“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Monday, August 15, 2011

Not Just Holy.

...the whole earth is full of his glory

And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; 
the whole earth is full of his glory.” 
Isaiah 6:3 NIV

I love this verse.  As I think of the seraphim crying out to one another.  Praising God.  Almost unable to contain themselves.  Only able to express God as holy, holy, holy.  And I love the beauty behind why they sing that the Lord is holy, holy, holy.  And I love this song.  Especially when our friend Mark Williams sings it at our church...

Not just holy.

Not just holy, holy.

But holy, holy, holy.

Excerpt from The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul

Here we encounter the crux of Isaiah's vision.  It is the song of the seraphim that reveals the awesome message of this text. "And they were calling to one another:  'Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory'" (Isaiah 6:3).  The song is the repetition of a single word--holy.  Three times the word is sung in succession, giving the church its most august anthem.  The song is called the Trisagion, which means simply the "three times holy."

The significance of the repetition of the holy can be easily missed.  It represents a peculiar literary device that is found in Hebrew forms of literature, especially in poetry.  The repetition is a form of emphasis.  When we want to emphasize the importance of something in English, we have several devices from which to choose.  We may underline the important words or print them in italics or boldface type.  We may attach an exclamation point following the words or set them off in quotation marks.  These are all devices to call the reader's attention to something that is especially important.

...On a handful of occasions the Bible repeats something to the third degree.  To mention something three times in succession is to elevate it to the superlative degree, to attach to it emphasis of superimportance... Only once in sacred Scripture is an attribute of God elevated to the third degree.  Only once is a characteristic of mentioned three times in succession.  The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy.  Not that He is merely holy, or even holy, holy.  He is holy, holy, holy.

I choose Isaiah 6:3 for my Siesta Scripture Memory Verse # 16. 


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

You know what? Your husband's photography, your knitting caps & scarves for others, well, it all helps to solve the problem of pain. There's such beauty in it all! Thanks for salving mine over this past year. You've done so in rich and beautiful ways.

Holy, holy, holy is our Lord God Almighty!!!


rooney said...

Holy, Holy, Holy. Love this post, Sheri. God uses you in amazing ways, Siesta!