Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Sense of God's Holiness

Cornelius Plantinga reflects on the story of Jacob's ladder (Genesis 28) and what it teaches Christians today about the fear of the Lord:

"It's a great tragedy that, in an age of instant friends and popular democracy, many Christians are losing the sense of God's holiness.

"We pray against television background noise. We come into a sanctuary and yak and grin and clap our friends on the back. Our sense of God's holiness has becomes so weak that we are able to speak familiarly of 'the Lord' while stretching our limbs and chewing our gum.

"Jacob cannot worship the Lord until he has know the fear of the Lord. He has a hard night of his stone pillow, a night full of dreams and whisperings and old memories. It is an unholy night until Jacob begins to dream. For this shfity, tainted man, it may have been the turning point. It is not that Jacob is able to climb up and lay hold of God. Not at all. He never could. Jacob's God is far above Jacob's ladder. Yet by this dream and by this ladder, the Holy One of Israel descends to reach for one of his children.

"Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, 'Surely the Lord is in this place -- and I did not know it!' And he was afraid and said, 'How awesome is this place!'"

-- "Assurances of the Heart" pp.30-31 (Zondervan 1993)

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