God is Holy

God is holy.

But what does that mean exactly? So often I read the word “holy” and think it synonymous to “good”, but I know it means more than that.

The word “holy” in the Bible reveals elements of God’s character. It means pure, above all, and unlike any other. We can only fully grasp how great God is, and how amazing His sacrifice was for us, when we understand this. So, let’s dive right in!

God is pure

God is pure is actually an understatement. He’s more than good; He’s the standard of perfection. Everything that conflicts with His character is inherently evil. Though toleration is touted as the highest virtue in today’s society, God’s pure character prevents Him from tolerating evil in His kingdom.

He’s a just God because He’s a pure God.

The Lord is righteous in her midst, He will do no unrighteousness. Every morning He brings His justice to light.

Zephaniah 3:6

I was taught early in my childhood that God can do anything. There is no such thing as impossible. Interestingly enough, however, there is one thing that God can’t do. He can’t contradict Himself (correct me if I’m wrong). God’s purity and justice prevent Him from sinning against Himself. James 1 says that “God cannot be tempted with evil”, and Hebrews says it’s “impossible for God to lie”.

God is holy, so He is pure.

God is above all

God is the greatest being in existence. He is the creator of all, and because of that He is inherently above all. The created cannot be greater than the creator.

Remember the fall? When Adam and Eve were tempted in the Garden of Eden, Satan told them that if they ate from the tree their eyes would be opened, and they would be like God, knowing good and evil. Their desire to be “like God” was inconsistent with God’s nature. It was a sin.

For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.

Psalm 135:5

The Lord is above all, so we should naturally respond by admiring and praising Him.

God is above all, so He is holy.

God is unlike any other

There is no one like our God! That alone is a reason to shout His praise. He is unique, and nothing can compare to Him.

When God calls Israel “holy” in the Bible, he means “set apart” for Him. Israel is God’s chosen nation, different from all the others. In the same way, God is different from all other gods. He is true. He is real.

I will not execute my burning anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.

Hosea 11:9

In fact, the Hebrew word for holy can be translated directly to “set apart”. God is anything but common.

God is unlike any other, so He is holy.

 

There is so much packed into the one simple word “holy”. Sure, the dictionary definition of the word may not include everything in this article, but I’m sure when the Israelites heard it they understood it reflects elements of God’s character no one word can contain. Every aspect of who God is should cause us to respond in pure awe and worship. Our God is a great God!

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