After a long hiatus from writing anything at this blog, I return today with an exhibit of contrasts on the reverencing of God.
Many of you are by now aware of the professional football player who, after dropping a game-losing pass, proceeded to post the following message on his Twitter account shortly after the game ended:
I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…
Let those words echo slowly for a moment:
“THIS IS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!!…ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!”
That is breathtaking irreverence.
As I read that, I can only think of one scene: the seraphim in Isaiah 6 who, in the immediate presence of the God who is so utterly holy that they are compelled to cover their faces and feet with their wings, and the pillars of the doors that have the good sense to tremble at the voice of God.
Read the scene and be moved by it (Isaiah 6:1–5):
I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 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!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
Isaiah was nearly crushed under the awesome sense of the greatness of God’s glory and holiness. He felt what today is not much felt: a deep sense of reverence for God. Fear of the Lord. The knowledge and the reverence that God is holy, holy, holy, and that we are not.
When you possess a true sense of the weight of God’s holiness, the fearful transcendence of his being, reading that athlete’s words to God are jaw-dropping. Such stunning contempt for the Lord of glory by a man of dust would make even the seraphim tremble.
Now, compare that disturbingly unworthy attitude about God’s holiness with a conversation overheard this week by one of the moms in our church:
Mom, is it bad to say ‘holy cow’?
They talked amongst themselves and I listened.
Who is Holy?
God is holy.
Is anyone or anything else holy?
Are cows holy then?
Should we joke about things being holy, if that is something that sets God apart?
That’s the fear of the Lord in the heart of a child. The kind of reverence for the Lord of Heaven and Earth that knows that men should never think of him or talk of him or talk to him as if he were anything other than holy, holy, holy.