A Study of Proverbs 31:10-31
Today, we will study “Holiness” without which no man shall see the Lord. We cannot take lightly God’s command to be holy.
This is a study of Proverbs 31:10-31, so if you’d like to study the 31st chapter and give your input, insights into God’s Word, you are always welcome and enjoyed.
Last month Betty taught us the first chapter, “The Fear of God”. Today, we study “Holiness” for without which no man shall see the Lord.” We cannot take lightly God’s command to be holy.
“But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation, because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:15-16
“For I am the Lord, your God; ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy.”
“For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”
1 Thessalonians 4:7
“Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
2 Corinthians 7:1
True holiness is a great reality. It is something in a person that can be seen, and known, and marked and felt by all around.
It’s like light; it’s like salt and like a precious ointment. If it exists, its presence cannot be hid.
The idea of holiness is so central to biblical teaching that is said of God: “Holy is His Name.” His name is holy because He is holy.
He is not always treated with holy reverence. His Name is trampled through the dirt of this world. It functions as a curse word, a platform for the obscene. That the world has little respect for God is vividly seen by the way the world regards His Name…no honor, nor reverence, no awe before Him.
In Heaven the Name of God is breathed by angels in a sacred hush. Heaven is a place where reverence for God is total.
We remember Moses’ request when he ascended into the holy mountain of God. Moses had been an eyewitness of astonishing miracles. He had heard the voice of God speaking to him out of the burning bush.
He had witnessed the River Nile turn into blood. He had tasted manna from Heaven and gazed upon the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.
He had seen the chariots of Pharaoh swept under by the waves of the Rea Sea. Still he was not satisfied.
He craved the ultimate spiritual experience. He inquired of the Lord on the mountain, “Let me see your face; show me your glory.” The request was denied.
20And He said, “Thou canst not see my face for there shall no man see me and live. 21And the Lord said, “Behold there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock 22and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cliff of the rock and will cover thee with my hand while I pass, 23And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts, but my face shall not be seen.”
And the next chapter, Exodus 34, God tells him to be ready in the morning for him to hew two tables of stone and that He/God would write upon them the commandments which he had given him before and he had thrown them down and broken them because the Israelites had become complacent. When Moses returned from the mountain his face was shining. The people were terrified and they shrank away from him in horror. Moses’ face was too dazzling for them to look upon.
So Moses put a veil over his face so the people could approach him. Moses had come so close to God that he was reflecting God’s glory. This was a reflection of the glory from the back of God.
A God of such glory, being our Heavenly Father who loves us with such a holy and compassionate love, yet the final goal of every Christian is to be allowed to see what was denied to Moses. We want to see Him face to face. This hope becomes a promise.
“Now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.”
1 John 3:2
This means that someday we will see God face to face, but before that can happen we much be purified.
When Jesus taught the Beatitudes, He promised, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
It is our impurity that prevents us from seeing God. God has redeemed us. He works daily, if we are willing, to purify and sanctify us and get us ready for Heaven.
Back in Exodus 3:2-5 God commanded Moses to take off his shoes for the ground was holy by the presence of God. The act of removing the shoes was a symbol of Moses’ recognition that he was of the earth, earthy, but God had called Moses and set him apart.
We are not a Moses, but God has called each of us to a sacred place in service for Him. It is not a call from men. We don’t apply for a certain job. God selects men for different capacities for serving Him and the call is sovereign; it cannot be refused.
A call from God, He tells us, is without repentance. Romans 11:29, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”
We should ask God often, is there any little sin lurking in our minds or actions that could cause us to miss out on God’s blessings.
Are there any slippery places in our lives that I might yield to temptation and fail God? We need to take stock of our lives daily, and when we need chastisement or correction from God and he prunes us as a branch from Him, the Vine, do we resent it?
We shouldn’t, because God is as close to His child when He is pruning and shaping us into His Divine will as He will ever be. Perhaps a good way to begin a study on holiness is to look at some heart conditions: carelessness, complacency, a prayerless life, not reading God’s Word, which is our map to Heaven.
Careless conversation is an enemy to holiness. We should not speak irreverently about the things of God. If we could ever begin to see ourselves in all our filthiness and selfishness, if we ever came close to a comprehension of God, we would prostrate ourselves and cry out for mercy and forgiveness.