Posts tagged: holiness

God Is Still Holy

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By Paula Marolewski, July 11, 2010 4:18 pm

As I was reading through Exodus and Numbers, I was struck by how many times God came close to wiping out Israel in his wrath and judgment. Consider these passages:

  • “Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them.” (Exodus 32:10)
  • “When the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.” (Numbers 11:1)
  • “The anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very severe plague.” (Numbers 11:33)
  • “I will smite them with pestilence and dispossess them.” (Numbers 14:12)
  • “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly.” (Numbers 16:21)
  • “Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly.” (Numbers 16:45)
  • “The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.” (Numbers 21:6)

In each case, Israel had provoked the Lord to anger through sin, rebellion, and never-ending complaints. They had offended God’s holiness. As a result, God responded with wrath. Due to Moses’ humility and intervention, that judgment was turned aside or mitigated each time.

I don’t want us to lose sight of something very important here: God is still holy. He still hates sin. He still experiences wrath. Now, for us, Jesus’ humility and intervention at the cross turns aside or mitigates God’s righteous judgment against us.

We should never take that indescribable grace and love for granted.

We should never forget the holiness of God.



© 2010 Paula Marolewski,

Cloud and Fire

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By Paula Marolewski, April 8, 2010 10:41 am

We walk by faith, not by sight. But I admit, there are many times when I wish I walked by sight. I wish I could see God – see his face, touch the scars in Jesus’ hands, hear his literal voice in my ear. Surely, I think, that would make my Christian walk easier. I wouldn’t fall so often. Wouldn’t doubt so much. Wouldn’t sin so frequently.

And then I noticed something very interesting: do you remember when Israel was wandering in the desert? Do you remember their constant grumbling, griping, complaining, and rebelling? As much as I hate to admit it, I do recognize myself in those four words.

But then notice something else, mentioned in Numbers 9:16: “So it was continuously; the cloud would cover [the tabernacle] by day, and the appearance of fire by night.”  

Did you catch it? The literal, visible, tangible presence of God was with the Israelites through all their wilderness wanderings. The cloud covered the tabernacle by day in the sight of all, and a pillar of fire lit it at night. They could see him. Their nomadic journey was directed entirely by the movement of the cloud and fire.

Now go back to what characterized their journey: Grumbling. Griping. Complaining. Rebelling.

It gave me pause for thought. Perhaps walking by sight isn’t any easier than walking by faith. Perhaps I would respond just the same way, even if I could see Jesus in the room with me.

Here’s the bottom line: seeing God won’t make us holy if we don’t want to be holy. Change has to come from within … from the desire to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength.

So if you find yourself grumbling, griping, complaining, and rebelling, don’t blame God and rail that “If only I could see you, I wouldn’t be like this!” Put the responsibility where it belongs. This is all about you. It’s all about me. And we have to ask ourselves seriously:

“What am I going to do about it?”



© 2010 Paula Marolewski,

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