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January 16 – God is holy

And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” – Isaiah 6:3

Scripture reading: Isaiah 6:1-8

This verse gives us a glimpse of heaven. Immediately, we are struck by glorious angels exalting God’s holiness. No other attribute is repeated three times in Scripture as His holiness is. This is significant! Is it because God’s holiness in His radiant beauty perhaps best describes Who He really is?

Trying to define His holiness is not so easy. We can say holy means “to be set apart”, and “utterly pure, separated from sin.” But unfortunately, unlike these angels, we can say that, without being impressed by God’s sheer otherness and infinite purity. Strikingly, when these sinless creatures exalt the Lord for His holiness, it humbles them! They cover their faces, they cover their feet, and fly with the other set of wings. What a lesson for us!

Seeing something of God’s holiness made Isaiah tremble and become acutely aware of his own sinfulness. And so will we! We will cry out with Isaiah, “I am undone – unravelling!” But at the same time, it prepares us to seek God’s glory in this world. For when the Lord asked, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Isaiah eagerly answered, “Here am I, send me!”

Looking to these holy angels to learn about holiness is good and necessary. But, looking to Jesus, our perfect High Priest, is better! For it is His holiness these angels exalt! Jesus, higher than the heavens, is holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners! He approaches God on our behalf! That’s good news for unholy sinners!

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that God’s holiness would grip you, supplying fresh appreciation for Christ and make you desirous to spread God’s gospel and glory in this world.

Rev. Pieter van der Hoek has been serving the Heritage Reformed Church of Burgessville since 2017. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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