By Rev. Ron Purkey
Read Isaiah 6:1-13
“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” (Isaiah 6:1)
King Uzziah has died and the throne of Judah is empty. Like all men of faith, Isaiah turned to God for his help and comfort, and in that hour of seeming defeat, he experienced a great spiritual blessing. He saw that the throne of heaven was still occupied by Jehovah God.
Like all devoted citizens, Isaiah had venerated King Uzziah. For 52 years, Uzziah had led Judah in a program of peace and prosperity. It was an era of expansion and achievement. It was unfortunate that the king had rebelled against the word of God and died a leper (2 Kings 15:1-7; 2 Chronicles 26). Isaiah realized that though the nation had prospered materially, it was in terrible condition spiritually. The economic growth and temporary peace were a veneer that covered a nation with a wicked heart. What was going to happen to Judah?
God lifted Isaiah’s eyes from himself and his people to the throne of heaven. There might be confusion and unrest on earth, but there was perfect peace in heaven: God was seated in majestic power and glory. People on earth might be recalling the shame of Uzziah’s death as a leper, but there was no shame or shadow of failure in heaven. Rather, the seraphim were saying, “Holy, holy, holy.” Jehovah is the great God of heaven.
John 12:38-41 informs us that Isaiah saw Jesus Christ in his glory. He was on the throne of heaven being praised by the seraphim. His royal robe filled the heavenly temple, and the house was filled with the smoke of his anger against sin (Psalm 80:4). His angelic creatures, the seraphim (“fiery ones”), praised him for his holiness and His glory. “The whole earth is full of His glory.” Isaiah did not see much glory that day, nor do we see it today. Rather, it seems that the whole earth is “filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11). We see events from a human perspective; the angels see them from God’s viewpoint. One day when Jesus reigns, the whole earth shall be full of his glory (see Numbers 14:21, Psalm 72:19, and Habakkuk 2:14). See also Isaiah 11:9. “Lord of hosts” is Isaiah’s favorite name for God; he uses it at least sixty-five times. “Lord of the armies” is what it means. The prophet also calls God “the Holy One of Israel” at least thirty times. Jehovah is the God of holy warfare, the God who opposes sin and defeats the enemy. Isaiah needed to realize this fact in a day when Judah appeared to be defeated.
This is a good practical lesson for Christians today: when the day is dark, lift your eyes to heaven and see Jesus Christ on the throne. “The Lord is in his holy temple.” Amen.
Read Ron Purkey’s Bible study outlines at www.rtcol.com/purkey free on the website. Purkey has been an ordained Baptist minister for 50 years.