In Proverbs 9:10 we read, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” And in Isaiah 6:3 we read this statement, “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.”
The God of heaven is infinitely holy and when man confronts the presence of God he should tremble in his sins. In the scripture we just read, God’s attribute of holiness is elevated to the third degree as He is called holy three times. In the Hebrew culture when a word is repeated two times, like when Jesus said, “Verily, verily I say unto you….” it means absolutely truly. But when a word is repeated to the third degree it means it is elevated to the infinite degree. Isaiah was the prophet for the nation. But when he saw the infinite holiness of God with all of His glory, Isaiah did not say ‘I am blessed as I have seen the Lord with all His holiness,’ but he said in Isaiah 6:5, “Woe is me! for I am undone; Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts.”
Isaiah, the man of God, in the presence of God’s dazzling holiness saw how filthy he was and said, “I am undone.” meaning ‘I am ruined.’ The man of God who proclaimed the word of God with his lips, now saw that his lips were unclean, and not only his but all the people around him were unclean also.
We are like Isaiah and we believe we are good, upright, just, wise and holy until we are confronted by the holiness of God. Then we realize that we are unholy, unrighteous, full of pride, impure, prone to hypocrisy, utterly defiled, and we deserve judgment and punishment. In the Old Testament when the holy men of God saw the presence of God they trembled in fear. Exodus 20:19 declares, “Let not God speak to us, lest we die”.