Holy, holy, holy
By Janice Lewis
September 10, 2020
Passages of the day: Click HERE to read today’s passages.
2 Corinthians 11:16-33
At the beginning of this summer, a friend and I embarked on a study of the book of Revelation. (Revelation: G.K. Beale said the book of Revelation is, “The Bible’s battle cry of victory, for in it, more than anywhere else in the NT, is revealed the final victory of God over all the forces of evil.”)
No coincidence that when I was given the Isaiah scriptures to study for today’s devotional, I knew that the Lord wanted me to dig in! I was impressed that the words of the Lord given to Isaiah were very similar to those given to John in Revelation: ‘Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:2-3) ‘And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”’ (Rev. 4:8)
One commentator of Isaiah 6:2-3, notes that ‘four of the wings were for worship, and two were for working; indicating that when we prioritize worship over working, our work will be more fruitful. God is perfect, pure and righteous. God’s holiness, His separateness, is the centerpiece of His character. All of His other attributes flow from it. His wrath against sin, then, is a holy wrath. His sovereignty over the universe is a holy sovereignty. His love for the world is a holy love. If God is anything, He is holy.’
Holy- 1: exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness.
2: divine for the Lord our God is holy — Psalms 99:9 (King James Version)
Isaiah recognized his own unworthiness and felt like he was falling apart before a Holy God. That is exactly how I felt when I became convicted of my sin nature. The revelation that I had sinned not only against others, but against a Holy God, was overwhelming, and I was falling apart. Gratefully, the Lord opened His Word to me, and cleansed my heart with His word of forgiveness and removed my iniquities. Only the holiness of God could lift the weight of my guilt. Only the holiness of God could fill me with His Holy Spirit. Isaiah then heard the Lord ask: ‘Who should I send? Who will go for us? Isaiah said: Here I am. Send me.’ (v.8) In the same way as Samuel responded to the Lord (l Samuel 3:4,6,810); I am always touched and challenged by this tender response. My response to the Lord’s forgiveness was, “Help! How do I go from here? I do not know how to do this. How do I live a life worthy of You?” Holy, Holy, Holy And He said to me, “I will go with you, and send others to accompany you. I will show you the way.” That was 36 years ago- He did and He still does!
During the reign of Ahaz, the house of David was terrified because it became known that enemies of Judah were approaching. But the Lord tells Isaiah to reassure Ahaz by telling him to ‘Calm down and be quiet. Don’t be afraid or cowardly because of your enemy. (Isaiah 7:4) This is what the Lord God says: It will not happen; it will not occur……..If you do not stand firm in your faith, then you will not stand at all.’ (v. 7,9b)
We too have enemies on all sides: inside, outside, hiding in the shadows, hiding in our hearts. However, we can be confident that we have a God Who is able to deliver us from them all. He is the same God Who rescued His people from many harms, rescued me from my sin life and will rescue you, as you respond to the Lord’s prophecy in Isaiah 7:13-15; ‘Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. He will be eating curds and honey when He knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right……..’ The virgin did conceive and gave birth to our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. His name is Immanuel- God is with us. As I repented and surrendered my life to a holy God, I am confident that He is with me, now and forever.
For you have rescued me from my troubles
and helped me to triumph over my enemies.
— Psalm 54:7
Prayer to start with: Heavenly Father: You are Holy, You are my helper and You sustain my life. Continue to rescue me from the hand of my enemies: worry, fear, unbelief, distrust, lovelessness and discouragement. May I stand firm in my faith, so that I may overflow with joy, peace, and hope, by the power of Your Holy Spirit!