Dwelling with a Holy God

“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place.” (Isaiah 57:15)

While God has many attributes such as love, mercy, and justice, holiness is said to be His fundamental attribute. Even regarding God’s love, theologian Augustus Strong said, “Holiness is the track on which the engine of love must run.”

The Bible points to God’s holiness in various places. Today’s verse says His “name is Holy,” and Psalm 47:8 says, “God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.” Christ taught us to begin our prayers acknowledging this truth: “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed [holy, hagiazo] be thy name” (Matthew 6:9). In both Isaiah 6:1-3 and Revelation 4:8, we’re told that the angelic seraphim who circle about God’s throne perpetually proclaim, “Holy, holy, holy.” And as the God-man Jesus Himself was about to cast out an unclean spirit, the demon called out, “I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24).

The problem for sinful humans is that in the administration of the righteous standard of God’s holiness, judgment for sin is required. As heirs of Adam who fail to keep God’s law, we all come under the Adamic judgment “thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Since God’s wrath is aroused by sin, how can we ever hope to be in the presence of a holy God?

Praise God that the payment for sin was brought about through Christ’s atonement, which satisfies the demands of perfect justice. Not only can we now come boldly to make supplication before His throne, but when we die we go into His holy presence and are freed from sin forever. – Jeffery P. Tomkins, Ph.D. (Days of Praise Devotional)

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