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By Pastor Glenn Pease
Everett Fullam was in Libera in 1969 when the two Americans, Armstrong and Aldin walked on the moon.
He told the Gheo tribe chief this was happening, and the old man looked up to the moon and said, "There's nobody up there."
He sounded angry and added, "Besides, that is not big enough for two people to stand on."
He had no conception of the size of the moon.
The result is, he could not feel the awe of those who knew the wonder of what was taking place.
If you have a small view of reality, you will have a small view of the God who created it.
That is why the Psalms are so full of the marvel and wonder of creation.
The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork.
David gazes into the vast wonder of the universe and asks, "What is puny man that you are mindful of him?
The more you grasp the magnitude of creation, the more you will gasp at the majesty of the God who made it.
Astronomy is one of the greatest aids to worship, and when we study it in the Bible we will see why it is that most astronomers are people who believe in God.
Awe is an aid to faith.
It is hard for an astronomer to think small and believe something so vast and orderly can be an accident with no mind behind it.
This Psalm we are looking at doesn't even soar into space.
It stops earth bound, and still it deals with a God who is truly awesome.
He is awesome, not because of His creation and what He has done, but because of His character, and what He is.
He is, says David in this unique song, Holy, Holy, Holy.
This is called the Holy, Holy, Holy Psalm because God's Holiness is the chorus that concludes each of the three divisions of this Psalm.
Verse 3 ends, He is holy.
Verse 5 ends, He is holy.
Verse 9 ends, our God is holy.
This is the only Psalm where God is called holy three times.
Keil & Delitzch, the great Old Testament scholars, call it Song And Praise Of The Thrice Holy One.
There is no other attribute of God that is used like His holiness.
6:3 the Seraphs around the throne of God call out, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty."
In Rev. 4:8 the Living Creatures never stop saying these words around the throne of God: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty."
In both the Old and the New Testaments we have this triune chant.
God is love, but you never find it anywhere as a chant like-love, love, love is the Lord God Almighty.
God is light, but no where is there such a song as-light, light, light is the Lord God Almighty.
You will look in vain to find any other of the attributes of God used in this triune way.
God is an awesome God, and nothing makes this more clear than His holiness.
Many of you have seen the movie Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
You saw in the conclusion a marvelous manifestation of the holiness of God.
When the German soldiers dared to open the ark of the Lord-that ark that sat in the holy of holies for centuries, and where no man but the high priest dared enter but once a year-the light of God's awesome presence came out of that ark and melted them like a laser beam would melt and ice cream cone.
Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty would have been an appropriate song to sing after that film.
God's holiness means He is separated from all He has made.
He is elevated above all that is finite and imperfect.
He is in a different category of reality, and unless He wills it not to happen, anything or anyone that comes into His presence will be disintegrated, for anything that is not holy cannot exist in the presence of His holiness.
God is a consuming fire, and your chances of getting to the center of the sun are greater than getting into the literal presence of the holiness of God.
12:14 says, "Without holiness no one will see the Lord."
That is why you will find words like tremble and shake in the context of dealing with the holiness of God.
This Psalm has many good points.
I came up with a great outline for a six point sermon:
The Affirmation of His Reign.
2. The Adoration of His Fame.
3. The Accomplishment of His Aim.
4. The Authenticity of His Claim.
The Authority of His Blame.
But I am going to take just one point for our focus, and that is:
THE AWESOMENESS OF HIS NAME.
The name of God stands for who He is, that is, His character.
It is awesome because God is holy.
That is the essence of this song, and our grasp of this is a key factor in our worship of God.
The more we can grasp the holiness of God, the more we can worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Everything God is, is holy.
His love is holy; His power is holy; His mercy is holy, and His justice is holy.
We could go on and on, for His Spirit is the Holy Spirit.
There is nothing about God that is not holy, which means totally transcendent and above all else in the quality of His being.
Because the holiness of God is so different, it is mysterious and almost impossible to explain.
It is more easily conveyed to the emotions than to the intellect.
We all know to some degree what it is to be afraid of the mysterious.
I remember the radio program that was popular when I was a kid.
It was called Inner Sanctum.
I loved to listen as that squeaky door would open and set the atmosphere for a scary story.
Inner Sanctum means within the holy.
The holy and scary are linked, for man is fearful of the holy.
It deals with dreadful and awful things that are beyond the control of his mind and body, for the holy is supernatural.
We are pulled toward the holy like a magnet drawing us and attracting our soul, but at the same time we are repulsed by it, and we tremble and shake in fear.
The holy is a paradox, for we love it and fear it at the same time.
Kids love to gather around the campfire and tell ghost stories, and yet they shiver and scream and have nightmares because of them.
This love-hate feeling about the holy is just what we see in the Bible.
Rudolf Otto, who wrote the most famous book on the subject, The Idea Of The Holy back in the 1950's wrote this:
"The feeling of it may at times come sweeping like
a gentle tide, pervading the mind with a tranquil
mood of deepest worship.
It may pass over into
a more set and lasting attitude of the soul, continuing,
as it were, thrillingly vibrant and resonant, until at
last it dies away and the soul resumes its profane,
non-religious mood of everyday experience.
burst in sudden eruption up from the depths of the
soul with spasms and convulsions, or lead to the
strangest excitements, to intoxicated frenzy, to
transport and to ecstasy.
It has its wild and demonic
forms and can sink to an almost grizzly horror and
It has it crude barbaric antecedents and
early manifestations, and again it may be developed
into something beautiful and pure and glorious.
may become the hushed, trembling, and speechless
humility of the creature in the presence of-whom or
In the presence of that which is a mystery
inexpressible and above all creatures."
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