Isaiah Sees the Lord
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on 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.” Isaiah 6:1-3 (ESV)
Isaiah was thought to be a scribe in the royal palace at Jerusalem. (1)
God had other plans for him. The passage at the beginning of Isaiah 6 tells us of his calling by God to work for Him and His kingdom. Let’s look at the first part of his encounter with God.
“In the year that King Uzziah died,” Uzziah tells us a date of his encounter with God. King Uzziah died circa 740 B.C. He was thought to be a good king but people turned their backs on God. (See 2 Chronicles 26:18-21)(2.)
“I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up.” Isaiah saw God Almighty seated in His proper place, above the earth and all the things that make it up.
“. . . the train of his robe filled the temple.” This had to be a wondrous sight. As a preschooler, my son kept asking, “What does crowded mean?” Someone helped me give him an answer. We told him that something was crowded when something big was put in a small space. I don’t believe that the temple was crowded when Isaiah saw God. I envision the folds of God’s robe wrapping around the items of worship as they came to rest around Isaiah.
“Above him stood the seraphim.” Seraphim have been described as ‘an order of celestial beings.’ They seem to have borne a general resemblance to the human figure, for they are represented as having face, voice, hands and feet. (3.)
“Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet and with two he flew.” I find it interesting that Isaiah described the seraphim in this way. I’m sure seeing them fly impressed Isaiah and anyone who would witness their actions.
“One called to another and said. . .” We don’t know how many of these celestial creatures Isaiah saw. The Unger’s Bible dictionary tells me that the seraphim (the word is plural) were aligned on both sides of the throne of God. In this setting, each side called out to the other, waited for a response from the other group and then called out again. (The musical term for this type of worship is antiphonal.) (4.)
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.” I can almost hear the seraphim worshipping the Lord in this way. To me, seeing and hearing them and seeing God as Isaiah witnessed it would be the dream of every child of God.
1. Life Application Bible, Tyndale House Publishers Inc, Wheaton IL. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, ©1991 MI page 1179
2. Op Cit page 1178
3. The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Moody Press Chicago, IL © 1988 Page 1160
4. Op Cit Page 1160