3 Reasons God’s Holiness Terrifies Us

J.D. Greear recently published an article outlining three reasons why God’s holiness terrifies us. J.D. writes:

C.S. Lewis once noted that many people talk about “meeting God” as if it would be a warm, cozy experience. “They need to think again,” he says. I’ve recently been reading through scenes in Scripture that depict people meeting God. And Lewis is right: it’s never an experience that creates warm fuzzies. More often than not, it’s a scene of abject terror.

Isaiah illustrates this well. When Isaiah saw God in his holiness, Scripture says,

“And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said, ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’” (Isaiah 6:4–5)

Isaiah, God’s prophet, catches a glimpse of God in his perfection. But his response isn’t, “How cool!” Rather, it’s “I’m lost!” That’s what seeing God’s holiness does. It terrifies us. The seraphim—creates whose name literally means “blazing ones” because they are too brilliant to look at—are here covering their faces before God. And the pillars of the temple—God’s holy house—are shaking. They aren’t even people, and they’re quaking in fear.

Why is God’s holiness terrifying? I see three reasons.

To read the entire article, be sure to head over to J.D.’s blog.

If You Could Get God’s Blessing Without God, Would You Take It?

In a recent post, J.D. Greear tackles this question: “If you could get God’s blessing without God, would you take it?”.

J.D. writes the following about Exodus 33:1-3:

God promises Moses all the success he could desire. The Promised Land would be theirs. But there’s a caveat. God won’t be going with them.

Most people—particularly Americans—would actually consider this a dream offer. Outward success coupled with no real obligation to God? No religion, and just blessing? Think of it: if you could get all of the blessings of God with none of the obligations that come with his presence, isn’t that the best of both worlds? What could be better than that?

Moses, however, knows it’s a raw deal. “If your presence will not go with me,” he says, “do not bring us up from here” (Exodus 33:15). In other words, “What’s the point of getting everything we dreamed of … without You? You can keep all that success—money, health, legacy, family. If we don’t have your presence, we don’t have anything at all.”

Moses had a level of insight that most of us lack. He was able to see thatGod+nothing was the better deal, for two reasons.

To read the entire post, head over to J.D.’s blog.

The Weakness of Ruth is Greater than the Strength of Samson

Following up on a post reflecting on the dark conclusion to the book of Judges, J.D. Greear recently published and article highlighting how the weakness of Ruth is greater than the strength of Samson. J.D. writes:

If the book of Judges were all we had to capture this time in Israel’s history, it would be a dismal piece of history indeed. But there’s another story, a hidden sub-plot, to what’s going on in Judges. It’s the tiny companion volume known as Ruth.

The book of Ruth is set in the waning days of the rule of the Judges. In case you forgot what those days were like, it wasn’t a great time to be a woman in Israel. Women were bought and sold as property, kidnapped to satisfy the demands of the warriors, and murdered with no apparent concern for justice. Yet the central character of Ruth is a woman. Not only that, she isn’t even an Israelite. And at the start of her story, she’s a widow. By all outside appearances, Ruth is as low and as weak as a person could get.

To read the entire post, head over to J.D.’s blog.