We have a saying here in the South that we use to describe someone who is – for whatever reason – indescribable. We will say that person is “something else”. That “something else” can be good, or it can be bad.
You could be telling a story about someone’s exploits that seems beyond human abilities and say, “That guy is something else.” Or you could be describing some deplorable action of an individual and be awestruck at how bad their behavior is and say the very same thing.
But let me tell you that our God is truly something else! The Bible word for this is holy. This means that He is set apart, high above all of everything that there is. He has this sense of otherness because there is nothing that can compare with Him.
I think that Isaiah’s encounter with the Lord gives a good picture of just how holy – how “something else” – God truly is:
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:Isaiah 6:1-8 ESV
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of His glory!”
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!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and you sin atoned for.”
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
Isaiah found himself in the presence of God and was overwhelmed by the holiness of God. He was overwhelmed by the sheer glory that he was confronted with – and he was only able to see the tail end of God’s garment. Just being near to God convicted him of his sin. Sheer proximity produced a desire for repentance, worship, and faith. And this is exactly how we should be in the presence of God.
I think that, sometimes, we can forget just how “something else” that Jesus is. But we need to retain that sense of awe. We need to continually look in His Word and see how special He is. We need to be reminded of the “first importance” of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-5) and have our eyes opened afresh at the splendor of our King. I think Micah gives us a good lens for such a view:
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquityMicah 7:18-19 ESV
and passing over transgression
for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not retain His anger forever,
because He delights in steadfast love.
He will again have compassion on us;
He will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.
This is what we are singing about Sunday – God’s holiness and majesty on display. We will be reminded that He is truly “something else” and always has, is, and will continue to be forever. We will celebrate Who He is, what He has done, and we will lift our voices to the King of kings and Lord of lords – Jesus Christ!
Here are our songs:
- Open the Eyes of My Heart — Oh, that this song be the prayer of our hearts! Paul talks in Ephesians 1 about having the “eyes of [our] hearts enlightened, that [we] may know what is the hope to which He has called [us]”. What change can occur in our hearts and lives when our hope is fixed on King Jesus! And what a joy it is to join in with heaven as we lift our voices and sing “holy, holy, holy”!
- Scripture References / Inspiration for the Song: Ephesians 1:17-18, Psalm 119:18, Isaiah 6:1-8, Matthew 5:8, Job 37:22, Isaiah 60:1, Ezekiel 7:8, Romans 5:5, Revelation 4:8
- Revelation Song — This song serves as a reminder of two things. First, the end of the Story has been written – God wins, and the victory has already been won! Second, the end result in our stories – if we have trusted in Christ and are saved – is eternity with Him! He is the reward! We get to sing along with heaven in this song as we sing, word-for-word, songs laid out in the book of Revelation that are sung and will be sung in heaven!
- How Great is Our God — Part of returning and being restored to God is worshiping Him. In fact, repentance is, in and of itself, an act of worship. When we realize all that He has done for us in salvation and all that He continually does for us, our response should always be “How great is our God!” There is nothing in this world that offers the grace, mercy, and forgiveness that can be found in Him, so we should proclaim His glory and Name from the rooftops!
- King of Kings — Perhaps one of the most important images for us as Christians is that of the King leaving His throne and coming to earth to save us. He did not sub-contract the work of salvation. He knelt in the dirt and depravity and lived for us — to “reconcile the lost”. He suffered and did “not despise the cross” — “for our sake [He] died”! He then defeated death by rising from the tomb! And, just as the stone was removed from the entrance to the tomb, He removes the stone from our hearts, giving hearts of flesh – restoring us to Him! That’s good news!
- Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: Proverbs 4:19, John 3:19-21, Ephesians 2:1, Philippians 2:5-11, Matthew 5:17, Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:31, Isaiah 9:6-7, Luke 2:7, Psalm 3:3, Psalm 8:1, John 1:14, Psalm 136:3, Matthew 28:18, Revelation 19:16, Matthew 13:24-52, 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, Isaiah 53, John 3:16, Romans 5:6-10, Galatians 3:13, Colossians 2:14, Titus 2:14, Acts 4:33, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Matthew 27:52-53, Luke 15:7, Acts 2:1-4, Matthew 24:35, Ephesians 1:7, Galatians 5:1, Galatians 2:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:11
- (invitation) Beautifully Broken — Once we are broken over our sin, we have the opportunity to return to the Savior who can bring to life that which is dead – who can restore that which was lost – who can mend that which was broken. There is no other source of such healing. He issues a call for all who are weary and broken to come to Him and find rest. How will you respond to that call?
- Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: Psalm 51, Psalm 32, Matthew 11:28-30, Romans 6:1-11, Psalm 34:18, Isaiah 57:15, Psalm 31:12, James 4:6, Isaiah 43:18-19, Revelation 21:5, Acts 3:19-21
If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.