read that throughout eternity, praises rise from around the throne of God saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”
The word translated “holy” is “hagios”, which comes from the word “hagos”, which actually means “an awful thing”, but not as in terrible in a bad sense – rather, as in awe-inspiring. Hagios means “sacred, pure, morally blameless, worthy of veneration.”
Many verses in Scripture speak to God’s holiness. In Isaiah 6:3, we read, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of His glory.” And Isaiah 57:15 says, “For this is what the high and exalted One says- he who lives forever, whose name is Holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.’”
In 1 Samuel 2:2, Hannah prays, “There is no one holy like the Lord. Indeed, there is no one besides You. Nor is there any rock like our God.” And in Exodus 15:11, Moses sings, “Who is like You among the gods, O Lord? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?”
In Leviticus 22:332, God says, “You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be sanctified among the sons of Israel; I am the Lord who sanctifies you.” (For more on the Lord who sanctifies-Jehovah Mekoddishkem-see Day Fifteen of this study.)
And in Revelation 15:4, we read, “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For you alone are holy…”
The concept of “holy” is sometimes lost on us. Our minds have become so polluted by the profane that it’s easy to doubt the “holy” even exists. We may see a Mother Teresa – type person and think “now there’s a holy person”, but even the best human holiness pales in comparison to the absolute purity and holiness of God. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon uses the phrase “incomparable majesty” to describe God’s holiness.
We see God’s holiness in Exodus 19-20, where He called Moses, as the then-mediator between God and Israel, to meet with Him on Mt.Sinai. So great is God’s holiness that anyone who came close to the mountain or touched it while God’s presence was on it was to die. That sounds harsh, but it display how absolute God’s holiness is.
Yet, this is the same holy God Who sanctifies us, wants to come near to us, delights in us and rejoices over us with singing (Zeph 3:17), and cares for us (1 Peter 5:7)
Through Jesus, called the Holy One (Mark 1: 24; Luke 4: 34; Acts 3: 14), we have an eternal mediator with God – One Who is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He (Jesus) lives always to intercede for us to God (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 7: 5). It is through Jesus that we are told to “come boldly to the (God’s) throne of grace, that we can obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4: 16).
God’s perfect holiness is a frightening thing when we try to stand before it on our own. But so great is God;s love for us that He gave His Son so we can stand in God’s holy presence and worship Him with a reverential fear that recognizes our need of a Savior, yet with bold confidence that Jesus’ sacrifice has paid for our sin.
As Psalm 96:9 says, “Oh worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; tremble before and reverently fear Him all the earth.” And Psalm 29:2 says, “Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”