SCRIPTURE STUDY: Isaiah 6:1-3 (NIV)
 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
 And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
It’s difficult to know when reading passages of Scripture in the Bible whether God’s GLORY refers to His actual glory or to human recognition of it. This is true, for example, when Scripture speaks of the earth being full of the GLORY of the Lord.
In Isaiah 6, we see the call and commissioning of Isaiah, the prophet.
We don’t know for sure, but we assume that Isaiah was in the earthly temple. However, the temple described in verse 1 is the Heavenly Temple.
In the year King Uzziah died it may be like saying the year Pearl Harbor was bombed, in the year JFK was shot, or in the year the Bomb was dropped. This was a time in the nation of crisis and change that the prophet came face to face with the King of Kings.
HOLINESS tells us that Jesus is the exact representation or image of God. What many have lost is the holiness of God. God has become “the man upstairs”, or “the God next door”. Max Lucado said it well: “Immanuel, God with us.”
In Jesus Christ, God came near. Something of the awesomeness and greatness– His GLORY has been forgotten. The church culture has so allowed the culture around us to shape the way we do things. The customer satisfaction mentality has invaded our churches we have to be sure not to offend anyone– WORSHIP is all about them.
Here in Isaiah, we see that WORSHIP is all about God.
When we see and sing the words on the Big Screen in church or out of a hymn book, we need to remember the songs are all about Him. When you read History in the Bible, you need to remember, it’s His story. What Isaiah got was probably more than he bargained for in a worship service.
God’s High Position (6:1) – Beholding His Glory
 IN THE year that King Uzziah died, [in a vision] I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and the skirts of His train filled the [most holy part of the] temple. [John 12:41] (Amplified Bible).
Isaiah was reminded that God is sovereign. When God showed up, Isaiah saw God high and lifted up. He saw God in His greatness and holiness. With everything that was happening, God was in complete control while sitting on His throne in heaven.
Here in Isaiah 6:1, looking at several different Bible translations, you can see Lord spelled in all caps–i.e., LORD; and others, Lord. I just had to dig deeper here.
LORD (all caps or small caps) reflects the original term “YHWH”, while Lord (standard capitalization) is the English rendition of the Hebrew Adonai, meaning “to be”; “the Lord God Almighty, the sovereign or supreme one.” It suggests that God simply is i.e., He possesses an underived existence; He is the eternal “I AM”. This name became a special designation–emphasized in God’s relations ship to the nation of Israel. [“LORD and Lord – What’s the Difference? by The Christian Courier]
John 12:37-40 clearly tells us that Isaiah was seeing Jesus on the throne!
Isaiah saw God on the throne with His hand on the throttle in complete control.
- When it says DISEASE–God is on the throne!
- When the boss says you’re FIRED–God is on the throne!
- When our children DISOBEY–God is on the throne!
Isaiah saw God high and lifted up, but he also heard the Seraphim cry “Holy, Holy, Holy”
THE HOLINESS OF GOD –
The Holiness of God is, His being in a class by Himself with His perfection and greatness and worth. All His perfection and greatness and worth are distinct and separate–we’ve been taught that HOLY means separate–His in a class by Himself.
HIS HOLINESS IS WHAT HE IS AS GOD THAT NOBODY ELSE IS –
His quality of perfection can’t be improved upon, can’t be imitated, and that determines that He is all of that and nothing is determined from outside Him.
Now when Isaiah 6:3 says that angels are crying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty”–the next thing they say is this: “The whole earth is full of His”…and you might think “holiness” would be the next word.
But he doesn’t say holiness, he says GLORY!
Essentially, “holy”, essentially holy, and the whole earth is full of His GLORY.
I stab a definition here by saying the GLORY OF GOD is the manifest beauty of His holiness. It’s the going public of His Holiness. It’s the way He puts His holiness on display for people to apprehend.
Read the words from Leviticus 10:3: God says He will be shown to be HOLY among those who are near Him and before all the people He will be honored.
“I will be shown to be holy,” He says. “And among ALL the people” — say it another way–“I will be glorified.”
The Worship Connection of His Holiness and Glory –
What on earth does all this have to do with our worship?
If you divorce or separate God’s holiness from worship, all you have is entertainment. Why start on time, why do things in order, why not distract others during the song service and preaching? Because we should be focusing on the greatness of God!!!
WHY THE CROSS?
The cross was ultimately the result of God’s Holiness. Sinful man can’t stand in the presence of a Holy God. God took care of the ‘sin problem.’
2 Corinthians 5:21 (AMP)
 For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].
This God that’s HOLY and separate is the God we need to see in our worship–in our everyday living.
Isaiah’s Posture of Humility in God’s Glory and Holiness –
“Woe to me! I am ruined and undone…” (6:5)
To Isaiah’s peers, he was upright. a righteous man, a man of unmatched integrity. AND then just one glimpse of God’s greatness changed his whole self-perception.
It took God to reveal his guilt, it took a picture of deity to reveal Isaiah’s filthiness–his sin.
Have you ever seen God in such a way that revealed who you really are?
Have you ever recognized that you are a sinner that’s separated from God without hope?
That’s what the VISION did for Isaiah. It revealed reality to him–God sees us as we are, where we are in life right now! He sees your heart!!
What happened when Isaiah saw this VISION of God?
“Woe is me! I am undone and ruined.”
The Hebrew word for “undone”: to come apart at the seams. Isaiah was totally exposed for who he was before a holy God.
A vision of the holiness of God that brings true conviction of sin is always followed by the confession of sin.
I love Billy Ricks’ slant of this fact: “Regardless of excuses, sin is a prison from which you can never be freed until you admit it’s your own fault that you were thrown in the slammer.”
Because Isaiah came clean he was made clean. The cleansing power of God went to work on Isaiah’s behalf.
God is HOLY and also merciful. When we confess our sins to Him, God goes to work. He cleanses us with the Blood of Jesus (1 John 1:9).
What is the big deal about WORSHIP in Christian America today?
To me, it’s about seeing God in all of His manifested GLORY. Let me break that down just a bit. When someone says, “Look at the wind blowing outside,” and when you peer out the window you can’t actually see the wind. What you see is the effect that the wind has on the objects it’s blowing on–the trees, a flag, a hat blown off one’s head. So when God breathes, you can’t visibly see His breath, but you can see His GLORY manifested in your surroundings. Just look around you!
In seeing God for who He is we can see ourselves as we truly are. The church culture of today has so allowed the culture around us shape the way we do things. The customer satisfaction mentality has infiltrated our churches.
Here is a heavenly worship service where Isaiah saw a fresh vision of God. From this vision of God’s HOLINESS, Isaiah was inspired to pen words like Isaiah 40:8.
What churches and Christians in America desperately need is a fresh vision of God’s holiness and His Glory. We don’t need a new revelation because all that God is and has for us is revealed in Christ Jesus.
We give God the GLORY!!!
Commentary: John Piper’s “What Is God’s Glory” at desiringGod.org.
Music Video: “I SAW THE LORD” by Dallas Holmes – YouTube.
Images: Google Image search.
Bible Translations: New International Version (NIV); Amplified (AMP); King James Version (KJV).