The Holiness of God Revealed.
“Give the people of Sidon this message from the Sovereign Lord: “I am your enemy, O Sidon, and I will reveal my glory by what I do to you. When I bring judgment against you and reveal my holiness among you, everyone watching will know that I am the Lord.” – Ezekiel 28:22 NLT
We tend to struggle with a lot of the imagery and words used in a book like Ezekiel. In it, we get a glimpse of God that tends to make us a little bit uncomfortable. He appears angry, vindictive, violent, using His power like a neighborhood bully. After a steady diet of the more attractive version of God we seem to get in the New Testament, this image of God can come across as a bit overwhelming and difficult to reconcile with the loving, forgiving, merciful and grace-giving God we have come to know and love. But in the book of Ezekiel we are given a complete and holistic view of God. Yes, He is at time angry and wrathful. Yet He is patient and forgiving. He punishes, but He also protects. He destroys, but He also restores. And in each and every case, all that He does is so that the world might know that He alone is God. Every action God takes is aimed at revealing who He is. He is constantly displaying His power. But He is also revealing His holiness. He makes this clear in His message to the Sidonians: “Give the people of Sidon this message from the Sovereign Lord: “I am your enemy, O Sidon, and I will reveal my glory by what I do to you. When I bring judgment against you and reveal my holiness among you, everyone watching will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 28:22 NLT). God’s judgment of the people of Sidon and His destruction of them would reveal His holiness. How? In its simplest form, God’s holiness refers to His set-apartness, His uniqueness. He alone is God. There is no one or nothing else like Him. He is distinct and unmatched in all His attributes. He is not a God among gods. He is the ONLY God. And when God acts against evil and punishes sin, He is revealing His distinctive nature. He is proving His holiness. Yet God also reveals His holiness through His kindness. In the same chapter, God says, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Israel will again live in their own land, the land I gave my servant Jacob. For I will gather them from the distant lands where I have scattered them. I will reveal to the nations of the world my holiness among my people” (Ezekiel 28:25 NLT). God was going to reveal His holiness, distinctiveness and set-apartness, by restoring His people to their land and to a right relationship with Him. He is a promise-keeping God. He would not abandon His people. Yes, He was going to punish them for their sins, but He was also going to forgive and restore them. “They will live safely in Israel and build homes and plant vineyards. And when I punish the neighboring nations that treated them with contempt, they will know that I am the Lord their God” (Ezekiel 28:26 NLT). God reveals His holiness, His unmatched, unparalleled, distinctiveness in all that He does. His wrath and restoration both reveal His holiness. There is no other god like Him. There is no other god BUT Him.
Father, You are holy and unique in all Your actions. Whether You are punishing sin or restoring the wayward, You are holy. All that You do proves just how unique and distinctive You are. Forgive me for trying to make You into a one-dimensional God who I can be comfortable with. Thanks for reminding me that You are holy in all that You do. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men