Holy (Song of the Ages)

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Holy (Song of the Ages)

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” [a] Isaiah 6:3b

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,     who was and is and is to come!” Revelation 4:8b

you [a]  will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ Exodus 19:6a

but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,   since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16

Holy, as you may know,’ is used to describe something separated from the regular for sacred purposes. For example, In Genesis chapter 2, God made the seventh day of creation “holy,” or set apart from the other days. The holiness of God is something that has attracted humanity since the beginning of history. 

When we recognize God as holy, we recognize the greatness of God.  When we recognize God as holy, we recognize our own fallibility.  When we recognize God as holy, we have no choice but to praise him. 

In Luke 19, Jesus’ earthly ministry is drawing to a close. A week before his crucifixion, he made his way to Jerusalem, knowing the rejection he would face. His disciples began worshipping him, and the Pharisees were upset. They demanded Jesus rebuke them for blasphemy, but Jesus responded by saying this:

He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (Luke 19:40)

Why would the stones cry out? Because the holiness of God demands praise. Jesus is proclaiming that he is one with the creator of the universe, and creation was designed to give him praise. Psalm 96 says this:

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;     let the sea roar, and all that fills it;      let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy (Ps 96:11-12)

All of the earth was created with the intent of praising God because He is the standard of holiness, the perfect creator, humble savior, and glorious redeemer. So, Jesus’ response to the Pharisees is valid. If the disciples hadn’t given their worship to Jesus, creation would have because the only response to God’s perfect holiness is praise.
However, the stones did not cry out that day. The disciples did. These people had witnessed Jesus do incredible things. They had seen the sick healed, the masses fed, the dead raised, and the sinner forgiven. When Jesus came into Jerusalem, they could not be quiet because they knew holiness was in their presence.

Undoubtedly, these men had gone through trials before this point. The gospel of John tells us that there was already a bounty on Jesus’ head. These disciples were in present danger because they were claiming that Jesus is God in front of the Pharisees, -these Pharisees whose authority could end their life. 

However, they were not thinking about the troubles in their future or even their present. Instead, these disciples remembered all they had seen Jesus do and praised him for it. Jesus was different. Jesus was set apart. He was holy.

In our own lives, we come to the altar with a lot of baggage. Troublesome events of our past can weigh us down, and current events can distract us from what’s right in front of us. As a result, we can focus so much on our own shortcomings that we forget the perfection of God. 

The very God that created you can bear your burdens. He sees your shortcomings, and he offers you grace. He suffered a torturous death and then resurrected for your eternal life. You, too, have seen God do incredible things in your life; you have seen how God’s ways are holy and different from the world, and they are different from ours. We can only respond to his holiness by giving him praise, precisely what we are designed to do as His creation. 

So, join in with the rest of creation and offer praise to the holy creator of the universe. The God who created you, and who saved you, is worthy of all praise. Don’t stop singing of His holiness because only He is worthy!

“I won't stop singing. I won't stop singing These lungs were made to sing Your praise All of heaven's roaring, and the earth is resounding As all creation sings Your praise.”