“And one called out to another and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.'”-Isaiah 6:3
One of the most fascinating passages of Scripture is Isaiah’s vision of Christ in Isaiah 6. In Israel’s time of national crisis, Isaiah sees the LORD (Yahweh) exalted and sitting on His throne in the temple. The train of Christ’s robe fills the temple and the seraphim stood above the LORD crying out “Holy, Holy, Holy.” This vision took place in the year King Uzziah died. This king reigned in Judah for 52 years and did right in the sight of God. This is difficult for us to identify with because here in America, we have had 10 men in the last 52 years who were president of our nation. Israel had only one for a little over half a century. When King Uzziah died, Israel would have been in a state of national mourning! It was in this setting that Isaiah has this vision of Christ in all His glory. Just to add a side not here, we know this was the Lord Jesus that Isaiah saw because the apostle John tells his readers in John 12 that it was, indeed, Christ.
I want us to notice what happened to Isaiah when He saw the exalted Christ. Before we look at it, we need to reflect on the view of Christ today by many. I’m sure you have seen as many signs, stickers, etc. that says something like, “Jesus is my co-pilot,” or have heard some say, “Jesus is my homeboy.” This is nothing more than diminishing the glory of who Christ really is. If Jesus walked into the place where you are, what do you think you would do? Would you walk over to Him and begin to speak with Him as if He were your equal? Would you stare at Him in amazement? Would you tell Him then that He is your homeboy or co-pilot? No, not at all! You would be on your face in fear at the sight of the Majestic One! We know this because this is what happened to Isaiah, and not only him, but to the apostle John in Revelation 1:17: “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man.” This is the Beloved disciple who reclined on the bosom of Jesus at the Last Supper. He fell at Jesus’ feet in fear just as the sight of Him!
Isaiah’s encounter was similar. When Isaiah saw Christ sitting on His glorious throne, Isaiah called down an oracle of doom upon himself. He said, “Woe is 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 hosts.” Isaiah was immediately aware of his sinfulness in the presence of the holy One. He said, “I am ruined,” or as another translation states, “I am coming apart!” He was in fear of the exalted One. He did not attempt to treat Him as an equal or speak of Him so candidly. At that moment, Isaiah understood more fully who God was, and who he himself was. God is the holy One of Israel and Isaiah is unholy. We hear often that God is love and because He is, many tend to diminish His glory as they portray Him as “the Big Guy in the sky” who exists only to make us happy or allow us to be happy by doing what we desire. We hear, “Come as you are” often. We must recognize that, yes, God is love, but He is also holy. If one attribute of God could be emphasized more than others, it would be His holiness. No other characteristic is repeated three times. He is the holy One is whose presence men fall on their faces before Him in fear. Understand Beloved, God is not your buddy. He is your Lord who has all power and authority over His creation, which He spoke into existence. Let us not diminish His holiness and speak and treat Him irreverently, but to remember that our God is a consuming fire.
Joshua Banks is senior pastor and founder of Shepherd’s Rock Bible
Church in Kingsport, TN. He holds a Bachelors degree in Ministry from
Luther Rice University, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, and a
Master of Divinity both from Liberty University. Joshua and his wife
Amanda, along with their 5 children, reside in Gate City, VA.