Thursday, July 9, 2009

Holy, Holy, Holy!

While reading today's passages, 1 Kings 5-8, and 2 Chronicles 2-5, my immediate response was to sing this hymn in my heart:
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity

The reason I included all the lyrics to this classic hymn (which dates all the way back to 1826 by the way) is because songs I've committed to memory that tell of God's holiness and glory are among the first thoughts that come to me when I consider His majesty or find myself fearfully contemplating the future.

Today's reading covers the building and dedication of the Temple, built for God in honor of God, by Solomon.

As chapter 8 of 1 Kings concludes, God's glorious presence (known as His Shekinah Glory) filled the temple in the form of a cloud that was so powerfully intense the priests could not continue their service. This begs the question that if God is love and grace, why did these men not just stay and bask in the moment?

It was because God isn't just goodness, grace and love, He is also holy--so holy in fact that the priests could not remain in the presence of His glory.

There are other accounts in scripture when men like Isaiah, John and Peter encountered the literal presence of God, and when confronted with the contrast between their sinfulness and His righteous holiness, they were "stricken" in his presence. (Isaiah 6:5; Revelation 1:17, and Luke 5:8)

Today, we live under the new covenant of grace (John 1:17) and we have a different experience when we encounter God because as Christians, Jesus' righteous holiness is imputed to us at the time of our salvation. But does that mean we should forget that God is holy and come before Him casually? No. I believe we need to be careful to remember that our great God is Holy now, just as He was at the dedication of the temple all those years ago.

Remembering the "holy" aspect of His character helps us understand that the gift of salvation is our most precious, prized possession--not to be taken lightly or for granted. And that, my loves, is the essence of what these passages spoke to my heart as I read this morning. Holy, Holy, Holy!


  1. Alli, I try to always read early, but usually can't write until late. I'm attempting to change that because I have noticed a "my brain is just too tired" trend lately! Thanks for reading, early or late! ;)

  2. Great, gret stuff. Especially the part towards the end about coming to God casually. I love the way you put it, remembering God's holiness helps us understand that the gift of salvation is our most precious and prized pocession- not to be taken lightly or for granted. Beautiful hymn too:)