God’s reason for love is given in 1 John 4:19: “We love Him because He first loved us.” Our love for God is based upon what He has done for us in Christ, and because He has poured out His Holy Spirit on us. But what is interesting about the command to love God is that it came before Christ. So what is it that should cause God to say, “Love Me”? What is it that should have caused there to be such awe of God?
I would like to suggest that there is something wonderful about God Himself, something so awesome and that it makes people long to see Him and yet makes those same people quake in fear when they get a glimpse. There is something about Yahweh that prompts people to love Him with all that they have and yet tremble in fear because of Him. There is something that we should value not just because there is punishment if we don’t, or that we should value it because we can use it. It is better than any gold, silver, or money. It is more precious than beauty because beauty receives its quality from this reality about God.
It is the holiness of God. Of course, when “holiness” is brought up some people cringe—even Christians cringe or at the very least hesitate when the idea of “holy” or “holiness” is applied to anything but the Holy Spirit. But the fact that we cringe or hesitate demonstrates that we have no idea what holiness really is. For if we truly understood God’s holiness we would not cringe; we would tremble in excitement and awe.
The constant cry “Holy Holy Holy” of the beings who are always in the presence of God should cause us to want to know what they know, to see what they see. This thing about God, this holiness that should fill these creatures with wonder is that thing that is supposed to grab hold of our hearts. It is what makes the love of Jesus so spectacular. It is what makes God’s adoption of us so astonishing and astounding.
Think of it! These exalted creatures that get to hover above God’s throne, that get to be in His presence night and day, don’t have something that we have. They cry, “Holy, holy, holy!” and the whole world shakes. If we saw what they see, if we were in His presence then we would shake and tremble and be like Isaiah the prophet who, when he stood in this holy presence, cried out, “Woe is me, for I am undone!” We would fall on our knees and implore the Lord even as Peter did, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” The holiness of God is so majestic, so beautiful, so awesome that because of our sins, we want God to go away. Because of our sin, we look with awe at the seraphim and think that is as close to God as any creature can get – but we are closer.
Today the awesome love of God lifts us up. He lifts us up, washes us clean by the blood of Christ, and fills us with His Spirit so that the seraphim look at us in amazement, and envy our place. While they circle the throne and cry out holy, we get to draw near. We get to cry holy too, but we get to approach closer and closer. We move past the ranks of angels, past lofty seas of ancient creatures, through the circling seraphim to the very throne of God. We come, not as mere creatures, but as sons and daughters. The one, who is so holy and awesome, we get to call, “Daddy”.
“And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor 6:18
Yahweh, I long to be close to you. Father, please come close to me and show me more of who you are. Help me to not drift away from you, but instead hold me close. Help me to see that the best way to draw near to you is through your Word, praying and being obedient to your calling. God, please direct me on how I can be intentional about drawing near to you. Thank you for being a God who wants a relationship with me, for being a God that wants me to be close and calls me Son. Thank you for being a God that can be known by a sinner like me. God, please come close. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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