Reflections on Revelation #91

Day 91

“And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.” Rev 4:8 NASB.

The three-fold phrase “holy, holy, holy” echoes the sixth chapter of Isaiah. In Isaiah’s day, Judah faced a serious crisis. King Uzziah, who had reigned for 52 very successful years, had just died. So for the people, there seemed nowhere to go but down! With fear, they faced an uncertain future.

At this time of crisis, The Priest Isaiah, while in the temple, has a vision of God’s throne. He sees angelic creatures around the throne singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty” (Isa 6:3, NIV). Isaiah was a priest in the holiest place (the temple) among the holiest people on earth during one of most faithful periods of their history. Nevertheless, he recoils at this vision of the purity of God. He cries out, “Woe to me!. . . I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty” (Isa 6:5, NIV).

In the presence of God any sense of his own accomplishments, any sense of personal glory pales in the presence of absolute purity. Isaiah recognizes his own uncleanness, not because he has compared himself with anyone else, but because He has come face to face with God!

This is a powerful spiritual principle. It is easy to be proud of one’s spiritual growth and achievements when one compares them with the real and perceived foibles of others. The more you can put down the achievements of others, the higher you can stand in your own observation. But this means that your eyes are no longer on God. You have built yourself up at the expense of a genuine relationship with God!

One of the clearest signs that a person has lost touch with God, therefore, is a critical and fault-finding spirit. By way of contrast, the clearest sign that a person has a living relationship with God is that he or she has a clear sense of personal depravity. Those who have looked in the face of God are painfully aware of their weaknesses, sins, and shortcomings. The good news is that authentic awareness of sin and guilt is the prerequisite for acceptance with God. When we have truly hit bottom there is nowhere to go but up!

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