Summary: God of Wonders, Pt. 3
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY (ISAIAH 6)
Are you old enough to remember the first Indiana Jones movie – The Raiders of the Lost Ark? Do you remember the final scene when Indiana Jones and friend were bound and the ark was finally seized by the Nazi raiders? Indiana Jones struggled in vain to free himself and watched in horror when the ark fell into the wrong hands.
Then the raiders made a wrong move and decide to open the box-like object holy to the Jewish faith. Initially nothing happened. Then waves and waves of speeding smoke streamed into the air and assailed from all directions, transforming into a pretty female face before the transfixed audience.
At this point, Indiana shouted to his friend to close her eyes, to resist looking into the faces and eyes of the image. At the same time, the archaeological thieves were rubbing their hands in glee and opening their eyes so big at the magical display, the mysterious features and miraculous sight before them. Their jaws dropped as they repeated the word, “Beautiful.” That was the last word from them as the smoke whisked up into the air, sliced and speared into them, slashing them into pieces.
Unlike the gods of men, the God of heaven is holy. Isaiah caught a dramatic vision of the Lord’s holiness when he was called into prophetic service in the year King Uzziah died. The good king Uzziah had died and vacated the throne but the Lord God was reigning and seated on his throne. Kingdoms and governments rise and fall, come and go, but God’s throne is unshakable, high and exalted. Uzziah’s entombment was powerfully contrasted with God’s enthronement. The earthly king was buried in his regal robes but just the fringe of the heavenly king’s robe blanketed the whole temple.
The mere mention of God and presence of His holiness caused a huge commotion and a choir outbreak among angels in heavens and on earth. According to the orthodox view, the seraphs stand at the head of the nine choirs of angels, surrounding the seat of the enthroned Lord and they ranked ahead of cherubim that carried the chariot of the divine throne (Keil & Delitzsch). The radiance of God’s holiness was too luminous for the seraphs to bear and too wondrous to behold, so much so that they covered their faces, eyes and feet, breaking out in chorus, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Holiness is the very essence, foundation and core of His Being, but how should men response to His holiness?
Confession is Required of the Sinner
6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” 6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
The pastor walked into the church alone and felt an overwhelming sense of God’s holiness. He went to the front, knelt down at the altar rail, and began to beat himself on the chest, crying out, “Oh Lord, I am nothing!”
A few moments later, the minister of music entered the church. He too felt the overwhelming presence of God and, seeing the pastor at the altar, went
and knelt down beside him. He also began to strike his chest and say, “Oh Lord, I am nothing. I am nothing.”
It happened that the whole staff, one by one, began coming in. The minister of recreation, the minister of education, eventually, the whole staff, all kneeling at the altar bemoaning their “nothingness” before the Almighty.
A little while later, the church custodian came in and got caught up in the revival, as well. He knelt beside the ministerial colleagues and began beating on his chest, adding to the refrain, “Oh Lord, I am nothing. I am nothing.”
At that moment the pastor looked up, saw the janitor, and nudged the minister of music. “Well, well,” he said. “Just look at who thinks he’s nothing!”