Isaiah 6:1–3 (ESV)In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
I’m Reid Ferguson and this, is Today’s Reiding – a podcast of thoughts on the Scriptures, and Scripturally informed thoughts on a host of topics and issues that confront us every day – living in this post Genesis 3 world, and as we look forward to the Kingdom of Christ to come. You can subscribe to Today’s Reiding free, on most of the popular podcast platforms like: Spotify, Google, Breaker, Apple and others. Or, you can drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll add you to my mailing list.
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Isaiah ministered in Judea for around 60 years, and under the administrations of 4 different Kings. He predicted and witnessed Israel’s fall to Assyria. And, he predicted Jerusalem’s fall to Babylon, the Jewish exile, Babylon’s fall to the Medes and the Jews return to Judah.
During King Uzziah’s term in office, Judah prospered greatly. Times were uncertain, but overall, good. Uzziah’s death was not welcome, and it apparently shook Isaiah. Isaiah’s touch-points of earthly stability, a sound, good man in the highest office; national military successes; and economic prosperity all began to crumble. So God turns Isaiah’s eyes away from earth to Heaven. And there, Isaiah sees this mind bending vision of God’s throne with its attendant seraphim; spirit beings who appear to guard God’s throne, engaged in perpetual and spontaneous worship at God’s revealed glory.
Their song? A 2 part refrain: Thrice holy is the Lord of hosts. The tripling there indicating holiness to the highest possible degree. And, the entire earth is filled with God’s glory.
No one would argue that God is gloriously, infinitely, unalteringly and wonderfully – holy. Sinless, pure and undefiled in any way. But, the whole earth filled with God’s glory? Maybe we’re not so sure. Isn’t sin rampant here? Aren’t there wars, famines, plagues, rape, violence, racism, atheism, corruption in the Church and the government, false religion, disease, sexual perversion, death and all manner of other woe? How does that fit with the whole earth being filled with God’s glory?
I thought you’d never ask.
The Bible asserts this is true on 2 concurrent fronts. But like Elisha’s servant in 2 Kings 5, Isaiah before this vision, and probably you and me before considering passages like Hebrews 2:8 where we are told Christ is reigning now even though we don’t see it physically yet. Blind to it as we are, in truth, the whole earth IS filled with His glory.
As in Romans 1 and other places, all the woes we see in this fallen world right now, stem from God’s judgment upon sin. He’s active, not passive. Gloriously pouring out a measure of His just wrath in the world – evidenced by all of the things we’ve just mentioned and more. These judgments are manifestations of His glory in His justice in dealing with sin.
Secondly, in the midst of this just judgment, it is still not as severe as it could be. God in mercy is restraining Himself, and using these punishments as a means to wake us up to our lost condition and need for forgiveness and reconciliation to Him. On top of which He deploys His Church, armed with His gospel of grace in the Cross of Jesus to the four corners of this sin cursed world.
So it is, the whole earth IS filled with His glory. Glory in just and holy judgment, and glory in restraining mercy with the the testimony of His saving grace in and through the Church. We just need the news of it to penetrate our souls, more than the blind reports from the earthly news outlets who haven’t a clue as to what’s really going on. The truth is: God is truly, actively and superlatively holy, and the earth is FILLED with His glory, whether we see it, believe it, or not.
Consider that today.