And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” —Isaiah 6:3
“Only once in sacred Scripture is an attribute of God elevated to the third degree. Only once is a characteristic of God mentioned three times in succession. 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 that the whole earth is full of His glory.” –The Holiness of God, RC Sproul
A couple of weeks ago I listened to a talk given by Bob Kauflin at New Attitude 2006 called, “Reconsidering Worship.” It was very good and offered this definition of worship (although he was quick to add that one weakness of definitions is that they are limiting), “Biblical worship is the response of God’s redeemed people to his self revelation that exalts God’s glory in Christ; in our minds, affections and wills in the the power of the Holy Spirit.” The message was encouraging and I was reminded that worship is not simply the songs we sing before we settle in to hear the sermon, but that with every single breath we take we are worshipping something and that only God is worthy of our worship. The main thing that struck me about this particular talk was when he started talking about the Bible and worship. He said that so many times we glide through the parts we like and are easy to understand and skip through the other parts; in other words we read selectively, we read what makes us feel good. But if God has revealed himself to us primarily through scripture we miss out on so much when we do this. He used the example of a letter from a friend. We wouldn’t skip through some parts of a long letter from a friend who lived far away, but would read every word and try to glean as much as we could from it. This is how we should read the Bible. Immediately I realized that this is what I’ve been doing lately, I’ve been reading the texts that I like and that I think will be most beneficial for my soul at a particular time. It was then that I decided to start reading the Bible from the beginning with the mission of knowing the character of God better and learning the fear of the Lord. God has blessed me so richly in this endeavor. As I pray for wisdom and understanding God continues to graciously give me these things in order to know him better, increase my joy in him and glorify himself. I am thankful. I am almost through Genesis and can’t help but wonder at God’s unending faithfulness and mercy. And overarching that is his holiness. I am coming to see that his holiness is not one of many attributes, but everything about him is holy — his mercy is holy and his faithfulness is a holy faithfulness, etc.