The Vision of God – Isaiah 6:1-3 By Rev. S. V. Nathan
A couple had two little boys, aged 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town their two young sons were in some way involved. The parents were at their wits end about their sons’ behaviour. The mother had heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so she asked her husband if he thought they should send the boys to speak with the clergyman.
The husband said, ‘We might as well. We need to do something before I really lose my temper!’ The clergyman agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually. The 8 year old went to meet with him first. The clergyman sat the boy down and asked him sternly, ‘Where is God?’ The boy made no response, so the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, ‘Where is God?’ Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face, ‘WHERE IS GOD?’ At that the boy bolted from the room and ran directly home, slamming himself in the closet. His older brother followed him into the closet and asked what had happened. The younger brother replied, ‘We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it. (http://gatewaytojesus.com/humorouschurchstories.html).
This humorous story somewhat portrays our idea of God. Many really don’t understand or fully comprehend nature and character of God. The vision of God to Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-3) reveals three important natures of God which helps us to comprehend who God is. Let us heed what Isaiah has to say about God.
- THE MAJESTY OF GOD (vs 1b): “I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.”
The vision gave Isaiah a glimpse of “THE MAJESTY OF GOD”. God is represented as a king, sitting on a throne (vs 1b). The “throne;” reveals God’s divine majesty which shows two important aspects of God.
Firstly we see the impressive beauty, magnificence, solemn grandeur, awesomeness of God in His throne and, nothing can be compared to Him. Thus Isaiah’s vison reveals that God is reverent in His majestic nature (Psalm 111:9). Secondly the majesty implies that He is the ruler invested with royal power. He is sovereign God with the absolute authority and power over the seen and unseen realms. Kings may come and go, but the unshakeable kingdom and the eternal king are the only absolute eternal realities.
Thus, God’s majesty and awesomeness requires us to come to His throne with a sense of a deep, abiding reverential awe, and commit our life totally to His sovereign rule over us.
- THE HOLINESS OF GOD (vs 2-3): “Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts”
The vision gave Isaiah a glimpse of not only God’s majesty but also “THE HOLINESS OF GOD”. Even sinless and holy angels could not behold God and they covered their faces and feet, and were humbled in the presence of God. With faces hidden, they called him three times: Holy, holy, holy.
The very god-ness of God means that He is separate from all that is not God. There is an infinite qualitative difference between Creator and creature. The absence of a clear understanding of God’s holiness is the reason for our shallowness, our selfishness, our weakness, and our disobedience. Keep in mind that the Hebrew word “holy” in the Old Testament has the idea of something that is set apart and divinely unique.
In the presence of the holy God, Isaiah had a profound sense of his own sinfulness. He became instantly aware that God will not compromise with evil and he was filled with terror. God’s holiness is so radiant before which an holy angel or the sinful man cannot stand before. Yet, sinful and worthless human beings can enter His presence through the blood of Lord Jesus Christ that was shed for the remission of sins of humanity.
- THE GLORY OF GOD (vs 3b):“the whole earth is full of his glory”.
The vision gave Isaiah a glimpse of not only God’s majesty, holiness but also “THE GLORY OF GOD”. He saw the temple was filled with the splendour of God’s glory! That was the “Shekinah,” or visible symbol of God. The glory of God is the beauty of His spirit. It is not aesthetic beauty or material beauty, but it is the beauty that emanates from His character. The eternal glory of God, which is manifested in all His attributes together, never passes away. His glory not only appears in the heavens but through all the world, and therefore all creatures are bound to praise him.
As it was when Christ dwelt in this world, wrought his miracles, and manifested forth his glory, and when his Gospel was preached everywhere by his apostles and as it will be, more especially in the latter day, when the world will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord; when the kingdoms of this world will become his, and his kingdom will be everywhere, even from sea to sea, and from the rivers to the ends of the earth; the earth is his, and all that is in it, and all declare his glory(Psalm 19).
Remember that what we think about God is the most important thing about us, which will shape our conviction, commitment, theology of worship and attitude towards God in giving and serving. This is true in the life of Isaiah, seeing the holiness and majesty of the living God knocked Isaiah off his feet. The experience drove him closer to God; immediately he obeyed and surrendered to God’s call to go to do whatever He required of him (vs 8c Then said I, Here am I; send me.). Isaiah received an eternal perspective of life and began to see beyond the temporal. His ministry became more effective and productive after this encounter.
Let us examine our conviction and commitment to Him. Who is God in your sight? What does He look like? Is He majestic, Holy and full of glory? If so, how are you serving and giving? Thus, shall we all follow the Prophet Isaiah, by realising our inadequacy and sinfulness in front of our Majestic and Holy God, by surrendering to His will to glorify Him in our lives and proclaim His glory to others during our life time?