Holy is His Name

Text: Psalm 99

I.         Near the end of his life Joshua told the people of Israel - Joshua 24:14-24

            A.        After their declaration to serve God, it seems strange for Joshua to tell them that they are unable to serve because He is holy.

            B.        What is it about holiness that makes God so difficult to serve?

                        1.         Technically, the word “holy” means something or someone dedicated to service of a god.

                                    a.         In the ancient world of idolatry, righteousness was not considered a part of holiness.

                                    b.         People who served as temple prostitutes were called “holy women” or “holy men” - Genesis 38:21; I Kings 14:24

                        2.         But the Bible uses it differently.

                                    a.         God is not dedicated to Himself, yet God is Holy - Isaiah 57:15

                                    b.         We are commanded to be holy because God is Holy - I Peter 1:16

                                    c.         Holiness does involved being dedicated to God - Deuteronomy 7:6

                                    d.         Holiness is also placing something as special. Being above or beyond anything else - Deuteronomy 26:19

                                    e.         But the Israelites were also told to be holy by their obedience - Deuteronomy 28:9

                                    f.         In other words, righteous action produced holiness in people.

                        3.         Perhaps holiness can be better grasped by looking at the word with the opposite meaning: “profane” - Leviticus 10:10

                                    a.         Profane means to pollute or treat something as common.

                                    b.         God strongly told Israel not to profane his name - Leviticus 22:32

                                                (1)       Joshua warned the people repeatedly not to serve other gods.

                                                            (a)       To do so, would be to treat God just like any other god.

                                                            (b)       The lack of distinction means He is common place in the worshipers’ eyes

                                                (2)       Such can be caused by breaking God’s laws - Proverbs 30:9

                                                            (a)       We break rules all the time. Just ask your parents or teachers

                                                            (b)       Do we put God on the level of men, whose rules we willingly ignore? - Numbers 15:39-40

                                                (3)       By not making a distinction - Ezekiel 22:26

II.        God is above all else

            A.        “Holy, holy, holy” - Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8

                        1.         By repeating the term three times, it is placing emphasis on an emphasis

                        2.         It is saying God is infinitely holy

            B.        To be feared above all gods - I Chronicles 16:25; Psalm 95:3; 96:4

            C.        A name above all others - Nehemiah 9:5

            D.        Above all else - Psalm 89:7; 97:9; John 3:31

III.       God is unique

            A.        Who is like Him? - Exodus 15:11

            B.        There is nothing like God in ability - Isaiah 40:25-26

            C.        There is no God who can perform - I Kings 8:23

            D.        No one is holy like God - I Samuel 2:2

IV.      God is righteous

            A.        God is light (righteousness) - I John 1:5

                        1.         No variation or shadow - James 1:17

                        2.         So bright that His light illuminates light - Psalm 36:9

                        3.         The light of the world - John 8:12

                        4.         No need for the sun - Revelation 21:23; 22:5

                        5.         God dwells in inapproachable light - I Timothy 6:16

            B.        God is hallowed in righteousness - Isaiah 5:16

                        1.         Revelation 15:4 - God’s righteous acts declare that He alone is holy

V.        Treating God as holy

            A.        Moses was told to take off his shoes - Exodus 3:5

                        1.         As also Joshua - Joshua 5:15

                        2.         Have you ever been in a house that had new carpeting put in? What is asked of you? “Take off you shoes!” They don’t want that new carpeting made to look like ordinary carpeting. It’s something special. It’s new!

                        3.         God doesn’t want to be approach like anyone else. When He is present everything around him is holy. You don’t walk on holy things with dirty shoes.

            B.        You can’t approach God casually without making Him common - Leviticus 11:44-45

            C.        A distinction must be made - Leviticus 20:25-26; Ezekiel 44:23

                        1.         Not give the holy to dogs - Matthew 7:6

            D.        The works of man’s hands cannot give respect to God - Isaiah 17:7-8

            E.        Holy in our conduct - I Peter 1:14-16

                        1.         Keeping the temple where God is present holy - I Corinthians 3:17; 6:19

                        2.         Not twisting God’s decrees - Isaiah 5:19-24