Saturday, June 10, 2006

Holy Holy Holy

I've been reading 'Cross Examined' by Mark Meynell this week. One of the three free books to come with my 'Preparing For Relay' pack (thankyou UCCF!), it's really good and vey helpful. Something i read yesterday struck me though.

In the year King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the LORD (Is 6), and he described Him as being exulted by the Seraphs with cries of 'holy, holy, holy.' In the Old Testament when an idea is being emphasised or it's totality expressed a word will be used twice. So in Genesis 14:10 the literal translation for 'full of pits' is 'pits pits', an idea we lose totally in the translation. But notice that the hebrew way of making something a superlative is to duplicate it, not to say it three times. So what of the refrain of 'holy, holy, holy'? God is so Holy that a 'super-' superlative has to be used to describe Him. Putting Him one level up the scale simply isn't good enough. God's Holiness is off the scale; He is 'holy holy holy', not holy holy.

God is not just the best sort of man. True, Jesus was the greatest human that ever lived, or will ever live, but to reduce God to being determined according to our scale simply will not do. God is not just the best Being that we can conceieve of, He is inconceievable in His goodness and holiness, and in every other way. He is off the scale...Holy Holy Holy.


Welshie said...

Yeah it's amazing isn't it.

I read a similar comment in 'Christ and his people' by David Peterson when we did Isaiah in cells all that time ago...was that your first year?!

Anyway made me just stop in my tracks! He quotes Motyer who says "God's holiness is in itself so far beyond human thought that a 'super-superlative' has to be invented to express it".


FloydTheBarber said...

Yep that was my first year...we are old!

thebluefish said...

Ah, those were the days...