8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken,

Luke 5:8-9 (NIV)

When sinful mortal flesh meets with the pure holiness of God the response is always the same – woe, woe is me! I am reminded of the prophet Isaiah when he “saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted” – his response: 5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." Isaiah 6:5 (NIV)
There is nothing like coming into contact with pure holiness to make us aware of our depravity! We constantly are comparing ourselves with others and because of this we can always find someone who is worse than we are! We may say to ourselves “I am bad, BUT at least I don’t ...” Somehow, in some macabre way, that makes us feel better about ourselves. Coming face to face with perfection, on the other hand, does not leave us with quite the same taste in our mouths! Interestingly, perfection is what God requires of us all. In His holiness, He cannot commune with sin. Our sin separates us from a holy God. To use Isaiah’s phrase, “we are ruined”! But God (two of my favorite words) demonstrated His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NIV)
Christ came to live a perfect life to be a perfect sacrifice for our sins. Paul states in II Corinthians: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor 5:21 (NIV)
This is the gospel – the very Good News! Once we were alienated from God but now, those who believe are reconciled. Because of what Christ did on our behalf, through faith in Him we can now stand in the very presence of God – and we will stand for the Lord is able to make us stand (Romans 14:4). When God looks at the redeemed, He sees the perfect life of Christ – not all of our warts and blemishes but Christ’s total perfection. Now that should make us shout “Thank you Jesus!” Some may be wondering what the big deal here is. We have so put God on our level and He simply is NOT! We have lost the reverence and awe of God that He both deserves and desires! I love what Moses and his sister Miriam said in Exodus: 11 "Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you--majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? Ex 15:11 (NIV)
The Hebrew wording here is great! The word rendered “majestic” is the Hebrew word “Adar” meaning to be great, glorious, honorable, and majestic; connotes that which is superior to something else. Interestingly, it is used only two times in the Bible – here by Moses and also in Isaiah 42:21. These men knew their God and through their lives, God richly used them in powerful ways for kingdom work (that, which Jesus said, will never perish). Oh that we would have the same comprehension of His majesty! The word rendered “wonders” is the Hebrew word “Pele” from “Pala” denoting things done beyond the bounds of human powers or expectations – things quite frankly, far beyond our ability to do. Indeed, He is worthy of our reverence and awe! 2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. Psalms 29:2 (NIV)

What I Glean

  • God is holy and righteous and worthy of my praise.
  • I realize afresh this verse about God’s ways: 9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9 (NIV)
  • God delights in my praise of Him. Praise comes from a thankful heart.