MUSING – May 04 2018
“The LORD rules as king. Let the people tremble. He is enthroned over the angels. Let the earth quake. The LORD is mighty in Zion. He is high above all people. Let them give thanks to your great and fearful name. He is holy! The king’s strength is that he loves justice. You have established fairness. You have done what is fair and right for Jacob. Highly honor the LORD our God. Bow down at his footstool. He is holy!”
God is holy. We Christians use the word holy a lot. There are hymns/praise songs that just repeat it over and over. But do you know what it means? In the Old Testament “the Hebrew word for holy is “qodesh” and means “apartness, set-apartness, separateness, sacredness”*In the new testament the word “hagios” carries the same or similar meaning. The concept of apartness is clearly what the psalm writer had in mind here. God as a king, enthroned over the angels, and high above all people speaks to the vast separation between God and man. God in his true form can not be seen.**
In the new testament something wonderful happens. Jesus is born of Mary and suddenly God is with us.*** He can be seen and touched. And more importantly can and does touch us. He sits and eats with us. In other words, God now meets us on a more personal level. The separation between God in the Holy of Holies and mankind is over. (Mat 27:51) And he promises to be with us until the end of the age. *(Mat 28:20)
This does not mean that God is still not above all people but he is now also living within us. (1 Cor 3:16) We believers are commanded to be holy (Lev 11:44 and 1Th 3:13) that is we are to remain separated from sin.
***Emmanuel עִמָּנוּאֵל (Ancient Hebrew)
All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams