From Praying the Names of God Week Eleven, Day Two
The title "Holy One of Israel" emphasizes God's uniqueness, otherness, and mystery as well as his call to his people to become holy as he is. The Israelites were to be set apart for God, devoted to his service, and committed to honoring his character by reflecting it in all their relationships. In the New Testament Jesus was recognized as the Holy One of God by demons who were threatened by his power and purity. As believers, we are called to reflect the character of Christ, to be holy even as he is holy.
When you pray to the Holy One of Israel, you are praying to the God whose holiness not only encompasses his sepration from evil, but his power, knowledge, justice ,mercy, goodness, and love.
The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.'" (Leviticus 19:1-2).
PRAYING THE NAME
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.
"Woe to me!" I cried."I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar... "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." (Isaiah 6:1-7)
Reflect On: Isaiah 6:1-7
Praise God: For his perfect holiness.
Offer Thanks: That there is a perfect correspondence between God's nature and his actions.
Confess: Your lack of reverence.
Ask God: To reveal his holiness to you more clearly.
Mathematical models indicate that the sun, a rather small star, is about twenty-seven million degrees Fahrenheit at its core. And even though the sun is ninety-three million miles away, we earthlings still suffer burns unless we take proper precautions, even on cloudy days. Given the sun's fantastic heat, it isn't hard to imagine what would happen were it to move suddenly closer to earth, pitching in our direction.
Nearly three thousand years ago a man named Isaiah had a vision of God so vivid that he must have felt as though the sun itself had suddenly come hurtling through the atmosphere. So overpowering was his sense of God's presence that Isaiah felt certain he was ruined, about to be destroyed.
But why should looking at God destroy a man? In the presence of holiness, Isaiah immediately saw his sin—and his danger—for he would have perceived not only God's complete lack of sin but his utter opposition toward it. And, as Addison Leitch has said, "There is a sense in which God cannot help himself when he resists anything in the universe that is contrary to his own nature."
Fortunately, God provided a way for Isaiah to be cleansed of his guilt so that he could live and proclaim the word of the Lord regardless of whether people were ready to hear it.
If nothing else, the remarkable account of Isaiah's vision should cause us to wonder whether we take God altogether too lightly, whether we have the faintest notion of his greatness or the slightest perception of how stunning is the privilege of belonging to him. Perhaps it is time to cover our eyes, fall on our knees, and proclaim with the heavenly beings, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory!"
Meet your spiritual ancestors as they really were: Less Than Perfect: Broken Men and Women of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them.