“Exalt the Lord our God
and worship at his holy mountain,
for the Lord our God is holy.”
~Psalm 99:9 (NIV).
The Lord reigns! Indeed...
I often find myself reflecting over my faults, sins and inadequacies—not in a condemning way, but in a way that I’m so thankful of God’s resplendent holiness. He so reliably and faithfully picks me up and cleans me off time and again and makes me holy in his Presence, through Jesus Christ, my personal Lord and Saviour.
I’m a sane man and I believe. I believe that this one and only living God is perfectly holy; that he is more than sufficient in his power and grace to provide for me and protect me against the “elements” of life.
God is just and responsive to all our needs. As we read those words, we probably thought, ‘Is he?’ I know I have. Shreds of doubt are okay. They’re normal. God knows it’s our nature to flail occasionally (or even often) in our faith. He forgives this.
But, it’s true—he avenges us and he even rescues us somewhat when we’ve made errors of judgment, though we’ll not be protected against the consequences. They’re there to be learned from. But, when we call upon the Lord—as Moses, Aaron and Samuel did—he answers us (verses 6b and 8a).
And almost certainly does he chase us, to love us back to him. He desires that we are made holy and clean and vibrantly new, through him normally via repentance, or alignment back to him. Only in that state can we truly approach anything close to temporary holiness—yet, it’s not through us at all, but through Jesus’ broken body and his shed blood on the cross of
There are hardly more serenely divine and regal psalms than this one, and for a genre—the Psalms—that is high praise indeed, but it is praise due this psalm.
Holy is the Lord—entirely perfect and faithful in every way. His character is faultlessly righteous and just—God rules this way; his equity, based entirely on ‘ethical norms,’ is the inward and intrinsic basis of perfect righteousness and justice.
Only the Lord is trustworthy. Only he is entirely to be trusted or wholly worthy, though in God, we can trust and propound his worth. His trust and worth—based centrally on the aspect of his holiness—are moral commodities we both enjoy and extend. We’re compelled in love.
Fortunate are those on the receiving end of the godly; the godly are ambassadors of holiness.
For this and many other things, let us indeed worship the Lord.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.
W. Graham Scroggie, A Guide to the Psalms – A Comprehensive Analysis of the Psalms (Vol. 2) (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 1978, 1995), pp. 293-97.