“And they were calling to one another; “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is filled with His glory.”
Author and Pastor R.C. Sproul made an interesting insight when he began to contemplate God’s Holiness:
“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. It does say that He is holy, holy, holy the earth is filled with His glory.”
What does it mean to be holy? One definition states that it is to be distinct, separate, and in a class by oneself. It is to be unique without rival or competition. This aspect of holiness is emphasized for us in Exodus 20:1-7 as God dictates to Moses the first three commandments: You shall have no other gods before me; You shall not worship any graven images or likenesses, and You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain.
He described Himself through the Prophet Isaiah this way:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God establishes Himself, through these passages, as being unlike any other entity. He is above all things in form, in thought, and in existence. This is not to communicate to us an heir of loftiness, but rather to give us proper perspective. Throughout the Scriptures those who considered God’s holiness came away with a very similar perspective:
Moses and Miriam wrote in Exodus 15:11:
“Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?
The Prophet Samuel’s mother, Hannah, concluded in 1 Samuel 2:2:
“There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.”
King David declared in Psalm 86:8-10:
“Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.”
Each of these individuals did not see God as lofty and high-minded, rather their encounters with God helped them to understand their relationship to Him! It drove them towards humility and reverence.