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.