You might say there is a very sweet side to holiness and there is; you might also say there is a very fearful side to holiness and you would be right also. If you were to follow the context in 1 Samuel 15 you would see the graphic intensity of a holy response to sin carried out…
“And Samuel hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord in Gilgal.”
This response is not isolated or rare in God’s word, but it does seem disparate from our view of an acceptably loving god. I’ve had to ask myself who it is that I often pretend to be believing in, trusting in, relying on, praying to, loving? There are enough times, truth be told, that I admit I am not speaking often or honestly with my Lord; rather I am speaking to a God who I have made into my own image so that I might approach Him more on my terms and for my purposes rather than approaching Him for who He is and for His purposes. Jesus’ words in Matthew 18 about cutting off hands and feet or gouging out eyes as a response to sin might seem extreme, but then how do we view the Cross?
The sweet side of holiness, the beauty of holiness, is also seen in theses words of a wonderful hymn…
Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
So I am reminded today to consider God’s holiness, even as I ask what do I know of holy? If I am not speaking often with this God who is who He is, then I am not getting to know and love Him in the beauty of His holiness and I am worshipping a false god, in a sense. But if I am spending much time with my God, the One True God, then I am seeing and loving and worshipping as I ought, by His grace.