Thousands of years ago, there was a man named Isaiah. During the days of Isaiah, a King named Uzziah reigned and brought Judah to great power and prominence. However, Uzziah became proud, and God struck this proud King with leprosy. On the day the King died, Isaiah 6 records that Isaiah had a vision of God.
In this vision, the Lord is revealed to be a great king, sitting on a throne. The text says that “Above him stood the seraphim.” “Seraphim” are angelic beings whose unique task is to worship and praise God. Their name “seraphim” comes from the word “seraph,” which means “to burn.” The seraphim lived in the center of the fire of God’s glory, and they burned and shone with white-hot heated praise!
Each of the seraphim had six wings. With two, they covered their faces because they couldn’t bear to look on the face of the Lord, and with two, they covered their feet because they were unworthy to be in his presence. Although they had been before God for thousands of years, they still covered their faces and hid their feet in shame.
Piercing the awful stillness around the throne, you would have heard the haunting cry of seraphim tongues calling out one word back and forth to one another, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
What does it mean that God is holy? The root from which this word comes from means “to separate or cut off.” This communicates the idea of God’s separateness from us and all impurity. As far in distance and glory as the farthest galaxy is from a pool of mud on this earth is God from all earthly things.
As Bildad says in Job 25, even “the stars are not pure in his sight.” This means that we aren’t pure in his sight, either. How can an unholy man approach a holy God? Jesus. The Bible teaches that Christians are “in Christ.” In Christ, we can approach God because clothed in Him; we have a perfect sacrifice for sins and perfect righteousness. Without Jesus, no sinful man can stand before him. However, with Jesus, sinful men can come boldly into his presence. What a marvel!
- Peter Banfe