Reflection: Today’s verse raises the awesome prospect of the Holy God’s judgement – in this life and the next. Understanding God’s essential holiness helps us to understand why he so abhors sin, and why we should take his strictures about sin so seriously. Simply: sin is God’s antithesis. He cannot just “let it go”. As Francis A. Schaeffer once rhetorically asked: “How could a perfect God say, ‘Just sin a little bit’?”
In the NIV translation, the first mention of the word “holy” in the Old Testament is in Genesis 2:3, when God “blessed the seventh day and made it holy”. The word appears next in Exodus 3:5, when Moses confronts the burning bush. To be in God’s presence (on “holy ground”) was, for Moses, deeply intimidating. Moses hid his face, in the belief that no mere (sinful) man could see God and live (cf. Gen. 32:30). For people who have come in this life to a realisation of their own unholiness, the only proper response to God is self-abasement. “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” exclaimed Peter to Jesus on their first meeting (Lk. 5:8).
Question: Are you ever tempted to hope that God will just ignore or overlook some human sins?
Prayer: Father, you are pure, and I am sinful. You have set the rules of moral conduct, and I have broken them countless times. I confess my sinfulness and throw myself upon your grace and mercy. Amen