God Values Holiness

October 22nd, 2011

RG102211Psalm 99

On the night of January 17, 2010 “the earth moved” in Haiti: months later the people of that land still trembled at the memory; they continue to have feelings of ominous dread every time a heavy truck rumbled by and shook their houses.

Rudolph Otto, in his book, The Idea of the Holy,* coined the word “numinous” to describe the feeling that God’s holiness creates when people become truly aware of his presence. Otto derived it from the concept of “ominous,” suggesting that real awareness of God’s presence creates an emotion he characterized as “hopeful dread.”

Psalm 99 invokes the presence of God, reminding the people that God is not like they are.

We are always in danger of becoming too much at ease in God’s presence, viewing him as just like ourselves, only nicer. Psalm 99 is a thundering reminder that we belong to the God who is holy.


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