Isaiah’s vision in the Presence of God is nothing short of incredible.
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)
He sees the Lord seated on His throne – high and exalted. The train of the Lord’s enormous robe filled the temple. Massive, six-winged angles hovering over the throne, crying one to another….
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
The Glory of God was so concentrated, Isaiah could see it – the temple was filled with smoke. The power of God and the thundering angels’ anthem shook the doorposts of the temple. Isaiah’s reaction to being in the presence of a Holy God was to cry:
“Woe is me, I am undone!”
Isaiah confesses his sin, and in an act revealing the loving Grace of God, an angel takes a coal of fire from the altar and touches Isaiah and declares, “Your iniquity is taken away and your sin purged”
Then Isaiah hears the voice of God saying, “Whom shall I send and who will go?” Isaiah’s well-known response has been source of inspiration ever since:
“Here am I, send me”
There is so much that could be said about this remarkable story, but today I want to focus on a phrase in the first verse:
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord.”
A king’s death always has significant repercussions. It’s a time of sorrow as people mourn the passing of their leader. It can be a time of uncertainty. Who will be the next king? How will he reign? It can be a time ripe for disunity as would-be leaders jockey for power and position.
When Uzziah died, it was surely a time of fear and trouble. Would their enemies – the Philistines or the Amorites – take advantage of Judah’s unrest and launch an attack? Without a king, Judah was an easy target. Troubles and problems always seem to intensify in the absence of leadership.
Yet in the midst of all the chaos, trouble, and fear, Isaiah saw the Lord! Isaiah could have just been focused on the problems, but he saw the Lord!
At a time when the enemies of Judah were clanging their swords – anxious to seize their opportunity – Isaiah saw the Lord. The people of Judah were sad and mournful at the loss of their king, but Isaiah saw the Lord. Problems, troubles, and chaos were all around, but Isaiah saw the Lord!
What Do you See? What are your eyes fixated upon? What are you focused on? Who are you looking at?
There are a lot of similarities between the time of Isaiah’s vision and hour we are in! The world around us is growing increasingly chaotic and uncertain. Global economic worries, terrorism, immigration crises and threats of war are all producing a world filled with fear and anxiety.
Even in the United States we have our share of woes. We are experiencing ever-increasing division and racism. Politics are uglier and more divisive then ever. Homegrown terror is a real concern. School and workplace shootings are on the rise. Biblical morality is being eroded from the fabric of our nation and our religious freedoms are being undermined.
Do you know how easy it would be to become fixated on all that is wrong around us? Just remember the story of Isaiah. In a time of turmoil and upheaval Isaiah saw the Lord! He saw Him high and lifted up and sitting upon His thrown.
There may be trouble all around you – but there is more going on above you! Lift up your eyes. Look up. The Lord is still on His Throne! It’s a trick of the enemy to get our eyes so fixed on what is wrong that we never look up and see the Lord!
There are times in life when you face uncertainty, troubles and fear. When you’re in those times of life it’s so important to see the Lord! If you’re not careful all you’ll see is the trouble in your life and the world around you.
See Him High and Lifted Up! Isaiah said I saw Him high and lifted up. He was awesome, mighty and powerful. He was higher than everything else. God is higher than all the problems and troubles in your life or world. When you’re surrounded by trouble, it’s easy to forget that God is higher than all your troubles.
See Him Seated Upon His Throne! Remember – God is still on the Throne! God didn’t die and leave the devil in charge. God hasn’t surrendered His throne to anyone! This world may be in a mess, but let me remind you – God is still in charge and in control. We may be in a whirlwind of trouble, but remember what Nahum said:
“The Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” (Nahum 1:3)
The message of Isaiah’s vision was: “Uzziah may have died, but God didn’t die! The throne in Jerusalem may be vacant, but Heaven’s throne is still occupied!”
See the Angels! Isaiah saw huge seraphim. Some believe seraphim to be massive angels standing over 100 feet tall with wings so large that one wing would cover an average sized home. Some people see devils behind every bush. They are fixated on what the devil is doing.
I’m not naïve to the fact that the devil is working – he’s a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. I’m not ignorant of his devices, but neither am I fixated on what he is doing.
It’s a trick of the enemy to get our eyes so fixed on what is wrong that we never look up and see the Lord!
I’m focused on what Heaven is doing. My eyes are upon what the angels of God are doing! I’m not interested in seeing demons – I want a vision of angels. I’m interested in seeing the Lord, because what God is doing is always greater than what hell is doing! Need I remind you that only one-third of the angels were cast out of heaven with Lucifer? That means for every demon, there are two angels! I’m more interested in focusing on Heaven’s plans than hell’s plans!
See Him in the Church. Even in the Church, you’ve got to be careful what you focus upon! If you’re not careful the enemy will get you focused on what’s wrong with the church. This is the tactic of the spirit of discouragement – to get you so focused on what is wrong that you don’t see what is right.
You can get so focused on the problems that you don’t even see the blessings! You can get so fixated on what’s wrong with church, the people, or the pastor that you don’t see the Lord! I know the church isn’t perfect – but if you’re not careful the enemy will get you so focused on what’s wrong in the church that you don’t have a vision of the great things that God is doing in the church! Yes, there are problems in any church. But you’ve got to lift up your eyes and see the Lord or you will live in constant frustration.
See the Lord working in your own life! The enemy would love to get you so focused on what’s wrong in your own life that you don’t even see the good the Lord is doing in you. God isn’t finished with you yet! Don’t get so drawn to what is still unfinished in you that you fail to praise God for the transformation that has already taken place!
How is your vision? What are you focused on? What do you see? There may be trouble around you, but look up! The Lord is high and lifted up and still on His throne!