December 16: Angels Worship- Holy Holy Holy!
John’s vision of the throne of God in Revelation 4 was similar to that of Isaiah. Again, there were living creatures around the throne crying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty” (Revelation 4:8) in reverence and awe of the Holy One. John goes on to describe these creatures giving glory and honor and reverence to God continually around His throne. Interestingly, John’s reaction to the vision of God in His throne is different from Isaiah’s. There is no record of John falling down in terror and awareness of his own sinful state, perhaps because John had already encountered the risen Christ at the beginning of his vision (Revelation 1:17). Christ had placed His hand upon John and told him not to be afraid. In the same way, we can approach the throne of grace if we have the hand of Christ upon us in the form of His righteousness, exchanged for our sin at the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21).
But why the three-fold repetition “holy, holy, holy” (called the trihagion)? The repetition of a name or an expression three times was quite common among the Jews. In Jeremiah 7:4, the Jews are represented by the prophet as saying, “The temple of the Lord” three times, expressing their intense confidence in their own worship, even though it was hypocritical and corrupt. Jeremiah 22:29, Ezekiel 21:27, and 2 Samuel 18:33 contain similar three-fold expressions of intensity. Therefore, when the angels around the throne call or cry to one another, “Holy, holy, holy,” they are expressing with force and passion the truth of the supreme holiness of God, that essential characteristic which expresses His awesome and majestic nature.
In addition, the trihagion expresses the triune nature of God, the three Persons of the Godhead, each equal in holiness and majesty. Jesus Christ is the Holy One who would not “see decay” in the grave, but would be resurrected to be exalted at the right hand of God (Acts 2:26; 13:33-35). Jesus is the “Holy and Righteous One” (Acts 3:14) whose death on the cross allows us to stand before the throne of our holy God unashamed. The third Person of the trinity—the Holy Spirit—by His very name denotes the importance of holiness in the essence of the Godhead. Note: Holy is the first and most important character of God revealed to man. He gives His signature of the holy God when He spoke to the Israelites. (see Leviticus 10:3; 11:44-45; 20:26).
Let’s pray: O Lord, You’re the source and the one who makes holiness available to us. Sustain us with Your power and give us the grace to see and maintain holiness as a chosen people separated from the nations to remain in Your presence. We too want to worship You when we shout and sing to Your praise and glory, holy, holy, holy, Lord, God Almighty, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s reading: Amos 4-6; Revelations 12
God is Alpha and Omega in Holiness.