El Hakkadosh: The Holy God

| Anne Lukhard

He Plowed. He Planted. He Protected.

Keep Out… Do Not Enter… Authorized Personnel Only …

We have all seen the signs in offices, construction sites, and surgical suites. They are posted to separate us from those who have unique knowledge, authority, and power to work in the environments behind those doors.

Isaiah uses the name El Hakkadosh: The Holy God over thirty times to describe God as, not just set apart, but unique, one of a kind, with complete upright moral character.

In Isaiah 5: 2, God‘s prophet uses song and imagery describing a kind, devoted, loving farmer to help us understand the depth of El Hakkadosh. He plowed. He planted. He protected with a watchtower, and he waited for the harvest. Yet, despite all his care, the harvest was wild and sour. He wants to allow it to die, dispose of it, and allow the cattle to trample it. Isaiah reveals in verses 3-7 that the story does not just depict a bad crop, but it represents God as the farmer and his people as the sour fruit.

Like the farmer, God plowed. He created the world and prepared it for man to dwell in it. He planted. He created each of us like a seed to grow and prosper, not just physically but spiritually. He protected. He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us to guide us.

God expected justice and righteousness, but man chooses bloodshed and oppression. He expresses his indignant wrath by promising that the wealth, crops, and pleasures prevalent today will one day become ruins. He does this not to create evil hate but to destroy it and restore His Creation to its perfect original state. The key verse, Isaiah 5:16 summarizes it like this: “But the Lord of Hosts is exalted above all, for he alone is holy, just and good.”

Unlike the story of the farmer, despite our sin, God does not leave us to be ruined and abandoned. He sent His one and only Son to pay the penalty for all of the sin of all mankind. Jesus tore down the Do Not Enter sign of separation. Human blood behind the surgical door is contaminated but Jesus’ blood is pure and His death and resurrection cleanses our lives and allows us to be authorized to enter… not just through a door but into an eternal relationship with Him.