Holiness is a great surprise. One of the things you ought to do when you read that God is holy is exclaim, “whatever for?”
You see holiness is a subjective state, and to what would God possibly be subject?
Let me explain it this way, cows are regarded as “holy” in certain parts of India, I am told. But this is a misuse of the word (‘holy’, not ‘cows’ – it may be a misuse of the cows, but not of the word ‘cows’). Cows in England are much more holy than cows in India, because they exist for a singular purpose, that of serving man. But what is the purpose of the worshiped cows in India?
They are not holy cows, men in India are holy toward them. Religious sites are not Holy, men make themselves holy to them. And not very successfully I might add, because holiness is an utter devotion, or it is not holiness at all.
“Semantics,” you say? No, no (well yes, semantics but how vital semantics are – even ‘semantics’ is a misused word). If we are to understand what we read we must know what was meant – and when the bible describes God as ‘Holy’ that is exactly what is meant. God has made himself subject to some great purpose (it could not be to some great person, because there is none greater, by definition).
What could be so great that God himself would make Himself subject to it?
Most people have an idea of God as being singularly unholy. A kind of Universal Letherman. A panacea for the world, a fix all for every ailment. But holiness is a singular and sacred devotion, not a management of multiple purposes.
And so, many people say things like, “where was God when the Tsunami struck?” Some people get quite aggressive against God, others get quite philosophical. I heard a sermon recently by a priest in a Christian denomination (whatever that is) stating that he no longer preaches a personal God. God must be impersonal to have overlooked such a great tragedy as the Tsunami in South East Asia.
If only he had read, understood and believed that all along God says that He is Holy.
Could it possibly be that a Holy God would allow such a thing because He has a greater purpose? Could it be that even though God can do anything He’s not going to do just anything, because He’s Holy?
Is it possible that God has a purpose (unlike the cows in India)?
I think so, it is certainly written all over the bible.
But I’m not going to tell you what I think it is… not yet anyway.
I’d like to hear your opinion.
What is the purpose of God, to what has God made Himself Holy?