Monday, June 13, 2022

Holy, Holy, Holy (Isaiah 6)

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:3b).

Since Psalm 71 concluded with ringing praise to the Holy One, we will take the next week to study this attribute of God extolled time and again—holiness. Holiness is not just an attribute, it is God’s very essence. With a greater understanding of holiness, we gain greater insight into God Himself as well as a deeper understanding of our own sinfulness. Isaiah experienced this life-changing effect of God’s holiness when he was transported to the heavenly court. The scene is dramatic—God’s royal robe filled the temple; above the throne were seraphs, calling to one another, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty.” Isaiah, in humility, cried, “Woe to me, for I am undone!” When confronted with the awesome purity of God, he realized as never before the depths of his own filth. God’s purity is beyond our imagination and simply a glimpse of it destroys any pride we may have in our own virtues. Next to God’s infinite purity and perfection, we are nothing.

Isaiah’s vision reveals the absolute glory and magnificence of our King. The text says that His robe filled the temple. In ancient days, the length of the monarch’s robe signified his stature and power. Even today, our clothes oftentimes communicate our importance. The vision of God’s robe filling the temple displayed the infinite magnitude of God’s glory. His robe did not just stretch down the isle like Princess Di’s on her wedding day; it filled the entire temple.

To pay homage to God’s glory, seraphs ministered in the immediate presence of God. They are creatures with six wings to enable them to be in God’s presence. One set covers their faces, because no one can look upon God’s face and live. One set covers their feet, because feet are a manifestation of creatureliness. Moses had to remove his shoes in God’s presence as a sign of submission. Finally, one set is for flying as they sing the praises of God in His heavenly court. The angels repeated the designation holy three times. Such repetition is a means of emphasis. The only example of triple repetition of an attribute of God is His holiness. This attribute is the very essence of God, setting Him apart from everything else in purity and perfection.

Read Isaiah 6 again. Your response to God’s holiness should be similar to Isaiah’s as you approach Him in worship. Do you have such a humble disposition in God’s presence? Meditate on the verses below dealing with holiness, that you might come to a deeper understanding of who God is and what He expects of you.