Friday, February 19, 2010

Shaking and Quaking and Mercy and Love

Part three of this story series ...

The sight of the mysterious King on the throne was one thing. Indeed, He was magnificently beautiful. The train of His robe filled the entire Temple. He engulfed the gigantic place with majesty.

But what was even more unnerving to Isaiah were the words he heard.

These were not words from the King, no.

They were spoken by one angelic Being to others. These Beings hovered above the King's throne. Their appearance was like fire, hence, they were called "Seraphim," as the word "seraph" in Hebrew means, "to burn with fire." They had six wings each, and they used two wings to cover their faces, two to cover their feet and two to fly.

Then one of the Seraphim spoke. The words rendered Isaiah's heart into pieces.

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!"

The sound of the Seraphim's voice literally shook the door posts and filled the Temple with smoke.

Isaiah knew well the full meaning.

To say the word "holy" twice in his native Hebrew language was to describe a person as "most holy."

But to say it three times? It meant that the holiness of God was indescribable.

And the definition of holy? to be transcendent -- different -- distant.


What was even more shocking was the second part of the Seraphim's song: "The whole earth is full of His glory."

Basically, the angelic Being was telling Isaiah that even though God transcends the universe, He is closely involved with the earth and its people.

The King on the throne would be involved -- someday -- intricately, here.

Isaiah realized how unworthy he was to be standing in the presence of such a King. He cried out that his lips were unclean, as were the people of his nation, and yet, he'd been given the honor of witnessing the King with his own eyes.

A seraphim flew over to him, holding a live coal that he'd taken with tongs from the altar. He touched Isaiah's lips with it.

"Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is purged,"
the seraphim said.

What did it mean?

Who was the King on the throne, really?

And what does the story of Isaiah's experience in the Temple have to do with us worshiping in church?

Tune in for the next part of the story.

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