Sunday, 5 June 2016

The Holy One of Israel

The Holy One of Israel

“So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.” (Ezekiel 39:7)

This wonderful name of God, “the Holy One of Israel,” was often used during the days of the later kings of Judah. It occurs three times in the book of Psalms (Psalm 71:22;78:41;89:18) and then no less than 27 times in Isaiah. The name then occurs three more times (Jeremiah 50:29;51:5; Ezekiel 39:7), with the final one being our text above (where the preposition is translated “in”). This unusual pattern can be written sequentially as 3 + 33 + 3 = 33, perhaps reflecting a divinely ordained design to suggest the Holy Trinity.

The strong emphasis on this particular name during the later period of Judah’s kingdom probably was because of the prevalent unholiness of the nation during those years, finally culminating in the captivity of Judah itself. God stressed again and again that He was the Holy One and that “ye shall be holy; for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44).

This theme is prominent in most of the 33 passages where this majestic name is used, but it is especially emphasized in its final occurrence, as recorded in our text. The context of this latter passage is the prophesied invasion of Israel by “Gog, the land of Magog” who will “come up against my people of Israel . . . in the latter days” (Ezekiel 38:2,16). At that time, says the Lord, “there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; . . . and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 38:19,23). Then at last, His people will never pollute His holy name any more and “the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward. . . . for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 39:22,29).

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