Refuge from God, in God . . . by joe littlefield
A.W. Tozier said, “We take refuge from God in God”. How can this contradictory statement be true? We must recognize the holiness of God and the Grace of God. First, we must get a glimpse of who He really is; a glimpse of a God who has angelic beings, for all eternity, flying round His throne saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God almighty.” Day and night they never stop. He is holy. He is holy. He is holy.
An old rabbinic tradition thinks of it in the following terms; each time the angelic beings circle round the throne they think of a new reason to proclaim His holiness. And for all of eternity, day and night, they will never stop finding new reasons to do so. God is that holy. God is holy upon holy. God is holy upon holy upon holy.
Second, we must see the Father’s act of grace in sending the Son to us. We must see that everything required to satisfy His holiness is found in a perfect, holy Jesus. Jesus is infinite. And He has infinitely appeased the holy justice of a holy Father. On the cross the cup of the Father’s wrath was completely and violently poured out on Jesus. And that wrath was satisfied for all eternity. It was truly finished.
Therefore, when we recognize our sinfulness in light of God’s holiness it should naturally, at first, breed such things as shame and fear. We are truly shameful and should be, in our fallen state, afraid of a holy and just God.
But the road of repentance is one of moving toward God – toward the very one whose holiness brings such shame and fear. But it is a move that sees the finished work of Christ. Our sin has been paid for on the cross. Our shame is swallowed up in God’s glory that has been placed on us. Our fear has been comforted – not by a weaker, lesser, softer view of God – but by Christ who took all our filthiness on Himself; took all the pain, all the violence, all the judgment of a holy God rightly due on us – and clothed us in His own perfect righteousness. His perfect sacrificial love has cast out fear.
We are to take refuge from God in God.