Sermon title: "Keep It Holy"
Sermon text: Exodus 19:1-25
Left standing at the foot of the mountain, they are relieved yet still terrified. They dare not enter into God’s presence. Even though Moses has consecrated them, making them ritually clean, and they have washed their clothes, they know they are still separated from the holiness of God by their sinfulness. And they have never more aware of their sinfulness than on that day.
God has drawn a line, set limits around the mountain, and commands them to keep it holy. To cross into territory designated as off limits will result in death. Instead, they stand in awe of the holiness of the Lord manifested and displayed in the creation.
The root of the Hebrew word for holy means separation or withdrawal. God is intrinsically holy by nature and necessarily separated from creation and humanity.[i]
Yet God longs for fellowship with humanity; God longs to be in relationship again with those who have been made in his own image. But sin keeps humans separated from God.
[i] “Holiness, Holy,” Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, p. 598.