Today’s Reading: Isaiah 6 & 1 Thessalonians 2:1-6
I find reading the Old Testament very powerful in the use of language; poetic language in so many ways, but powerful because of what it means to be reading at times just snap shots in history of God’s unfolding plan for His people. There’s also the fact that we often don’t get a lot of details. It’s like looking at a photograph that simply captures a moment in time. With every photo though, there are others that sit beside it in the album that help provide greater insight into the life of the event, the people or the family.
And so as we continue through the early chapters of Isaiah, Chapter 6 brings us to a significant period of time for what will continue to unfold of an incredible contrast between a deeply sinful people, contrasted against the holiness and greatness of God. It’s the dull black and white photo of mankind, contrasted with the overwhelming, blinding brilliant colour of God!
Even the heavenly beings recognise their limitation to look on the brilliant holiness of God, ‘With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet and with two they were flying.’ Vs 2b ….. but at the same time, this did not limit their thunderous praises such that … ‘the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.’ Vs 4
This is another snap shot, the photograph we need to take out into the sunlight to make sure we don’t miss one glorious feature, for ‘ … the whole earth is filled with His Glory.’ Vs 3b
The wonder, the grandeur, the exaltation, the magnificence … words fail to capture how the glory of God filled the whole earth; a creation created by God for His purpose.
And then there is the incredible contrast of darkness; of dismay from judgement revealed that Isaiah himself shares personally, ‘Woe is me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips …’ Vs 5
Then what a contrast from the despair of the woe to look beyond self, possible only through realising where salvation and forgiveness comes. I suspect that very few of us have ever been in a position like Isaiah of having to deliver such a tragic or disastrous message of hopelessness … or have we??
Chapter 6 closes out with a beautiful message of hope that we know today through the privilege of the time we live; a hope and a future provided through the cross ‘… the holy seed will be the stump in the land.’ Vs 13b
Paul speaks of this hope to the Galatians, in the same way we too can hold firm to this same promise. ‘The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The scripture does not say “and to seeds”, meaning many people, but “and so your seed” meaning one person who is Christ.’ Galatians 3:16
Although the snap shot Isaiah shares with us was taken many, many years ago, the miracle is that it will never fade or yellow with time. The beauty of the image has not, and will never fade.
Can I encourage you to stop and look beyond the challenges of time and language, to see that not just your image, but your name has been recorded in God’s ‘album of life’. This is God’s incredible story of His purpose for His creation that will never fade; His undying love for mankind revealed through the prophets of old and recorded in history for all generations.