October 6, 2018
READ: Isaiah 57:3-19
The Holy One says this: “I live in the high and holy place” (v.15).
The Grand Teton Mountains in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, offer one of the most spectacular views in all of America. Geologists believe the mountains there might have formed as a result of several earthquakes along a fault line. They believe earthquakes caused the land to drop on one side of the fault but move upward on the other side. Looking up from the lower side provides a unique and magnificent view where no foothills block the sight of the mountains.
God gave the Israelites a clear view of His majesty through the prophet Isaiah. He described Himself as “the high and lofty one”—the Holy One who lived in “the high and holy place” (Isaiah 57:15). This picture of God’s utter perfection was designed to show His people that He was greater than the idols they were passionately pursuing (vv.5-10). Sadly, their devotion to God was often outweighed by their devotion to powerless idols, which couldn’t even stand against a “puff of wind” (v.13).
Although God’s holiness meant He was far above His people and the little gods they adored, it didn’t prevent Him from showing mercy to those who renounced their misplaced worship. He told them, “I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts” (v.15). Despite their past sin, God wanted to forgive His people and be close to them again.
C. S. Lewis said, “[God] will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him, and come to Him because there is ‘nothing better’ now to be had.” A glimpse of God’s holiness shows us that there truly is nothing better to be had. Today, may we accept His mercy and “worship the Lord in the splendour of His holiness” (Psalm 29:2).
365-day plan: Acts 1:12-26
Read 1 Corinthians 1:2 and consider how it’s possible for God to consider believers in Jesus to be holy.
Is God’s holiness more likely to inspire or intimidate you? Why is the image of a holy God who’s willing to help us important as we consider God’s character?