Bible Reading: Genesis 28:10-22, Exodus 3:1-6, Isaiah 6:1-8
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)
What is the response of the Christian graced with the mercy to behold God and His Holiness? If God gives us the mercy to realise we stand before a Holy God, may this be our response.
First, realising God’s Holiness, we ought to realise our depravity and sinfulness. We ought to realise the weight of God’s wrath we deserve and sink to our knees in humility.
When Jacob saw God his dream as he ran away from Isaac after usurping Esau’s blessing, Jacob “was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven” (Genesis 28:17)
Similarly, as Moses approached the burning bush, God revealed Himself and said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground” (Exodus 3:5). What did Moses do when he saw the Holiness and Glory of God? Moses hid his face and was afraid to look at God.
When Isaiah received a vision of the Lord in his heavenly throne, the angels chorused, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3). What did Isaiah do? He cried out, “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 6:5).
When men are graced with the opportunity to see the Lord for who he is, they will fear God because He is holy and men are sinners. Have we ever encountered God’s Holiness and been broken for our sin and rebellion against God?
Second, by God’s grace, the Christian will have revealed to them the loving mercy of God in Jesus Christ. They will realise the atonement and full sacrifice of Christ for all their sins, which are very serious before God.
Jacob wrestled with God again in Genesis 32:22-32 at Jabok. A mysterious man came in the night to literally wrestle with him. Jacob knew it was the Lord. At dawn broke, the man tried to leave, yet Jacob held on and asked for his blessing. Jacob knew that to see the face of the Holy meant immediate death for the sinner he was. Yet Jacob testified, “I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered” (Genesis 32:30).
Moses was only able to stand before God on the Holy ground because Jesus in the future had died and atoned for his sins. At another point in Moses’ life, he asked to see God’s glory. God agreed, yet God hid Moses behind the cleft of the rock, for surely Moses would die if he saw God’s face. Such rock pointed to Christ, who is the mediator that enables us to face the Holy God because our sins are forgiven.
For Isaiah, a seraph flew and took a burning coal and placed it on Isaiah’s lips, saying, “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:7). The coal points to Christ who atones the sin of his people with His blood that is accepted righteous before the Father.
Do we realise the sacrifice of Christ that has personally saved us? Do we comprehend the grace of God for us destined for the wrath of God? How glorious it is to be made right with God.
Third, God calls his men to return to Him and serve Him. Men graced by God obey their Master’s call.
Jacob surrendered after his dream and said, “If God will be with me and will keep me in the way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, than the LORD shall be my God” (Genesis 28:20-21). However, Jacob fully surrendered after He wrestled with God at Jabok. After that, he went to face Esau, though he knew it could cost him his life.
God called Moses to go to the Pharaoh in Egypt. Moses was afraid at first because he could not speak, and people sought his life there. However, Moses obeyed God’s call and became God’s servant to lead the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt.
To Isaiah, God said, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Isaiah’s response was prompt, “Here I am! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
What is our response to the Holy God? Have we surrendered our whole life to be God’s servant? His Holiness is glorious. His love is bountiful. What more must we give if not our all? May God’s grace and mercy be upon us all to give us this realisation and this change in our lives.
Lord, have mercy on me. Show me Your glory once again. This is a grace only You can give. And without this, Lord, I am doomed. I need You. Show Yourself to me and give me life. Win my heart to obedience and total surrender to You. Let my life enjoy You and glorify You in true reality. In Jesus' name, amen.