DayBreaks for 2/27/18 – Visiting With Isaiah, #1

DayBreaks for 2/27/17: Visiting With Isaiah, #1

Isaiah 6:1 (ESV) – In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.

On Sunday, we had a guest speaker as it was our church’s global outreach Sunday. His name was Doug Fell and he was from South Africa. His message was awesome as he opened the passage from Isaiah 6:1-8 to our understanding. It was also very convicting. So, for this week, I think I’ll share with you from this amazing passage that relays the incredible story of Isaiah’s vision.

King Uzziah started out to be a good king. Sadly, he didn’t finish his reign as a good king. To some degree, King Uzziah is incidental to this story, though it sets the timeframe for Isaiah’s vision for us. He became king, as co-regent with his father, when he was just 16 years of age and he ruled for 52 years. Toward the end of his life he was struck by leprosy and he died around 740-739 BC.

Even in Israel, kings died – whether they had been good or bad kings made no difference. Every earthly ruler whether they were kings, premiers, presidents, emperors or we called by some other honorific at one time or another found themselves in the grave.

But the one that Isaiah sees in his vision is different in many, many ways – about as different as darkness is from light. When Isaiah sees the king in his vision, he doesn’t even call him by the name king, but by the term, the Lord.

The Lord is in a position of kingship: he is seated on a throne, but not just any throne, one that is high and lifted up. The image is that of a King that isn’t ordinary in any sense of the word, but of an extremely exalted King. It isn’t Uzziah who sits on this throne, for he has just died. There is only one throne in the vision and only one who is worthy and glorious enough to be seated upon it. 

Note the description of the King: not only is he seated on a lofty throne, the train of his robe filled the temple. Pause for a moment and reflect on a coronation ceremony that you may have seen on television, or in photographs. As the royal personage makes their way through the cathedral or inauguration location, they are dressed in their finest royal accoutrements. They have huge “trains” that follow them as a symbol of their importance and honor. The train may drag on the ground or be lifted by lesser humans as a sign of respect, glory and the  magnificence of the person being crowned – as if the one being inaugurated is too lofty to be soiled by the dirt on the floor. But, when all is considered, the train is fairly small compared to the building.

Not so with the king in Isaiah’s vision: his train fills the entire temple. What does that mean? It means that this king’s glory and honor and magnificence is without limit. It is overwhelming. It means that there is no room for glorifying anyone or anything else. THIS King is unlike any other king who has ever been royalty. He is different in honor and glory by magnitudes of scale.

How would you react to this King if it had been you instead of Isaiah who saw it? Stay tuned for Isaiah’s reaction in the next few days, but for now, simply dwell on the most magnificent scene of honor you have ever seen and multiply it by infinity and perhaps you’ll get a sense for the King of Isaiah’s vision. The vision changed Isaiah – the question is will it change us?

PRAYER: God of heaven and earth – how often we neglect to ponder your magnificence and the honor that is due to your name! How seldom we get a glimpse of your glory because we are too busy frantically running to and fro with our own affairs. Bring us up short and help us get even the slightest vision of you in all your magnificence, and may it change us forever! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 03/20/12 – Mortal Immortal Thoughts

DayBreaks for 03/18/12 – Mortal Immortal Thoughts

"For this mortal must put on immortality..."

42 It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 43 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 44 They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44

 49 Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man. 50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. 51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. 1 Corinthians 15:49-53

There are times and places in our lives where we are reminded of our mortality.  While many recoil from such thoughts, the wise man Solomon said we would be wise, too, to ponder such realities, because pondering them helps us not only live better as mortals, but to prepare to live as immortals.

Our physical bodies are weak.  It doesn’t matter if you are the gold medal heavyweight weight lifter in the Olympics or the greatest triathlete in the history of the world, the fact of the matter remains that we have weak bodies – bodies that will get sick, can be broken, bodies which will molder in the grave.  And that is why we recoil at contemplation of our mortality.

How refreshing are Paul’s words: “…we will someday be like the heavenly man.”  These bodies of which we are so fond (and can we be honest – even those who say they hate their bodies fight like banshees to maintain this mortal life.  It may not be our bodies that we love, but this mortal life.

I recently have had reason to reflect on mortalality/immortality and I am glad for it for I am better for having done so.  As I pondered it during the darkness of the bedroom at night, I almost had a vision (not to get too mystical here!) of that moment of translation from mortal to immortal – or rather, of how it happens.  I saw myself (from behind my back) standing and facing toward God.  I was clothed in mortal garb, but it was dirty and rather tattered.  Then, I saw hands reaching out to me holding a dazzlingly white robe.  The hands reached around my neck and put the robe upon my shoulders.  It was brilliant, clean, spotless.  It shone.

No sooner was the robe put upon me than I felt a tremendous sense of unworthiness.  You see, in the “vision” my filthy clothes had not been removed – but they were covered over with the robe that I understood to be Christ’s righteousness.  The filthy clothes I had on underneath were not left on me to cause me sadness, nor to bring me shame or guilt, but just to remind me that I was unworthy of any claim of my own to righteousness, and it was only the righteousness of Christ that ultimately mattered.

I must say that in that vision I had a tremendous sense of peace and inexplicable joy.  It will be a great day when our bodies are transformed and we take on the heavenly body of God’s design for us.  But let us not forget that today is a great day because we already have the robe of His righteousness.

PRAYER: Thank You Father, for covering our sin and shame with the brilliant, dazzling robe of righteousness that belongs to Your beloved Son!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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