I love to study what the Bible has to say about God’s holiness. Recently, I came across these 10 Bible quotes from the book of Ezekiel, and I learned a few remarkable things about God’s holiness. I want to share those with you!
God Manifests His Holiness
“As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations.”
God promises to manifest his holiness among his people. They have something extraordinary to hope for in the time after they were scattered and brought back together: God’s holiness would dwell with them. This is Jesus Christ, who “is God’s holiness in human flesh.”
Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Sidon, and I will manifest my glory in your midst. And they shall know that I am the Lord when I execute judgments in her and manifest my holiness in her.”
The manifestation of God’s holiness can also have something to do with execution of judgment.
Here, God directly tells Sidon that he is against them. While verses like this may raise some questions, it’s clear that God will show himself to Sidon and his presence could be a terrifying thing.
Thus says the Lord God: “When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and manifest my holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they shall dwell in their own land that I gave to my servant Jacob.”
We’ve seen that the manifestation of God’s holiness brings hope in the person of Jesus Christ, that it can be associated with judgment, and here we see that it has an implication for God’s people.
God promises to manifest his holiness in his people. Much can be said about this, and I just want to highlight a general implication: Through his power and grace, God plans to use us to bring glory to him!
God Vindicates His Holiness
And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them.
God is not like some high-status individuals who “don’t care what people think about them.” No! He cares deeply that you know who he is. People throughout the ages have profaned his name, and he has given us his word and preachers of the word so that we may know who he really is.
And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.
God wants the nations to know he is the Lord. Why is that a good thing for us? Because he is the God who saves his people, who is gracious to repentant sinners, who created you, and who loves you. He wants you to know that no other god exists.
That god in your mind who is perpetually against you? Doesn’t exist. That god in your mind who is unreachable and uncaring? Fake!
You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.
God uses Gog to bring judgment to Israel. If I were Gog, I would have thought that all of this conquest was due to my own power! But no—God was in control. Gog may have thought he was bringing glory to his own name, but God was actually bringing glory to His holy name!
So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
As seen throughout so many of these verses, God does not only care for those who follow him already but also for “many nations.” God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies’ lands, and through them have vindicated my holiness in the sight of many nations.
God’s plan all along was to use Gog to destroy Israel and then to redeem them. This judgment and redemption plan is all about his love for his people, bringing them back to him, but it is also about his desire to make his holiness known to humanity.
As his creation, we can never mistake God’s love for us as a thing existing without his holiness. He is set apart, perfect, and of a different category than us. God loves us, yes, and but we cannot be united to him unless we are also holy.
God Gives His Holiness
And when they go out into the outer court to the people, they shall put off the garments in which they have been ministering and lay them in the holy chambers. And they shall put on other garments, lest they transmit holiness to the people with their garments.
What’s going on this verse? There’s a ritual taking place and the priests had been wearing specific garments allowing them to be in God’s presence in the inner rom. When they left, going to the outer court, they had to remove those specific garments because God’s holiness was there on them.
Two notes: 1.) God graciously gave a way for the priest to be holy so that he could be in the presence of God. 2.) God does not give his holiness away to those who do not follow him.
The Israelites had profaned God’s name and lived in rebellion for years and years. As we have seen, God cares deeply about his holiness—this is not something he gives on a whim like Oprah giving away cars.
10. Ezekiel 46:20
And he said to me, “This is the place where the priests shall boil the guilt offering and the sin offering, and where they shall bake the grain offering, in order not to bring them out into the outer court and so transmit holiness to the people.”
What we can see from these two verses is that God’s holiness can be transmitted, or given, to a person, but it is not happening here. What would it take to happen then?
These people, the same as us, needed a perfect sacrifice to take the full wrath of God’s judgment. To pay the penalty for the sins of the world. Jesus did this! Jesus—God’s holiness in the flesh—came to die so that we may live.
And to all those who believe in Jesus Christ, and live under his Lordship, God will not say “I won’t transmit my holiness to you.” To those in Christ, God promises we will “become partakers in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).