The Shot Heard 'Round The World

The season was over! At least that is what most fans thought. In 1951, it was easier to put a man on the moon than for the Giants to catch the Brooklyn Dodgers for baseball’s National League Pennant. However, on the final day of the season the teams were tied, forcing a three-game playoff to determine the champion. In game three the Dodgers were ahead by three runs when the Giant’s came up for their last at-bat. It looked like Giant’s season was over.  In a turn of events reminiscent of “Casey At The Bat,” the Giants put a runner on, then another. The next batter drove home a run. With one out and two men on, Bobby Thomson came to the plate. Dodger pitcher Ralph Branca sent a ball hurtling toward home, and Thomson connected for a game-winning three-run homer. Giant’s announcer Russ Hodges was hysterical (click here for video):

“The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! Bobby Thomson hits into the lower deck of the left field stands! The Giants win the pennant!”

The home run, immortalized by Hodges play-by-play call, has become “The Shot Heard 'Round The World.”  Sometimes the best way to highlight the incredible is to repeat it. Isaiah understood that. Isaiah had a front row view of the Almighty. Here’s his play-by-play call:

In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Hovering around him were mighty seraphim, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with the remaining two they flew. In a great chorus they sang, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” The glorious singing shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire sanctuary was filled with smoke. (Isaiah 6:1-4 NLT)

When Hebrew writers wanted to emphasize something, like Russ Hodges, they repeated it.  It meant: “Take notice; make sure you get this point!”  And what point did the angels want Isaiah to get? God is holy!  “Holy” means separate. It is the idea that God is set apart and distinct from the rest of creation. And to make that point perfectly clear the angels repeated it three times.

The holiness of God is the only attribute of God repeated three times.[1] The Bible never says, “Mercy, mercy, mercy,” or “Wrath, wrath, wrath,” or even “Love, love, love!”  But it does say, “Holy, holy, holy!”  Why? God is so incredibly good, so unbelievably pure, so perfectly just, so amazingly supreme, and so essentially different that he deserves the appellation, “Holy!”

In 1951, a home run brought a crowd to its feet and the announcer to joyful hysteria. How should we respond to a holy God?

MY PRAYER: Father, I praise you that you are holy!

[1] I learned this from R.C. Sproul in his audio series, The Holiness Of God.