“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” [Isaiah 6:1-7, KJV]
There is nothing more overwhelming than being in the presence of a Holy God.
We’re going to explore three aspects of this chapter in the book of Isaiah. The first being the name of the Lord.
The Name of the Lord:
“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” [Isaiah 6:1]
What’s this with the all-capital-letters LORD? This is God’s name. The lowercase version, Lord, is his title. What does LORD mean? It’s Yahweh.
As Dr. R.C. Sproul puts it in his book, “The Holiness of God,”
“These different uses of the words LORD and Lord indicate the care with which people communicated God’s holy nature. In some ways that is similar to my choosing to use capital letters when I use a pronoun to refer to God. Because God is unspeakably holy, I cannot bring myself to refer to Him as “him”, even though my younger readers may be bothered by what they perceive to be an outdated use of capital letters. To me it is a gesture of respect and awe for a holy God.”
God is unspeakably holy. Why don’t we give Him full respect by using his name?
Trisagion – Three Times Holy:
Verse 3 of Isaiah Chapter 6 says that the seraphims cried to one another, saying “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” Why is the word holy said three times? In our day, when we want to emphasize something, we usually underline it. During the time of the Bible, when something wanted to be emphasized, it was repeated. For instance, look at this verse.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” [John 5:24]
Note that “verily” means truly. If we reword this, Jesus is saying, “Truly, truly”. Or, “It is true, it is true”. In other words, he’s saying listen.
In Isaiah’s case, the seraphims are saying “holy”. God is not just “holy”, though. Neither is he “holy, holy.” He’s “holy, holy, holy”.
Woe is me!
Isaiah, known to be the great prophet, fell to the ground and tried to hide himself from God’s Holiness. Even the seraphim covered their head at feet! Isaiah said,
“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” [Isaiah 6:5]
Isaiah; this man of honor and respect, is disregarding himself in the presence of God. He has seen the King, and he is ashamed of his unclean lips. But read what happens next!
“Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” [Isaiah 6:6-7]
God cleaned Isaiah and purged his sin. The hot coal to his lips represented that Isaiah was free of his sin.
We just explored three parts of Isaiah 6, the name of the Lord, the significance of Trisagion, and the cleansing of Isaiah. This is such an amazing chapter of the Bible, showing God’s pure and perfect holiness.
Let’s not forget how great a God we serve!