"Those that rightly know God's holy name will not dare to profane it; for it is through ignorance of it that men make light of it and make bold with it."
"It is God's honour that He is a Holy One; it is His people's honour that He is the Holy One of Israel." - both quotes taken from the Matthew Henry Commentary
"To say the word holy twice in Hebrew is to describe someone as most holy. To say the word holy three times intensifies the idea to the highest level. In other words, the holiness of God is indescribable in human language. To be holy means to be different, distant, or transcendent." - Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary
"The most basic word we have to describe God is holy. This is the unique quality of God's existence that marks Him off as separate and distinct from all else. Holiness includes the ideas of righteousness and purity, but it is more. Holiness belongs to God alone. It sets Him above us in majesty, power, authority, righteousness, and love. Persons or objects can be said to be holy only by virtue of being drawn into relationship with God." - Holman Bible Dictionary, p. 560-561.
Did you catch what was said in the above quote?
"...Holiness belongs to God alone..."
Throughout the Scriptures, His Holiness is captured in His title - "the Holy One" or "the Holy One of Israel."
It can be found throughout the Books of 1 Kings, Psalms, Habukkuk, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. However, it is interesting to note that it is mostly found in Isaiah - at least twenty-five (25) times. Interestingly enough, it is in Isaiah 6 where we discover the Prophet's face-to-face encounter with the Holiness of God. Could this be the reason why he addressed God so readily as "the Holy One of Israel" - and so often?
What would happen if we would have the same encounter?
Would we, too, address Him as the same - as often as possible?
In Isaiah 43:3, the Lord God introduces Himself as such - "For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour; I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee." He had every right to be their God and to call them His people. He delivered them from Egypt's oppression and protected and kept them through the wilderness experience. He was in covenant with them.
In Isaiah 43:14, He goes on to say - "Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships." In His holiness - His faithfulness to His promises - He judged Babylon which had enslaved them. He made good every word that He spoke to Israel through the Prophets by bringing them out of captivity and back to their native land.
Israel found this "Holy One" to be a Great God...Great Savior... Great One...Great King...and Great High Priest - being "...glorious in holiness...doing wonders..." (Exodus 15:11). In "Zion" was found utmost safety and protection from her enemies. These privileges and immunities could be traced to the wonderful Presence of the "Holy One of Israel" being in their midst. This was cause for great celebration and praise.
In Isaiah 12:6, the Prophet related it in this way - "Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee." With the highest of praises, he called the people to "raise the roof" - so to speak - with their loud singing, shouts of joy, and cries for help.
Besides Isaiah, David also had a revelation of the Most High being "the Holy One of Israel." In Psalm 71:22, He offered his best music - vocal and instrumental - while he expressed his praises - especially for God's faithfulness and truth - which make up His holiness - "I will also praise Thee with the psaltery, even Thy truth, O my God: unto Thee will I sing with the harp, O Thou Holy One of Israel."
In Psalm 89:18, Ethan the Ezrahite joined both David and Isaiah in his worship of this "Holy One" when he said - "For the LORD is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king." This Perfect Being - Who cannot break His promises nor act unjustly concerning His covenant - was a "wall of fire" about His people and the "glory" in their midst (Zechariah 2:5). He protected and defended them because they allowed Him to be their Ruler and King.
Unfortunately, it was not always so for Israel - for the Scriptures bear out that they rebelled against His lordship on several occasions.
Psalm 78:41 relates - "Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel."
Jeremiah 51:5 adds - "...their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel."
Again and again, they pained "the Holy One of Israel" with their unholiness. He showered them with one blessing after another - yet they still demanded a sign of Him to verify His Presence in their midst...sighed for Egypt and the fleshpots...provoked Him with their ingratitude and contempt...turned to their old ways... turned aside to idols...set bounds to His power and goodness... and pushed Him to the limit. He justly delivered them into the hands of their enemies.
Notice that when sin is committed, it is committed against "the Holy One of Israel."
In 2 Kings 19:22, we read of God's controversy with Sennacherib king of Assyria - "Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel."
Look around you at the world today. What is happening on a daily basis by the world and even by some in the church? Is it not so that the Holy Name of God is being disgraced, profaned, dishonored, and dragged through the mud?
People all around are erring as the Lord Jesus proclaimed - "...Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God" (Matthew 22:29).
They definitely do not know nor consider the character of God that He is Holy, Holy, Holy.
But all men - both saved and unsaved - will know through God's judgments as declared in Ezekiel 39:7 - "So will I make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let them pollute My holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel."
Just as God wanted the world to know who He was through Israel, even so does He want the heathen of our present-day world to know Who He is through the church.
We must proclaim to the world that He is indeed a Holy God - One Who is separated from all evil and wrongdoing...faithful in fulfilling His promises...good in protecting and preserving His people...able to do exceeding abundantly above all that His people could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)...and all-powerful against any who would dare to rise up against Him or challenge His authority.
Remember - "Those that rightly know God's holy name will not dare to profane it; for it is through ignorance of it that men make light of it and make bold with it."
Do you know this "Holy One of Israel"?
Or are you counted among the "ignorant" who daily profane His Name - "make light of it" or "make bold with it" ?