March 22, 2017 Isaiah 6:1-3 Pastor Pautz
Morning Prayer: I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept us this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep us this day also from sin and every evil, that all our doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend us, our bodies and souls and all things. Let Your holy angel be with us, that the evil foe may have no power over us. Amen.
1In 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. 2Above 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. 3And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”
Let us prayer: Blessed Lord, You have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning. Grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them that, by patience and comfort of Your holy Word, we may embrace and hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord, who live and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Verse 1: 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.
In the year that King Uzziah died is more emphatic than the normal – and it came to pass. King Uzziah for part of a year, died, and then the next king came to power. Isaiah began his prophetic work while Uzziah was still king. Side note, Jerome notes that the year Uzziah died, Romulus was born and in a few years Rome is founded.
I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, The Word of the Lord, Jesus, does not come to Isaiah by speaking, such as Jeremiah 1:1, or by dream, such as Jacob in Genesis 28:12. Nor is this a vision of the Lord in the temple created by Solomon, such as Amos 9:1. Rather, Isaiah is taken to the uncreated temple. So, Isaiah is awake and in the Holy of Holies in the uncreated temple and sees the Lord sitting on His throne in bodily form, like Ezekiel 1:26. The throne itself is the uncreated throne unlike the throne of Uzziah which is created. St. John boldly declares that this Lord is Jesus, John 12:41. The incarnation is the fulfillment of all appearances of the Lord as a man in the Old Testament. Here, the Lord transforms Himself into heaven and the temple for angels and saints to see with their eyes. Where is heaven? Heaven is where Jesus is. Where is the heavenly temple? The heavenly temple is the body of Jesus. In particular He is the cornerstone and you are apart of this temple, too.
high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
The Lord both manifest His glory and at the same time veils His glory. The Lord is seated on a throne which is high and lifted up to reveal His glory. The train of His robe fills the temple to hide His glory. One day, at the resurrection and beyond, His glory will be fully revealed to all. He wants you to see His glory. He also wants you to live. He will accomplish both.
Verse 2: 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.
Above Him stood the seraphim Above Him does not refer to His head, but His robe and train. They were above the floor to be seen by the saints, but below the head of the Lord to show that they too are created beings subject to the head. Standing above, is how Isaiah saw them. Isaiah saw them use their wings to stand or soar (Numbers 14:14). It is like the references to the sun, moon, and stars as bodies that stand in space (Job 26:7).
Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. Seraphim are six-winged angels. (Cherubim are another kind of angel.) With two wings they flew, seen by angels and saints. With two they covered their faces at the wonderfulness of the Lord's glory. With two they covered their feet at their understanding of how far the creatures of God stand below the Holy One.
Verse 3: And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And one called to another and said This is like how we speak the psalm before the Lord. I say one verse. The congregation says the second verse. In a fuller ceremony of the Sunday liturgy, this would be the role of the choir who represent the angels in our midst (who are high and lifted up – usually in the choir loft). A cantor sings one verse and the choir answers with a second verse. They face the altar, where the Lord is located. The congregation faces the altar too. However, the congregation would be in the role of Isaiah, witnessing what is happening. The pastor is in the “stead and by the command of the Lord” but is not the Lord.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” The LORD is the Holy One. God's glory is His revealed/manifested holiness. God's veiled or hidden glory is also His holiness. All the work of God is to reveal His holiness to more and more people (Habakkuk 2:14). Even we, like Isaiah, are living at a time when God is working to reveal His holiness to all people. The whole earth is full of the glory of the Lord, but one day, all His glory will be revealed. We will see the fullness of the Holy One. Isaiah's favorite name for the Lord is, “The Holy One of Israel”. It occurs 29 times in the book of Isaiah. Twelve times in chapter 1-39. Seventeen times in chapters 40-66. Otherwise, it occurs three times in the Psalms (71:22; 78:41; 89:19) and twice in Jeremiah (50:29; 51:5) and each of those verses include a reference to Isaiah. Do the three uses of “holy” refer to the three persons of the one God? Yes.
This verse found its way into the historic service of the church in the Sanctus (which means holy):
Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Sabbaoth, heaven and earth are full of Thy glory.
Lord of Sabaoth Sabaoth is the Greek form of the Hebrew word for "armies," and is translated in the Authorized Version of the Old Testament by "Lord of hosts," "Lord God of hosts." In the mouth and the mind of an ancient Hebrew, Lord God of Sabaoth was the leader and commander of the armies of the nation, who "went forth with them" (Psalms 44:9) and led them to certain victory over the worshippers of Baal Chemosh. Molech, Ashtaroth and other false gods.
Let us conclude with the Lord's Prayer.