There are over fifty different things that the word of God
denotes as being holy. In the next several essays we will
examine those things in the scriptures that are called holy.
Recall that the word, "holy," means "to be separate." The
things that are called holy in the scriptures are holy
because God has made them holy and are separate for His
We will begin our study of holy things by looking at the
phrase, "holy nation."
In Ex. 19:6 God said of Israel, "And ye shall be a kingdom
of priests, and an holy nation. This was in accordance to
the covenant promises that God had made unto Abraham, Isaac,
1. Gen. 12:2, "And I will
make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and
make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.
2. Gen. 18:18, "Seeing
that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty
nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be
blessed in him.
3. Gen. 26:3, "Sojourn in
this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee;
for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these
countries, and I will perform the oath which I swore
unto Abraham thy father."
4. Gen. 35:11, "And God
said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and
multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of
thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins."
5. Gen. 46:3, "And he
said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go
down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great
From the above we see that based on God's covenant promise
God made Israel a great nation in the land of Egypt. They
started out as a nation in the midst of a nation. Most
people who go to live in a nation are absorbed into that
nation and become a part of that nation. God preserved
Israel as a separate people in all their sojourning in the
land of Egypt. Furthermore, at the appointed time God
delivered Israel out of Egyptian bondage and made them a
holy nation unto himself as we read previously in Ex. 19:6.
We normally think of a nation as a group of people united
under a common government and system of laws under the rule
of a common king or leader. Israel was a "holy" nation
because she was a nation unto God. God gave her, her
government, laws and ordinances, and was her King (at least
unto the time of King Saul). Furthermore, Israel was holy
because God was in her midst and went with her:
1. Ex. 33:16, "For wherein
shall it be known here that I and thy people have found
grace in thy sight? Is it not in that thou goest with
us? So shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all
the people that are upon the face of the earth."
2. Deut. 4:7, 8, "For what
nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto him,
as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon
him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath
statutes and judgments, so righteous as all this law,
which I set before you this day?"
3. Deut. 4:34, "Or hath
God assayed to go and take him a nation, by temptations,
by signs, and by wonders, and by war; and by a mighty
hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors,
according to all that the Lord your God did for you in
Egypt before your eyes?"
Thus under the old covenant Israel was an holy nation unto
God, for God had by covenant purpose chosen them; given them
laws, statutes, commandments; given them her government; had
delivered them out of Egyptian bondage; been in their midst;
and was their king.
In the new testament we read of another holy nation in I
Pet. 2:9, 10, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, an ‘holy nation,' a peculiar people; that ye
should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out
of darkness into his marvelous light: which in time past
were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had
not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."
This "holy nation" is God's people in his kingdom (church)
who are governed by his laws, ordinances, and commandments;
who recognize Jesus as their king and that the government is
upon his shoulders (Is. 9:6). Furthermore, they have Jesus
in their midst: Matt. 18:20, "For where two or three are
gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of
Just as Israel was a nation by covenant promise, so are
these a nation by covenant promise: Heb.8:10 12, "For this
is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into
their minds, and write them in their hearts: and I will be
to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: and they
shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his
brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from
the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their
unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities will I
remember no more."
These people have all been born of the Spirit: John 3:5,
"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again
he cannot see the kingdom of God." Furthermore, they pressed
into the kingdom after hearing the gospel proclaimed: Lk.
16:16, "The law and the prophets were until John: since that
time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth
into it." In addition, they have brought themselves and
submitted themselves under the laws and ordinances of King
Jesus: Matt. 28:20, "Teaching them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you." They consider themselves
to be citizens of the kingdom of heaven: Eph. 2:19, 20, "Now
therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but
fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of
God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and
prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner
stone." They recognize Jesus as being their king: I Tim.
1:17, "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the
only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen."
In addition, as Israel was made a nation in the midst of
Egypt, so these people are a nation in the midst of the
world. They consider themselves strangers, pilgrims, and
foreigners in this world: I Pet. 2:11, "Dearly beloved, I
beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly
lusts, which war against the soul..."