In the beginning… Well, in the beginning of man’s existence, God walked in the Garden with Adam and Eve. God was right beside them! God was their best friend. Sin was chosen by Adam and Eve, though, and that ruined the relationship. Why? Because of a certain, very defining character trait of God’s.
In my last post, I mentioned how God is completely and purely any character trait that He holds. That is part of what makes up this one. God is holy which means He is pure, sinless, faultless. The first few chapters of the Bible, also the first months of earth, show a picture of how God’s holiness and what that means. My former youth pastor said once, “Most Christians would describe God as love and that is true, but the more encompassing definition is holy.”
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” – Genesis 3: 8-10
There’s an interesting dynamic found in this chapter between the relationship of love and God’s holiness. They knew what it sounded like for God to be walking in the garden. Usually, it would bring them joy but today they couldn’t jump into the brush fast enough. Guilt and inadequacy replaced pure excitement. Something had broken, and they knew it deep in their hearts. A wall had been built by a single decision.
Why? Because God is holy, that’s why. There can be no sin in Him and it pains Him to be in the presence of sin. Yet, God came to them in the garden. Instead of sending an angel to kick them out of the garden, He came to deliver the news Himself. We see that God is a relational God through this action.
Later, God would come down to dwell among His people but only in a set apart, holy place that the average person could not touch or enter. Even after long, tedious sin-cleansing practices, priests would sometimes die upon entering the holy inner-room of the temple.
The holiness of God was a very prominent character trait for much of the old testament. Revelation tells us that the angels cry out, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Rev. 4:8) So it is still a defining quality. In the new testament, though, we find a huge move toward relationship on God’s part. God, in the form of man (Jesus), came and walked among us again, lived a holy life, died a death for all the sin, and rose from the dead to bring life with Him. Now, if a person humbles himself and puts on the holiness of Jesus, the relationship can be restored.
God is holy; God is about relationship. There is still to come a time when we will see each one to an even greater extent than we have yet.