The second part in my series going through RC Sproul’s book, “The Holiness of God.”
Chapter two, Holy, Holy, Holy.
I’ve read about God’s holiness. I’ve studied it. It’s been a blessing to me, and none more so than reading this chapter, and the book so far. I know that’s a large claim, considering I’ve only gone through two chapters thus far, but it is in fact true. The chapter focuses on Isaiah’s call in chapter 6 verses 1–8 of the book bearing his name. I’ve read it numerous times, I know it well. I’m even aware of John’s use of it in his gospel chapter 12:37–41 (more on that later). Sproul’s use of words, hyperbole, and imagery are utilized so well in the opening, and throughout this chapter, that he frames Isaiah’s ‘undoneness’ at being in the presence of this, the thrice Holy God.
He starts by describing Isaiah’s character or his integrity, then moving towards what the tripartite Holy has to mean in describing the angelic creatures’ song while in the presence of Yahweh the Almighty. It paints a vivid picture I must say, and I was again, as always with a good study of the topic at hand, taken aback and brought to sheer awe and amazement at John’s utilization of the passage in John 12 and using it of Jesus. Sproul’s contrasting the story of Humpty Dumpty and the inability of the king’s cohorts to put him together again or integrate him, with Isaiah’s becoming “undone” and because of the mediator’s placing the coal of refining fire from the Holy God to Isaiah’s mouth gives Isaiah completeness. In fact a better integrity than he had before, so as to respond to the question posed by Yahweh to his council, “Who shall I send, and who will go for us?” May all Christians, dear Lord, called by your name respond in kind with Isaiah with every full rejoicing, exclaim, “Here am I! Send me!” Amen, Amen, Amen.
Onto the questions…
- Have you ever had an experience in which you were overcome by God’s presence, in which you were “undone” by God’s presence?
I would have to say the nearest experience that comes to mind is while I am doing my Greek studying. Reading the NT in it’s original language and understanding something like the prologue to the Gospel of John is mesmerizing and I can’t comprehend how God would be so gracious.
- Isaiah’s response to God’s revelation of His holiness was, “Woe is me.” What is your response?
Utterly stupefying. I feel like mumbling as a small child does amidst so many adults talking about politics. Or someone unlearned amidst many theologians talking theology. I’m unworthy to even read such words, let alone be in the location of God’s perfect holiness. And yet, I as a believer in Christ, am promised that very thing for all eternity. Glory be to our great God!
- In what ways do you need to be refined by the fire of God’s holiness?
There are too many to count as of right now and it would make this a book as apposed to a few sentences or a paragraph. So I’ll just say, patience, endurance, and knowledge that begets wisdom.
- What aspect of God’s holiness, as described in this chapter, causes you to worship Him more fully?
The transcendent nature of Himself that cause the Seraphim to hide themselves with heir wings and then when He speaks to cease their day and night utterance of, “Holy, Holy, Holy…”
- Use the hymn at the end of this book to express your worship to God. Here is the chorus, “‘Holy, Holy, Holy’, cried the seraph throng, ‘Glory to the Holy One’, is the angel’s song.”