Holier Than Thou: A 5-Day Plan on God's Holiness

Day 4 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

DAY 4: Set Apart for Holiness


To say that God is holy, holy, holy is to say that God is most holy. He is totally holy. Completely holy. Unwaveringly holy. Utterly holy. If you’re in need of more words to describe the emphatic nature of God’s holiness, the thesaurus offers up these in addition to the word “most”: greater, highest, utmost, uttermost. So then, God’s holiness is great. The highest holy. He is holy to the uttermost. 


The Lord is holy beyond comparison for his holiness is not a derivative of some other source. His holiness is intrinsic to His nature as God. It’s as essential to Him as creaturely dependence is to us. Of all the songs to sing to one another, of all the divine attributes worth praising God for, Isaiah saw the Seraphim make melody around the supreme holiness of God.


Like trees, words have roots. Dig underneath the letters’ soil and you’ll discover its definition. The root word of “holy” means “to cut” or “to separate.” When applied to everything outside of God, whatever is holy is whatever is set apart unto and for God. 


For example, God sanctified the Sabbath day, setting it apart from all other days as one in which His people where to rest in Him. That’s why the Sabbath is called holy throughout the Old Testament. God separated it; He set it apart. In another example, the ground on which Moses stood was called holy not because the dirt was divine but because the presence of the holy One sanctified it, setting it apart from all other ground (Ex. 3:5).


So to say of God that He is holy is to identify His position as a being that is set apart. From what or who is God separated from though? Holy people and things are holy only if they are separated unto God but who is God set apart from? The answer is simple. 


God is unique, different, other, and distinct from everything that exists.