Glorious in Holiness

God’s beauty cannot be described adequately. The Hebrew word for glory, Kabod, is from the same root word for “heavy/weighty”. Rev 4 gives us a glimpse of God’s magnificent splendour.

One of the ways we get a grip over glory is by looking into what Holiness is. In scripture we find the glory and holiness of God interwoven into each other, Isa 6:3: And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. Exodus 15:11 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

In fact He, God, calls His name Holy, His Holiness is the essence of His Glory, To get a glimpse of His glory we must look into God’s holiness.

God’s Holiness is

1. His Transcendent Majesty (transcendent: to exceed limits). For instance, there are diamonds of all sorts, and then you have the Kohinoor, a.k.a the mountain of light, the Kohinoor is a cut above the rest; similarily God’s attributes, His love, wisdom, forgiveness etc. are all a cut above the rest, an infinite cut above the rest. God’s attributes are holy, therefore God’s love is Holy love, His anger is holy anger and so on. The thrice repeated word on the lips of the angelic host is Holy, Rev 4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

2. A way of cutting off or separation from what is unclean: set-apartedness , to make clean: sanctification.

And it is the second aspect of Holiness, Set Apartedness, that we will look into.

When man does not meet God’s standard of Holiness, set-apartedness, he perishes.

Aaron’s sons

Leviticus 10: 1 to 3. And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.

2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.

3 Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.

The Man who gathered sticks on the Sabbath

Numbers 15: 32 to 36 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.

33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.

34 And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.

35 And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.

36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.

The people of Bethshemesh

Samuel 6:19 And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.

Uzzah

2 Samuel 6: 5 to 7 And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.

6 And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.

7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.

Ananias and Saphira

Acts 5 – But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

DEFIANCE

For the casual post-modern observer the death of the people listed above can be a very disturbing thing, for the predictable human argument would be based on this premise “does the punishment fit the crime”. These high-decibled and falsely hyper-emotional “moral guardians” of society would scream that there is injustice with God, they would reason that there are unimaginably wicked things that people do and nothing ever happens to them, and therefore for God to  kill people for seemingly trivial offences such as the ones given below is simply absurd. Why should God kill people for offering incense which deviated from the prescribed manner as in the case of Aaron’s sons, could he not reprimand them and spare their life; stranger still, the death penalty for gathering sticks on the Sabbath, he wasn’t robbing or killing, but working to find a source of fuel to cook food. And Uzzah, he tried to prevent the ark of God from falling, he should be applauded, and so goes the argument. However, what should really catch our attention is the fact that we could have been one among these who died, for none of us have met God’s standards of holiness, we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.

In the stories listed above, all those people who died in the hands of God dared to defy. Defiance, insubordination, is a cancerous growth which, unless nipped in the bud, destroys individuals and families. A son who looks his father in the eye and says, “I will not obey, do what you want to,” is a classic example of defiance . Those with their senses intact would know from experience that insubordination is not how the world runs, if it did, you would have anarchy. There is subordination in the government, army, corporates and so on. The man who picked up sticks on a day when he was not supposed to, dared to defy, he looks God in the eye and says: I will not fall in line, do what you want to, God. God did! Again, what should really strike us is the fact that God’s mercy  far exceeds his wrath, else we all would have been struck dead.It is only when man has an encounter with God that he has a deep sense of his own lack of holiness. The Prophet Isaiah said, “Woe unto me”. Peter said, “Depart from me for I am a sinful man”.

INGLORIOUS-ICHABOD 

The opposite of Chabod , the Hebrew word for holiness, is Ichabod which is  translated inglorious or the glory has departed. Glory departing is God, holiness, departing and sin, unholiness, entering.

Interestingly, there was a man by the name of Ichabod in the bible. He lived when Israel was in a state of transition between the Judges and the Prophets. This was a time of moral decay; matter of fact, the books of Judges ends with this verse: In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. The birth of Ichabod was in one sense a spiritual announcement of the sinfulness of the Israelites.  Ichabod literally means:  the glory has departed. You can read Ichabod’s story in 1 Samuel 4. Biblically, we see this pattern: sin (human self-rule) enters, Glory (God) departs.

Sin Enters, Glory Departs.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Rom 3:23.The absence of God in our life is the absence of Holiness, the departure of Glory.

Bringing Glory to God

Isa 58:13. The verse says that you bring honour, glory, to God in these three things. The word honour, used here, is Kabed, a derivative of Kabod, Glory.

You bring Glory to God:

  1. Not doing your own ways – Pr 14:12, Isa 55: 7-9.
  2. Nor finding thine own pleasure –
  3. Nor speaking thine own words. Eph 4:29

The above instructions cannot be executed by the singular focus of a determined will, but by “setting the Lord” always before us and beholding his beauty: 2 Cor 3:18.

  1. But we all, with open face: not like Moses who came with a veil, but with unveiled faces. Because we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand we communicate with him without a barrier, face to face.
  2. beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord: The Bible says that it not with natural, but with spiritual eyes that we see this glory; Eph 1:18: The eyes of our understanding being enlightened to the riches of the glory of His inheritance, which is in the saints.
  3. are changed into the same image: As a man thinketh in his heart so is he, Prov 23:7. As we gaze into this reflected glory, we mull over it. This mulling into the things of God is what changes, metamorphosizes, us from a worm to a butterfly, from a sinner to a saint. Our changed life is a byproduct of our perpetual gaze into the things of God.
  4. from glory to glory: from the glory of the law to the glory of the gospel; For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory, 2 Cor 3:9. As we turn our attention from the condemnation which is in the law to the righteousness which is in us in Christ, our beings will be changed, gradually, to reflect this inner glory.
  5. even as by the Spirit of the Lord: the change is brought out by the Spirit. Ezekiel 36:27 tells us that righteousness is caused by the Spirit, and that we need to yield to it, Rom 6:16. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure, Phi 2:12

 

 

Vinod Joy

The House, Thursday, 17th May, 2018

 

 

P.S

He calls Himself Holy, ISA 57:15.

He demands Holiness, Lev 19:2.

Holiness is the opening of our spiritual eyes, Heb 12:14.

Holiness is separation from the Worldly System, Babylon, known for its filth; Rev 18.G