The Beauty of God's Holiness

Psalm 96:9

There are beautiful musical compositions that we enjoy hearing over and over again. There are flowers that because of their beauty we use to beautify our yards and the rooms in our homes. And there are breath-taking scenes of mountains and waterfalls that we call scenic beauty spots.

But an important question is whether we consider holiness to be beautiful, as the psalmist does when in Psalm 96:9 he wrote, "O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before Him, all the earth." As we are by nature, it goes against the grain to see and call holiness beautiful. We find joy and pleasure in unholy things. For to be holy means to be cut off from sin. And we sin in order to get what we call a beautiful life. Did not Adam and Eve sin to become like God? They did not want Jehovah to be God alone and above them. His beauty they sinfully wanted.

You see, the root meaning of the word holy is to be cut off, to be separated. In the context the psalmist had presented the holiness of God, which consists in His being separated from all creatures as being God and God alone. The idols were made of materials which He created. And we must worship God in that beauty of being God alone.

Note that the psalmist, all through the psalm in the Hebrew, uses the name Jehovah, the I Am. Only God can rightfully say that He is God. And every time we sin, we say, "No, you are not! I can do as I please!" God's holiness is not beautiful to us.

Listen to our versification that urges us to flee from this pride (PRC Psalter):

Give unto God Most High glory and honor,
Come with your offerings and humbly draw near;
In holy beauty now worship Jehovah,
Tremble before Him with godly fear.

To worship God in the beauty of holiness means that we must humble ourselves before Him and approach Him as well as serve Him with the fear of reverence and awe.

Do you see God in the beauty of that holiness of being God alone? Do you consider it to be a beautiful life to flee from sin and to serve Him?

Read: Revelation 4
Psalter versification: #259:4
(Words and Music of the Psalter)

Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter #412
Why not sing along??

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Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

Ecclesiastes 7 ; Ecclesiastes 8 ; Ecclesiastes 9
2 Corinthians 7:8-16
Psalm 48:1-14
Proverbs 22:17-19
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Quote for Reflection:

Christian Warfare: “Believers are plainly taught to use active personal exertion, and are addressed as responsible for doing energetically what Christ would have them do, and are not told to 'yield themselves' up as passive agents and sit still, but to arise and work. A holy violence, a conflict, a warfare, a fight, a soldier's life, a wrestling, are spoken of as characteristic of the true Christian." -J.C. Ryle

Last modified on 03 September 2015

Additional Info

  • Date: 4-September
Heys, John A.

Rev. John A. Heys was born on March 16, 1910 in Grand Rapids, MI. He was ordained and installed into the ministry at Hope, Walker, MI in 1941.  He later served at Hull, Iowa beginning in 1955.  In 1959 he accepted the call to serve the South Holland, IL Protestant Reformed Church.  He received and accepted the call to Holland, Michigan Protestant Reformed Church in 1967.  He retired from the active ministry in 1980.  He entered into glory on February 16, 1998.

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