Happy New Year Northeastern Colorado! I recently viewed the new “Exodus” movie staring Christian Bale and was sorely disappointed. The film portrayed Moses as a violent skeptic who abandoned his family and was not really sure of his calling from God. One of the most blasphemous scenes was when “God” appeared to Moses at the burning bush as a snotty 11-year old British kid. One of the key features missing from the movie was the holiness of God.
In Exodus 3, the sovereign LORD appears to Moses as the Holy One of Israel. Exodus 3:2–6 reads, “And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.”
This is the very first time the word “holy” appears in the Bible. Moses was to take off his sandals as a way of showing that he shouldn’t just barge into God’s presence. From the beginning God was showing that He is transcendent and separate and worthy of worship.
I wonder how often we don’t discuss or realize the holiness of God. In our narcissistic church culture of making everyone feel comfortable and casual and relevant, I wonder if we have lost this sense of the holiness of God.
Listen to what R.C. Sproul says in his book “The Holiness of God”: “When the Bible calls God holy, it means primarily that God is transcendentally separate. He is so far above and beyond us that He seems almost totally foreign to us…God is too great for us; He is too awesome. He makes difficult demands on us. He is the Mysterious Stranger who threatens our security. In His presence, we quake and tremble. Meeting Him personally may be our greatest trauma.”
God reveals Himself as the Great I AM. This is powerful. God is basically saying that He alone is the true and living God. Most people but a modifier or adjective at the end of the sentence “I am.” For example, I am Sean. I am 6’2”. I am blonde. I am married to Dawn. I am Aidan and Zach’s father. Nobody has the inherent power, authority, holiness, or majesty to simply say, “I AM” and leave it at that; except for the Creator and Living God of the universe.
Hebrews 12:28–29 says, “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” The beauty of the gospel is that Jesus is the only way to bring us into the presence of this holy God who is a consuming fire. Without the intercessory work of Christ as our Mediator, every single one of us would suffer the judgment of this awesome and transcendent and holy God.
Would 2015 be a year where we all focus on the holiness of God as the Great I AM! If you have not cast yourself at His mercy by trusting completely in His one and only Son Jesus Christ, then what better time is the beginning of 2015 to find forgiveness and eternal life! Worship the Great I AM! Fall on your knees in adoration at the holy God who is a consuming fire! Find salvation in no other name than Jesus who is the only way to get you access to this awesome God!