[This post is based on the seven truths about God that John Piper walked through in his talk on Isaiah 6 at The Gospel Coalition Conference]
1. God lives.
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord…”
Every person you pass on the street today was not here 100 years ago and will not be here 100 years from now – but our God lives. That seems basic, but when it comes to God – as my boss always says – we don’t have a calculus problem, we have an addition problem.
Would you look at porn if someone was in the room with you? Would you say out loud all the thoughts in your head if a person was present to hear them?
Of course not. The reality is, we just don’t believe that God is ‘alive’ in the same way that our friends and family are alive.
2. God rules.
“…I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne…”
Here’s the thing about God: whether we believe that He is in charge or not doesn’t change the fact that He is. No matter who or what we think controls our destiny, there is only one on the throne; only one with the authority over the heart and souls and cells of every creature.
God rules the traffic. He rules your work place. He rules your boss. He rules your children. He rules the weather and He rules you.
3. God is all-powerful.
“…high and lifted up…”
God is superior to us in every way. That’s pretty good news. It’s good to have someone on the throne who is actually capable of ruling.
4. God is magnificent.
“… and the train of his robe filled the temple.”
God is lavish in His beauty and creativity and splendor. Just look at the complexity and the intricacy of nature. Look at the complexity and intricacy of one of your fingers.
5. God is revered.
“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.”
The beings flying around God’s throne are so magnificent that they shake Heaven when they speak. And these glorious beings cover their faces in the presence of God.
Now think on this: if these creatures, who have never sinned, fear to look directly at God, what unspeakable arrogance must it take for a human, drenched in the stench of sin, to not only look at God, but to shake their puny fists at Him as if He is some waiter sent to cater to our needs.
It cost the very blood of God for you and I to be able to lift our eyes to Heaven. And it cost that price, not because we are that valuable, but because He is that revered.
6. God is holy
“And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;”
God’s holiness is His essence. It’s not that God does something that makes Him holy; He defines holiness itself. Every single scrap of ‘holy’ or ‘right’ that we see in the world is only called good because it points to God.
7. God is glorious.
the whole earth is full of his glory!”
God displays to us His holiness or His character, and that display is what we call ‘glory’. JP’s words: “the holiness of God is concealed glory and the glory of God is revealed holiness.” Yeah, read that again.
The whole time I was sitting through the session, I felt a little weird. I knew this message was for me. I have needed this glimpse of majesty for so long.
Somehow in the midst of losing my dad, God became so near and dear to me that I forgot that He was God. I began to think of Him as a friend, (which He is) and a father, (which He is), but I forgot that He is also the Alpha and the Omega.
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard Johnny P speak, but sometimes he says things in such a way that people laugh. Whether or not he is trying to be funny, I don’t know. People around me giggled and ‘amended’ or murmured in agreement, but I was unable to join them. I felt like the breath had been snagged right out of my lungs.
I felt like I might cry if I moved at all.
My soul trembled.
And I was thankful. Because when I see God as my friend and father He compels my love, but God the Holy and Omnipotent demands my worship. And it feels good to remember my smallness. It feels good to be lost in His glory.
And the more I see Him high and lifted up, the more I see what a miracle it is that He would be near to me; that He would let me call Him friend and father. What unspeakable glory there is in the Cross. And love and worship and adoration all seem to meld together and I feel safe and scared all at the same time.
Or, as Mr. Beaver would say:
“Safe? Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”