Summary: See God As He Is 1) Awesomely Holy 2) Totally Forgiving; 3) Mightily Motivating
Do you know what an ultra violet camera does? A UV camera can record the spectrum of light that we can’t see with our naked eyes. Inspectors use UV cameras to look for gas leaks at refineries lest the gasses escape unnoticed and harm the surrounding environment.
It’s not just refinery gas leaks that are normally invisible, God is invisible too. But even UV cameras can’t help us see God. From time to time though God did reveal himself. One such person that saw God was the prophet Isaiah. Through Isaiah’s eyes today we’ll get to see God as he is. We’ll learn that he is awesomely holy, totally forgiving, and mightily motivating.
Our sermon text begins with the words: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord…” (Isaiah 6:1a). Notice Isaiah did not say, “Once upon a time,” or “In a galaxy far, far away…” Isaiah ties his vision of the Lord to a real event in history: the death of one of the kings of Judah. In other words the details that I am about to relate to you are fact not fiction.
Well let’s get to it then. Isaiah said he saw the Lord. What did God look like? I don’t know. Isaiah doesn’t tell us. The most he said about God was that he was seated on a throne that was high and exalted and that the train or hem of his robe filled the temple. Isaiah did see angels whom he describes as seraphs, which means something like “burning ones.” These seraphs each had six wings. With two they covered their eyes, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. As they did so they called out to one another with words of praise for God, their voices shaking the whole temple as the sanctuary filled with smoke. At times our choir’s singing has shaken our director but never the walls of this church. That would be something to experience wouldn’t it – a choir that could literally rock this place with its eight-inch concrete walls?
Although Isaiah doesn’t really describe God he doesn’t have to for us to form an accurate impression. The lofty throne, the booming seraphs, and the pungent smoke all tell us that he is awesome. It might be what you think when you see a limo drive by. You may not be able to see the person riding inside but you know that it must be someone of importance – especially if there is a police escort with lights flashing and sirens blaring.
But God is not just awesome; he’s awesomely holy. The seraphs said or sang about God: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3). What does it mean that God is holy? It means that he is totally set apart, or as we might say today, in a different league than us when it comes to power, wisdom, AND morality. What’s more the seraphs said that God’s glory wasn’t just hovering above Jerusalem; it fills the whole earth including Alberta, Edmonton, St. Albert, your house, your bedroom… God’s holiness is everywhere…even if you can’t see it.