The Beauty of Holiness, Part 2
by Nathaniel T. Jeanson, Ph.D.
“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11)
The objective, stunning beauty of holiness (2 Chronicles 20:21) has profound ramifications for theology. Scripture identifies God as supremely holy (Leviticus 11:44-45; 1 Peter 1:16). Therefore, He is gloriously and overwhelmingly beautiful.
He is holy and beautiful in His omniscience, since no one else knows all things. His omnipresence and omnipotence are also utterly unique and, therefore, holy and striking. In His freedom, eternality, self-existence, self-sufficiency, justice, mercy, grace, love, forgiveness—in all of His attributes—He is holy and magnificent, since His attributes are set apart from everyone and everything else! God’s holiness—and, therefore, His beauty—extend to every aspect of His being.
The beauty of God’s holiness intensifies our condemnation as sinners. Our sinfulness is seen first and foremost in our consistent disobedience to the greatest commandment in Scripture, loving God with our entire being (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37). Many wake up in the morning without giving Him a second thought. The wickedness of this act is magnified in light of the extraordinary and dreadful beauty of God’s holiness. Refusing to love God is not just wrong; it is also horrifically ugly.
In the human realm, we recognize how beauty amplifies the evil of an act. What would we think of people who gleefully throw mud at a pure white wedding dress, vandalize classic and precious works of art, or burn copies of Shakespeare’s plays? At best, we label them confused. At worst, we label them perverse.
Our refusal to love the beautiful and majestic God—“glorious in holiness” in today’s verse—is a reprehensible and disgraceful travesty. How low and base an activity is sin! How acute our need for a Savior. NTJ