As we consider the unmatchable holiness of God, it ought to put idolatry into perspective. Because God alone is essentially holy, God alone is worthy of our worship. This may be a bit of a stretch for some of you but imagine that, like I am, you’re a fan of Arkansas Razorback Football. Imagine that the Hogs are playing the Alabama Crimson Tide this Saturday at 2pm CST on CBS. At 1:55pm you flip on the television and notice that the underwater basket weaving championship is currently airing on CBS.
When the game is supposed to be kicking off, CBS is still stuck on the basket weaving. At 2:03pm you’re getting a little frustrated. At 2:05pm a message flashes across the screen that says “The Arkansas vs. Alabama game will air immediately following the conclusion of the 75th annual Underwater Basket Weaving Championship.” Supposing you don’t know or care one iota about underwater basket weaving, you’d be pretty upset. This silly program is not worthy to interrupt your Razorback game! Razorback football and underwater basket weaving just aren’t on the same level. No way should that interrupt my football broadcast. In fact, if you are a hardcore Razorback fan, nothing is worthy to interrupt your game except maybe some sort of national tragedy.
Or suppose someone came into your home and stole your most treasured possession. Your great grandmother’s necklace passed down to you. Or that baseball you had signed by Albert Pujols. When you came home and noticed your house had been robbed, you found a note on the table that said “I know you may think of me as a thief, but in reality, I’m buying this from you. Please take the item below as a token of fair trade.” What is the item below? It’s a half-eaten Twinkie. Their claim is that they have essentially ‘purchased’ your most valued possession for a half-eaten Twinkie. Would you consider this a worthy exchange? Of course not.
Yes, these analogies pale in comparison to the unmatchable holiness of God. But as we consider them, think about the value and worth you naturally put on things around you. As we consider God’s holiness let the title of this blog series sink in once again. It is unmatchable. Don’t trade it for lesser things. We were created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. What substitute exists which is sufficient for you to try and find a different purpose than the one for which we were made? Nothing. Idolatry is wicked, and from a rational perspective, it is flat out absurd. And yet, idolatry is rampant across the world today.
Let us return to Scripture. Paul tells us in Romans 1 that “although [mankind] knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things” (Romans 1:21-23, emphasis mine). Although none is holy like our God, the futile thinking and foolish love of men has sought ought other things to worship. No wonder Isaiah responds with ‘woe is me’ upon catching a glimpse of God’s unmatchable holiness! God’s worth is incomparable to anything and everything else!
Another problem with idolatry is that only the Triune God of the universe is able to bear the weight of our worship. When we worship lesser things like our spouse, our careers, sports, children, prestige, money, or clothes, we are always setting those things up for failure. These things are not wrong in and of themselves, but none of these things were designed to bear up the weight of your worship. They will fail 100% of the time. They are unable to match the transcendent holiness of God because He is in a category by Himself.
The good gifts of God are not made to be worshiped but are arrows pointing us to the only One who is worthy of our worship. Don’t put on your family or career what only God is meant to have. He alone is worthy! By definition, God cannot be matched by any created thing in the universe. He is the God of unmatchable holiness. May we adjust our lives accordingly.