“I have sworn an oath to David, and in my holiness I cannot lie” (Psalm 89:35, NLT).

Often when we think of the holiness of God, we feel intimidated. His state of holiness makes him completely separate from our lowly mortal existence. His “other-ness,” purity and perfection put him far out of our reach. In the Old Testament, he truly was unapproachable. Just the thought of God speaking to them or getting too close was enough to strike terror in the hearts of the Israelites. Only a few were ever allowed near him.

Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary says: “Originating in God’s nature, holiness is a unique quality of His character.” It is who he is. While God’s holiness remains just as much a mystery to us today, through Jesus, he is no longer unapproachable. Jesus opened the way for us to not only come into his presence, but to live in his presence even as he lives in us. Rather than terrifying us and keeping us away, God’s holiness, still a source of awe, is now a comfort to his children, like the glow from a welcoming porch light.

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