“It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” – Isaiah 6:3
What comes to mind when you hear the word “holy?” Words like holy and holiness generate different ideas in different contexts. People hold many different definitions. Sometimes people believe that holiness is righteousness, or perfection, or separation, etc. But one thing is for sure: God is holy. The Scriptures declare twice that God is “holy, holy, holy.” (Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8) This three-fold repetitiveness is meant to emphasize to the reader that God is Holy. If you could only understand one thing about God understand this: God is holy.
In Isaiah 6, the prophet Isaiah saw a vision of God. The chapter also details how Isaiah reacted. But if we go a little deeper into the text we learn that God gave Isaiah a revelation not just about Himself but into Himself. God is seated on a magnificent throne. He is high and exalted, and the train of His robe fills the temple. Six-winged angels called seraphim are flying above Him, and the seraphim are covering their faces with sets of wings as they fly. They’re calling out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3).”
This passage gives us a very personal glimpse of God. We see similar glimpses in the books of Revelation. These glimpses are small peeks into heaven where even the angels are simply blown away by God—they are so in awe that they can’t even look at Him. And what attribute of God do these angels call out? They’re not calling, “loving, loving, loving.” They’re not calling, “Faithful, faithful, faithful.” They’re not calling, “indescribable, indescribable, indescribable.” Even though God is all those things and more, the angels have a laser-like focus. They’re not searching for the right word. They are not trying to debate theological concepts. They’re not searching their Bible software for an inspirational quote. No. They center on the holiness of God.
John’s vision of the throne of God in Revelation 4 was similar to that of Isaiah. Again, there were living creatures around the throne crying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” (Revelation 4:8) in reverence and awe of the Holy One. John goes on to describe these creatures giving glory and honor and reverence to God continually around His throne.
Hopefully, we will spend some time today reflecting on how worthy God is of our devotion. May we authentically give God our devotion today as we take time to discover how holy and worthy He is.
- How do you describe the holiness of God?
- How does the fact that God is holy impact our lives?