When we use the word holy, as in a holy person, we usually associate this with a righteous or pious person. If we use this concept when interpreting the word holy in the Hebrew Bible then we are misreading the text as this is not the meaning of the Hebrew word qadosh. Qadosh literally means "to be set apart for a special purpose". A related word, qedesh, is one who is also set apart for a special purpose but not in the same way we think of "holy" but is a male prostitute (Deut 23:17). Israel was qadosh because they were separated from the other nations as servants of God. The furnishings in the tabernacle were qadosh as they were not to be used for anything except for the work in the tabernacle. While we may not think of ourselves as "holy" we are in fact set apart from the world to be God's servants and representatives.
Man was created to reflect the truth about who God is. But the fall of man distorted the image of God and corrupted the ability of man to reflect this truth.
11 “Who is like Thee among the gods, O LORD? Who is like Thee, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders? (Exodus 15:11). 2 “There is no one holy like the LORD, Indeed, there is no one besides Thee, Nor is there any rock like our God (1 Samuel 2:2). 8 There is no one like Thee among the gods, O Lord; Nor are there any works like Thine. 9 All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; And they shall glorify Thy name. 10 For Thou art great and doest wondrous deeds; Thou alone art God (Psalms 86:8-10; see also Psalm 99:1-3; Isaiah 40:25; 57:15).
(3) For God to be holy is for Him to be holy in relation to every aspect of His nature and character. When we use the word holy to describe God, we face another problem. We often describe God by compiling a list of qualities or characteristics that we call attributes. We say that God is a spirit, that He knows everything, that He is loving, just, merciful, gracious, and so on. The tendency is to add the idea of the holy to this long list of attributes as one attribute among many. But when the word holy is applied to God, it does not signify one single attribute. On the contrary, God is called holy in a general sense. The word is used as a synonym for his deity. That is, the word holy calls attention to all that God is. It reminds us that His love is holy love, his justice is holy justice, his mercy is holy mercy, his knowledge is holy knowledge, his spirit is holy spirit.25 How Important Is Holiness? The holiness of God is not merely a theological subject fit for scholars with the interest and stamina to pursue it. Indeed, the holiness of God is a matter of great importance to every living soul. The Christian should be especially concerned with the holiness of God. Several incidents in the Old and New Testaments underscore the importance of holiness to the believer. These examples are but a few of the accounts in Scripture dealing with God’s holiness and its impact on saints.
Moses and the Holiness of God (Numbers 20:1-13; 27:12-14) (Numbers 27:12-14). Moses had good reason to be angry with the Israelites. They were indeed a “stiff-necked people,” even as God Himself had said (see Exodus 33:5). The Israelites arrived at Kadesh, a place whose name meant “holy.” There, Miriam died and was buried. At Kadesh, there was no water for the people to drink. The people were hostile and a mob contended with Moses and Aaron wishing they were dead, or even better, that Moses and Aaron were. They protested they had not been “led” as much as “mis-led” by Moses to a land far from what they were promised. That there was now no water here was the final straw.
Moses and Aaron went to the doorway of the tent of meeting, and there the glory of the Lord appeared to them. God then commanded Moses to take his rod and speak to the rock, from which water would flow for the people. Moses was furious with the people as he gathered them before the rock, the “spiritual rock” Paul later identifies as Christ Himself (1 Corinthians 10:4). Instead of merely speaking to the rock as commanded, in his anger, Moses struck the rock twice. The consequences were indeed severe.
Who has not lost his or her temper and done worse than striking a rock with a stick? Yet this act was so serious in God’s sight that He forbade Moses to enter into the land of promise. Moses never saw the land to which he came so close. Why? God told him, and he recorded it for us: “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel.…”(Numbers 20:12). And by dealing severely with Moses for his transgression, God is said to have “proved Himself holy among them” (verse 13). In a moment of anger, Moses sinned, and for this sin he was kept from entering the land of promise. The act was striking the rock. But it was much more than this. Striking the rock was an act of disobedience, of failing to follow God’s instructions. Even more, it was identified by God as an act of unbelief: 12 “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them” (verse 12). I always thought Moses sinned merely by striking the rock which somehow, like the burning bush of years earlier (see Exodus 3), was a manifestation of the presence of God. The root sin was irreverence, and that irreverence was the cause of Moses’ disobedience26 and his striking the rock. Moses’ anger with the people overcame his fear of God. His fear of God should have overcome his anger with the Israelites. God took Moses’ irreverence most seriously.
(2 Samuel 6:1-11).
The Philistines had captured the ark of God and sought to keep it as a trophy of their victory. It soon became evident the ark was the source of much suffering to them. They passed it about and finally determined to be rid of it by sending it back to Israel. They transported it in a way the Philistine priests and diviners recommended. They put a guilt offering of gold in the ark and placed it on a newly-made cart drawn by two cows just separated from their calves (see 1 Samuel 6).
If the Philistines could not stand in the presence of the Holy God of Israel, neither could the people of Beth-shemesh where the ark arrived: 19 And He struck down some of the men of Beth-shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the LORD. He struck down of all the people, 50,070 men, and the people mourned because the LORD had struck the people with a great slaughter. 20 And the men of Beth-shemesh said, “Who is able to stand before the LORD, this holy God? And to whom shall He go up from us?” 21 So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim, saying, “The Philistines have brought back the ark of the LORD; come down and take it up to you” (1 Samuel 6:19-21). The men of Kiriath-jearim came and took the ark of the LORD and brought it to the house of Abinadab and consecrated Abinadab’s son, Eleazar, to keep the ark, where it remained for some 20 years (1 Samuel 7:1-2).
Finally, David, accompanied by 30,000 Israelites, went to Kiriath-jearim to bring the ark to Jerusalem. The ark was a symbol of the presence of God, a most holy object (see 2 Samuel 6:2) which was to be hidden in the holiest place in the tabernacle, the “holy of holies.” According to God’s instructions, it was to be transported by the Kohathites who carried it by holding onto poles inserted through its attached rings (see Exodus 25:10-22; Numbers 4:1-20). No one was to look into the ark, or they would die.
The day the ark was transported to Jerusalem was a great and happy moment. But they had forgotten how holy this ark was, because it was the place where God’s presence was to abide. Rather than transporting the ark as instructed in the law, the ark was placed on a new ox cart. It was a most jubilant procession as the ark made its way home. What a happy time. But when the oxen stumbled, and it looked as though the cart might be overturned and hurled to the ground, Uzzah reached out to steady the ark. Instantly, he was struck dead by God. David’s first response was frustration and anger with God. Why had God been so harsh with Uzzah? David seems to have forgotten God’s instructions in the Law about how the ark was to be transported. He also seems to have forgotten how many had previously died when due reverence for the presence of God associated with the ark was not shown. God had spoiled their celebration, and David was miffed. Only upon reflection did David realize the gravity of the error. And concerning Uzzah, God struck him dead because of his irreverence (2 Samuel 6:7). Irreverence is a dangerous malady. Even when our motives are sincere and we are actively involved in the worship of God, we must constantly be mindful of the holiness of God and maintain a reverence for Him manifested by our obedience to His instructions and commands.
Isaiah 6- in light of 1 Cor. 1-3 – Paul seemed to be accused dull I speech.
The purpose of Christian teaching of the divine attributes is not to show whether God exists but who God is… and what his distinctive character is- in order that Faith may have some idea of what to expect from God. We have a
Week three the character of god- holiness part 1
BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY
I Peter 1:16
The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy. Not that
he is merely holy, or even holy, holy. He is holy,
holy, holy. The Bible never says that God is love,
love, love, or mercy, mercy, mercy or wrath, wrath,
wrath, or justice, justice, justice, justice. It does say
that he is holy, holy, holy and the whole earth is
filled with this glory.
R. C. Sproul, The Holiness of God
•To Be holy is to be distinct, separate,
•From the root word- Qadosh- means to “cut”
•To Be holy is to be distinct, separate,
•From the root word- Qadosh- means to “cut”
•Uses for Holy
1. Referring to Priests- Exodus 19:6 , Numbers
1. Court of Tabernacle- Exodus 29:31
2. Chambers of Priests, holy of holies,
3. Earth- Isaiah 6:3
3. Divine Name (of Israel)- Is. 1:4
4. Separate from human infirmity, impurity- Josh 24:19
• “Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in
holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders? Exodus 15:11
• "There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no
Rock like our God. 1 Samuel 2:2
• Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord; or are there any works like Your
works. All nations whom You have made Shall come and worship before You, O
Lord, And shall glorify Your name. 10 For You are great, and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.
• see also Psalm 99:1-3; Isaiah 40:25; 57:15).
For God to be holy is for Him to be holy in relation to
every aspect of His nature and character.
“Every thought of God or prayer to God, properly understood, assumes
something about God’s attributes. “
- Thomas Oden