BEHOLD HIM NOW
Isaiah 6:1-7 (NASB)
In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim were standing above Him, each having six wings: with two each covered his face, and with two each covered his feet, and with two each flew. And one called out to another and said,
“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of armies.
The whole earth is full of His glory.”
And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said,
“Woe to me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of armies.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your guilt is taken away and atonement is made for your sin.”
What stands out to you in this passage? This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. I find this particular scene to be incredibly evocative. It makes me want to behold God. It stirs such awe and wonder within me. He leaves me awestruck. You may have read this particular story before and, if so, I encourage you to put yourself in the story. Try to imagine what is happening in this incredible scene!
Picture this scene with me, and feel free to create your own word picture if you don’t like mine. Whenever I read this story, I always imagine a cavernous, dark, stone room so silent that you could hear a pin drop. It’s the type of room where someone’s footsteps reverberate throughout the space. King Uzziah has died. This is a humble, somber, and mournful moment. Imagine how emotionally, and maybe even spiritually, raw Isaiah was.
In that dark space, the Lord appears in all His splendor. His throne is beaming with His glory and His face is so bright that we dare not look at it. Instead, we gasp at the pure white train of His robe. It’s so long that it billows out and takes up the space of the room. It’s no longer dark, empty, and mournful. The King has arrived.
What a sight to behold! The angels call to one another, praising and extolling God. Their voices are so thunderous that the walls begin to shake, but God’s throne is secure and immovable. A swirling smoke begins to fill the space; the earth is having a physical reaction to the presence and goodness of God. In His presence, things can’t stay the same.
Isaiah’s first response is repentance. He immediately confesses his sinful state when confronted with the pure holiness of Almighty God. Here we see that God doesn’t use His omnipotent glory to punish or demean the lowly Isaiah. Instead, He honors Isaiah’s humility and heals him. God does the same for us too! When we understand our sinful nature and humbly confess our sins to God, He extends forgiveness, healing, and freedom to us. God is good and God is great. We see both attributes in full display in this wondrous story.
Isaiah’s repentance is a beautiful form of worship, which is just as incredible as the angels’ response to God’s glory in this passage. These amazing creatures (who are so weirdly described that I can’t even fully picture them) were declaring God’s holiness. They were speaking truth, calling to each other the sweet song about God’s character. They were proclaiming His goodness to whoever would listen.
Isaiah likely went through a roller coaster of emotions in this passage: sorrow, fear, awe, lament, and more. These verses remind me that no matter how we’re feeling or what we’ve been through, God’s greatness is still true. His holiness is still intact. He isn’t out of sync with how we’re feeling, nor is He dismissive of us. God meets with us because He loves us. He is gentle, caring, and kind while also being righteous, just, and holy. We serve an immensely glorious God who seeks to be with us. No matter how we’re feeling today, let’s embrace His presence. Let’s behold Him today!
Resource: Sarah Callen, Devotable Faith ©2020
Jesus, may You be the sole recipient of my adoration, my attention, and my allegiance today. I want to behold You in the fullness of Your glory, at least that which You would allow and that which I can handle. Become my greatest obsession, I pray. Remove anything that is occupying my attentions or affections that is not You and take Your rightful place in my life.