Welcome to my blog! I hope to be a resource to help you in your walk with God. Now more than ever we need to get back to the basic fundamentals of moral living and take a stand for what is right and truthful with God as our ultimate authority. His Word is reliable and preserved and can be trusted, so that is the basis for my advice and teaching. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or topics you would like me to cover. I look forward to sharing what God has placed on my heart. See my website at http://www.dawnfoss.tateauthor.com and http://www.dawnfoss.com/ for books and music I have written that will enrich your life!

Ezekiel 22:30: "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." Let's stand in the gap together!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The holiness of God - #2 of 6

The second part of a 6-part series by Dr. R.C. Sproul on the holiness of God is summarized below, notes I took as I listened to it.  It's called, "The Trauma of Holiness."  The text is Isaiah 6.  I encourage you, however, to listen to the link. These links that I have been posting are roughly a half hour, and so worth it to watch.  Dr. R.C. Sproul articulates Scripture so well, with a true reverence and passion that really touches my heart.  He is a teacher that breaks things down to make things easy to grasp.  http://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/holiness_of_god/the-trauma-of-holiness/?

#2 - Trauma of holiness

The holiness of God is traumatic to unholy people.  What happened to Isaiah in response to what he saw, when his eyes beheld the glory of God? John Calvin said: “Hence that dread and terror by which holy men of old trembled before God, as Scripture uniformly relates.” There is a pattern to human responses to the presence of God in the Scripture. The more righteous the person, the more he trembles when he enters the presence of God. 

Habakkuk’s complaint: he saw all the degradation and injustices in his homeland, and was so offended, that he complained against God in his watchtower and he wondered how He could stand seeing all this come to pass.  He waited up there until God answered his questions.  “My lips quivered, my belly trembled, and rottenness entered into my bone” he said when God did finally make His presence known.   

Job said when God spoke with him, “I abhor myself, I repent in dust and ashes, I spoke but will speak no more, I will put my hand over my mouth.” Any human exposed to the holiness of God trembles in His presence.  There was probably no human more righteous in those days as Isaiah.  He has a glimpse of the holiness of God, and the first thing he does is cry out in terror, “Woe is me! For I am undone.”  “Woe” is the opposite of “blessed.”  Woe is a grim and terrifying announcement of God’s judgment.  

The prophet Amos announced judgment by saying “Woe unto you.”  Jesus prefaced his words of judgment to the Pharisees by saying “Woe unto you.”  How rare in Scripture is anything brought up to the superlative (3rd degree), such as “holy, holy, holy.”  Jeremiah mentioned people saying “the temple of the Lord” three times, but this again is rare.  “Woe, woe, woe” is said when the angel flies over the earth with judgment.  That is something you do not want to be around for.  

Isaiah was one called of God and set apart, and the words of God are placed in his mouth, and the first oracle he pronounces is an oracle of doom upon himself. “Woe is me!”  For the first time in his life he understands who God is, and then for the first time he realizes who he (Isaiah) was – like a primordial scream where he curses himself. "I am undone!"  Psychological disintegration.  If healthy, they are whole. If unhealthy, they are falling apart.  Virtue of integrity – everything meshed together in a coherent and consistent way.  This man with the most integrity comes apart when he gets a glimpse of the character of God. 

We veil ourselves from the true character of God, as our natural inclination is to hide ourselves from Him (note: started in the garden of Eden after Adam and Eve sinned).  We know instinctively that His presence exposes everything that is unholy.  We justify all our sins; we are masters of self deceit.  Human nature: when asked, “are you perfect?”, 99/100 people would say, no I’m not perfect.  Nobody’s perfect!  To err is human!  But it doesn’t seem to bother us at all.  We don’t realize the seriousness of not being perfect.  We won’t be judged on a curve, but by the standard of God’s perfection.  We judge ourselves by each other, which is not wise.  We can always find someone more depraved than we are!  That is until we see the standard – pure holiness, then we realize we are undone.  

Isaiah said, "I am a man of unclean lips, and live among people of unclean lips." In other words, "I have a dirty mouth!"  One day every human being will be called before the holy Creator of heaven and earth. Every idle word we have ever spoken will be brought in to judgment.  Not what goes into a man’s mouth defiles him, but what comes out. We lie, we hurt others, we blaspheme God. We have dirty mouths! His hand went instinctively to his mouth when He saw the holiness of God.  What did God do?  Did He comfort him, and try to get him to stop carrying on like this? Or did He desire him to suffer and call him a miserable creep, and be mean about it?  He also didn’t say a word about cheap grace to Isaiah.  He didn’t say to sign a membership card or raise his hand and he can come in to his kingdom. No. He had the angel take a hot coal with tongs and place it on his lips.  Lips are hypersensitive! Hot coal on his lips would result in a huge blister, flesh sizzling.  Cruel punishment? No. The coal was applied to cauterize his lips, to purify him, to heal him, to prepare them for the message that he was to give. "Your guilt is taken away and sin atoned for. All your guilt is taken away.  I have forgiven you and cleansing you this moment and forever."

What would you give to hear Jesus say that to you?  God said that to Isaiah.  Then God said, "Who shall I send and who shall go for us?"  Isaiah says, “Here am I, send me.”  Not “here I am.” That would be telling God his geographical location.   No, “Here am I” – the price of repentance is painful, honest before God, painful to come into God’s presence, but when humble, God is ready to forgive, cleanse, and send. 

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