Updated: Oct 6, 2020
“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.’ At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
‘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.’ Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, ‘See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.’” (Isaiah 6:1-7 NIV)
Oswald Chambers wrote, “Whenever I only want things for myself, the relationship is distorted. And I will suffer great humiliation once I come to acknowledge and understand that I have not really been concerned about realizing Jesus Christ Himself, but only concerned with knowing what He has done for me.” Isaiah just discovered this.
In today’s world, especially in the western culture, we have lost our sense of what a monarchy truly is, and especially the concept of a true Sovereign with real power over all. When I say all, I mean all aspects of our life even to the very existence of life. When the Pharaoh said, “so let it be done,” what he just said became law. We have lost the sense of this in our world of constant division and debate. No one person holds this much authority any more to truly be called Sovereign. Not even the monarchs that still exist really carry that much power. Even further, this passage starts out saying that even Uzziah the King was a mere mortal human and died (indecently, he probably died from the leprosy God gave him when due to his pride he improperly worshiped God by burning incense to the Lord as the priest).
In contrast to this sets the Yahweh, high and exalted on His throne. So much larger than life that the temple cannot even contain Him, only the hem of His cloak. Are you starting to get the idea of what a Sovereign is, a real SOVEREIGN, A REALLY BIG SOVEREIGN? A Sovereign that truly holds life and death in his hands—God the Sovereign, the “one eternally existent, infinite God, Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the universe.” The one that is so exalted that He even holds time in His hands.
Why Sovereign? Why stress so much of God’s sovereignty and not His mercy and grace? Well, because at this moment in time Isaiah has just came to terms with just how supreme God’s reign over everything of everything is, in comparison to his humble service. He has just come to terms with his own wretchedness, his own complete inability to be righteous in God’s eyes.
Picture yourself standing at the feet of the almighty, all knowing, all powerful God of the universe, without the blood of Christ. Without the knowledge of Christ on the cross is where Isaiah is at this point. By the way, a king only goes to the throne when he has official business to do, to pass judgment. Can we kind of start to get the idea of the reverence for God that Isaiah is feeling?
Praise God that He is not just a God of justice but also of mercy and grace as we see Him cleansing Isaiah in these passages just before he commissions him in the rest of this chapter to take God’s Word to the people. Still, in some way we also must come to terms that the God of the universe owns us. Even the Shepherd, as we see Jesus, owns the sheep. How we see God depends on our character, and that character needs His purifying touch.
Are you ready to let God own you?
Are you ready to kneel to His Sovereignty?
Are you ready to allow Him to expose and purify all of your unrighteousness?
Thank you, Pastor Perry