Note: Right now my church is doing a series on Jesus, and as a part of that we’ve been asked to do reflective readings or journaling – so, being me, I’ve combined the two, and I thought I would share my thoughts here on the blog. I hope you enjoy reading them!
New International Version (NIV)
13 The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy,
he is the one you are to fear,
he is the one you are to dread.
14 He will be a holy place;
for both Israel and Judah he will be
a stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.
And for the people of Jerusalem he will be
a trap and a snare.
15 Many of them will stumble;
they will fall and be broken,
they will be snared and captured.
I think that generally the concept of ‘fearing’ God is not something we’re really comfortable with because our culture encourages us not to fear anything and that fear as a concept is evil. But is there really anybody who, faced with absolutely pure holiness, would not be completely terrified when they realized how broken and unholy they are in themselves? We might be able to lie to ourselves on many days and feel like we’re doing pretty well (or at least ‘better than other people’) – but that doesn’t mean we would feel that way if we actually saw ourselves in light of Jesus’ holiness. The almost unbelievable thing about Jesus’ incarnation is that he brought perfect holiness into contact with us. His life and sacrificial death enabled us to see him rather as the “holy place” that was always intended for the people of God than simply as the “stumbling block” that he is for those who do not choose to accept his grace. By allowing Jesus to be our substitute – our advocate with the Father – and accepting his offer to replace our twisted unholy nature with his purity, we can finally walk this walk without stumbling, without falling, without being broken against the diamond-hard clarity of holiness.