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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Morning Manna | Psalms 99:9 | The LORD our God is Holy

Psa 99:9  Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.

This is the last verse of our Psalm and the third time that the Psalmist has called God Holy, also the third time we have been told to praise him and there are also three examples of his holiness given. Many have said, and it is true, that this may well be what the Angels are referring to in Heaven when they sing Holy, Holy, Holy! The angels can sing it with greater knowledge than we, for now, but here is the Holy, Holy, Holy that we should sing here on earth until we reach there and join the angels in that chorus. 

Holy is a word used so often that it has lost its meaning. Holy means separate, nothing like it. The High priest would wear a crown that read HOLINESS TO THE LORD because they had been separated from the rest of the congregation, and furthermore, the other priests, they alone were ordained to enter the Holy of Holies. The Holy place was separated from the rest of the Tabernacle, and the holy of holies was separated again, and this is where God’s presence resided on the Ark of the Covenant. God’s holiness is his separation from all things, that is to say, that there is nothing and no one like him. His holiness permeates all of his attributes, his righteousness is far greater than we can imagine, his forgiveness is holy, it is deeper than any other forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness like it. His power is Holy, there is no power like his, and everything about God is Holy because he is holy. There is no one or thing like our God, he stands alone in all that he does as the greatest and highest. 

What should be the response to his holiness? Worship. In each verse that ascribes him holiness we are commanded to praise/exalt/worship him; vs.3 “ Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy.” Vs. 5 “Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.”  Vs.9 “Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.” These three verses show us that a proper view of who God is should lead us to praise, exalt, and worship God. Praise is shining a light on something, Many times we are too busy shining the spotlight on our achievements to bother shining the light on his works. As you get up this morning, set your heart and mind on the glorious works of God, and throughout your day you’ll find yourself sharing God’s glory with others, that is praise, public proclamation of God’s goodness. You’ll find that you will elevate him instead of self, if he is the highest then let me lift him higher than everything else in my life. Our decision-making begins to be based on what exalts/glorifies God, not what benefits us. Worship will be the natural state of a man whose eyes are set on the most high God, worship means to lower yourself, to kneel even, kneeling on our knees is the outward expression of a greater bending of the heart and will to our Lord. We lift him up and bring ourselves before him, with our hearts and wills bent to his lordship. This can be at a moment of worship but it should be the natural position of our lives. Jesus our trailblazer and supreme example, shows us what this looks like, “Nevertheless not my will but thine.” That is the posture of a worshipful life and the key to a Spirit-filled life. Not our will, cast it down, bow your will to his, that is the worship aspect. “But thine be done,” that is the cry of exaltation, your will be done at all cost, not what benefits me but what glorifies God. Then on the cross, Jesus does not rail at God for his suffering but still speaks to him as his father, praise, his actions and attitude on the cross still had nothing bad to say about God, that is an attitude of praise. 

Lastly, we need to see how we can come to a deeper understanding or higher evaluation of God’s holiness. I believe in this Psalm it is the works of God that lead us to a higher understanding of God. Notice all that the psalmist mentions about God. Verses 1-2 establish his sovereignty “The LORD reigneth.” Verse 4 shows us his uprightness “The king's strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob.” And verses 6-8 show us his Mercy “they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.” I believe these instances were given like lights to guide us to the holiness of God. If we aren’t careful sometimes we see the acts of God as the highest holiest and forget that God is a person, not a force. His works are great because he is great, it is his marvelous works that lead us to his marvelous person. Look to his sovereignty, see how Jesus calmed the seas, commanded the dead to rise, touched blinded eyes, and raised from the dead, he was in absolute authority, and he was sovereign as no man has ever been, that is how we know him to be more than a man, but the God-man, by his works we are lead to exalt him as God. Look at his righteousness, it exceeded that of the scribes and Pharisees. He loved God with all his heart, mind and soul and his neighbors as himself and thus doing he fulfilled the law of God, even as they were beating him he was loving them, “forgive them for they know not what they do” Look at God's Mercy, as Samuel, and Moses and Aaron approach God and speak to him, so can we. Even after all our “inventions” he still forgives, where sin did abound grace does much more abound. All of these wonderful works lead me to the God of the Works, and in so doing I am brought to a place of praise, exaltation, and worship because he is holy, there is no one so powerful as him, none so righteous as him, and thank God! None so merciful and forgiving as him. I think it would be appropriate to end with a song today.

1 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;

Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!

God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

2 Holy, holy, holy! all the saints adore Thee,

casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;

cherubim and seraphim, falling down before Thee,

which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

3 Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,

though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;

only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee,

perfect in pow'r, in love, and purity.

4 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth and sky and sea;

Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!

God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

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