Saturday, June 4, 2011

God's Holiness continued

      We have covered the fact that people who lived in cultures before technology and the worship of distraction, had a very different perspective on God and the consequences of not respecting His holiness.
Men feared encounters with God because to actually look upon Him would result in death; His purity and goodness are that strong. God instructed men he interacted with to turn away from him, to hide in clefts in the rocks, to remove their shoes because they were encountering His holiness in a proximity that was dangerous if not fatal. When God spoke to the people from Mt Sinai, His thunderous voice terrified them and they asked Moses to let God speak through him because they could not endure the voice of God and feared they would die. The Hebrew people revered God's name so much that they would eliminate the vowels in pronouncing it as an acknowledgement of their being unworthy to pronounce His name. How far removed we have become as we hear His name defiled in cursing, His relevance denied with ignorance and indifference, His Son rejected as an impostor or 'just another prophet". Disrespecting God's holiness is a grave offense and we must continually be on guard to insure that we have a humble and consistent appreciation for the holiness of our God and what befalls us when we are careless.
     What are the dangers of living without a proper appreciation of the holiness of God? The most damaging
thing we do when we debase God's holiness is we negate the magnitude of Christ's sacrifice. If God is not
"separate or apart from" us, if we could have relationship without the law being fulfilled, without atonement;
then God is not who He claims to be and His word is not true. When we view God as a grandfather who loves us regardless of our behavior, shrugs off disobedience, tolerates willful sin, we have compromised His holiness and insulted His true character and nature. When we think of God as just a really complete version of man, we insult Him. We have misinterpreted His word and we are deceived because we are clearly told that God is holy and we should be holy. We are to separate ourselves from the world and its depravity, not lower God so He more resembles us. Compromise is a slippery slope that we are ill-equipped to navigate.
When we compromise God's word , His character, and our relationship to Him ,we are back to religion, searching for God on our terms. When we impugn God's holiness, out of ignorance or disobedience, we diminish the magnitude of His love, power, and majesty. His Word tells us that a reverent fear (respect) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We should always endeavor to remember the source of that fear among His chosen people; His Holiness.