Today’s Bible reading* contains a beautiful picture of when Isaiah saw the Lord in heaven. He describes God and His majesty. He describes angels — how they looked and how they moved. He describes the angels’ worship of God. He describes the effects that God’s presence has on heaven.
Isaiah also describes his reaction to being in the presence of God.
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above him; they each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another: Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Armies; his glory fills the whole earth. The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke. Then I said: Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Armies. Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said: Now that this has touched your lips, your iniquity is removed and your sin is atoned for.
Isaiah 6:1–7 (CSB)
When many of us think of heaven, we think of the golden streets, the pearly gates, and the loved ones we will be reunited with. But did you notice that Isaiah doesn’t mention any of these things?
It’s interesting that our thoughts about heaven are simply that: our thoughts. Isaiah, however, actually saw what heaven — and God — was like. It was beautiful! It was awesome! At the same time, it was awful!
Isaiah — a prophet of God, blessed with the task of delivering God’s message — realized that he was so unqualified to be there. He felt that he didn’t belong there. He came face to face with his own depravity. His own lostness. He was at a loss for words and he realized that even his words were so far removed from the realities of God’s holiness.
So what do you think of when you think of heaven? Are your thoughts based on what you think, or perhaps thoughts based on what you have heard from loved ones, preachers, and books you’ve read?
Or is your picture of heaven based on what the Bible actually says about heaven? Let’s make sure that we get our theology from the Bible. And one day, we will be able to say, “I saw the Lord!”
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: