Category Archives: Wholly

As for Me and My House

Book, Chapter & Verse

Some of the last words from Joshua: “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt.  Serve the Lord!  And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.  But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  Joshua 24:14-15

If you are reading the Chronological plan, these are the words you will see today.  As I thought about them, it reminded me of how many “things” we let into our house.  Good and bad, these things affect our lives in ways we don’t often stop to…

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Holy and Wholly.

I wonder, how many of us know the difference between the two?  When I first saw the word “wholly”, I have to admit that I thought maybe it was just another way to spell “holy”.  Still…I was curious about the difference.  It seemed like there must be a reason for the “w”. 

I saw “wholly” in a song that our praise team sings at church.  The song speaks of wanting to be “wholly”.  Then, in my bible reading, I began to see “wholly” again.  Many times over the last two weeks, I have read the word “wholly”.  With my curiosity at an all-time high, I began to search out the difference between the two.

“Holy” as defined by the dictionary is:  “Belonging to, derived from, or associated with a divine power; sacred; set apart for a religious purpose; regarded or deserving special respect or reverence.

Some biblical examples of “holy” are:

  • 1 Peter 1:15-16            “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy“.”

  • Revelation 15:4            “Who shall not fear you, O Lord, and glorify Your name?  For You alone are holy.”

“Wholly” is defined as:  “Exclusively; to the fullest extent; without exception; in its entirety; completely; purely.”

Some biblical examples of “wholly” are:

  • Numbers 32:11 & 12          “…because they have not wholly followed Me, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, the Kenizzite, and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the Lord.” 
  • Deuteronomy 1:36             “except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and his children I am giving the land on which he walked, because he wholly followed the Lord.”

So, what I have learned, and what I would like to share with you today is that God is BOTH “Holy” and “Wholly”….exclusively and entirely deserving special respect and reverence.  He wants us to consider Him as our complete, without exception, one and only God, sacred, set apart, and exclusive. 

Consider these praise song lyrics: 

“Holy is the Lord, God Almighty,

The earth is full of His Glory.

Holy is the Lord, God Almighty,

The earth is full of His Glory.

The earth is full of His Glory.”

Holy means sacred.  God is sacred, and worthy of reverence.  He, in Himself, is the definition of the word “holy” and no action of ours can or will change that.

Now…sing the same song, and add a “w” changing the word “holy” to “wholly” would make it mean something like this:

“(Exclusive) is the Lord, God Almighty,

The earth is full of His Glory.

(Exclusive) is the Lord, God Almighty,

The earth is full of His Glory.

The earth is full of His Glory.”

As we consider the state of our hearts, how many of us can sing this with conviction?  Although God is exclusive in His own being, we often fail to recognize Him as the exclusive God in our lives.  The word “wholly” requires action for us.  If we do consider God “wholly”, then we will put aside our other “gods” and follow Him.  Money, fame, fortune, popularity, habits, hobbies, family, friends, time, pride, selfishness, and many other things become our “god” so easily. 

We must remember that our God is complete — pure and exclusive, and far more valuable than any other.   

 

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