His old professor looked him in the face and asked the Rev. Yorrie Richards, " Are you holy, Yorrie?" To be holy is to be broken, repenting, and walking in the light. It means to prefer to honor God than to honor ourselves, and to have words and thoughts and attitudes from him. If we have ever met God, then we have been traumatized by him. In other words, we have seen that he is holy and we are not by nature holy at all. That was the reaction of everyone in the Old and New Testament who ever met with God, and in fact it has been the experience of everyone throughout history who ever met with the living God.
God is not a monster- he just seems that way when we make excuses for our sins. Sins always harm us, and God is no more a threat to our well being than a parent who yanks a child out of the street to save him from a speeding car. The child may whine and consider the parent unfair and uncaring, but only if the child is very immature and blind to the danger he was delivered from.
The prophet Isaiah said in Is 6.1 In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. The seraph angels attended him. Is 6.3 And one called to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory. I thought of that earlier this morning as I was walking my dogs and saw the beautiful mountains and hemlock and other trees, all created by God for our enjoyment. But what was the reaction of this highly educated prophet of the court, with great status, and considered the Shakespeare of the Old Testament because of his grasp of the Hebrew language? He records his trauma in Is 6.5 "Woe is me. I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips." He was convicted of his sins, and repented. The purity or holiness of God is so far above even the best of us, that if we ever meet God we have awe, and are stunned by his glory and perfection.
The Rev. Yorrie Richards received a call from the pastor of his church, and all he said was to come quickly to the church. Then he hung up. Yorrie wondered if it was a break in or some other emergency. But he went as soon as possible. When he opened the door of the church and peered in, he saw his pastor prone on the floor, with a cloud above him. He joined him on the floor, and felt contaminated. He had been trying to walk with God, but once in his presence he realized how far he was from union with God, or true holiness.
As a social worker at a hospital in Wise, Virginia, it was my job to visit the patients and to either help them with insurance or counseling or to arrange for it. One patient I visited was dying of cancer. He was about 80 years old, and his name was the Rev. John McReynolds. I was not looking for God, nor was I open to talk about God.He tried once or twice but saw I was bored and respected my desire. The BIble says we are not to cast pearls before swine, and I was pretty much swine at that time. But the presence of the Holy Spirit filled that room. Unlike Yorrie, I was not trying to walk with God and I knew I was contaminated with much sin, so the Holy Spirit wooed my gently, and the great love of God was what I needed to experience at that particular time. Also unlike Yorrie, I was not open to walk with God at that time either.
John, however, was trying to walk with God. He was exiled to the isle of Patmos because he walked with God and preached the gospel. Even this relatively holy man was traumatized when he really came into the presence of God . In Revelation 1.17 John writes, "When I saw him, i fell at his feet as though dead." He later wrote in Rev 4.8 "Holy, Holy, Holy, the Lord God Almighty." God is never called loving or all powerful or just for three times in a row, but holy. We must also be holy in order to walk with him. God looks at each of us and he asks, " Are you holy?"
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon