This is of course a long time expression used in the U.S. to register surprise or amazement. I awoke with the sound of those two words, as they came repeatedly the last few days from the mouth of my 22 month-old great-grandson. He picked it up along with other choice but forgettable expressions from the mouth of his dad and grand-dad during a particularly exciting football game last Saturday.
I researched the origin and found that it was spiritually based, as it was found in Isaiah; “So frequent and universal shall be the sacrifices which shall be offered unto God, in joy and thanksgiving, that all arabian flocks shall be gladly consecrated to the service, and shall ascend in an holy smoke to the God in heaven”.
Pictured above are Abraham and Isaac, who was spared the human sacrifice of Isaac on the altar as tribute of Abraham’s faith and commitment to God. The somewhat irreverent, but very likely thought that Isaac might have had; “Holy Smoke! that was a close one.”
We, none of us, will be put to that extreme test. It is, however, that example that we needed of Gods’ grace and His willingness to test us. Jesus affirms that we must be willing to leave that which we love to follow him.
And, while our Eli’s vocabulary may be expanded to include the more modern exclamation; “Holy cow” we would hope that it becomes more moderate and carefully descriptive.
Another one he likes is “lickity-split” wherever that comes from (I taught him that one), but it comes out “splat”; but it describes the quickness with which he is learning and the need for us to monitor the process, and not go “splat” in our efforts. Holy- moly kids are fun.