THE WHOLE EARTH IS FULL OF HIS GLORY
Isaiah 6:1-8; Key verse: 3
“And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
Praise God for this historical 2023 ISBC with the theme ‘His Glory’!
It’s hard to believe that this is really happening! And we are all here in-person!
Since our last ISBC in 2018, our lives have seen many unimaginable changes.
Due to Covid, we could not travel.
Where did you long to go during Covid?
I longed for an in-person summer Bible conference!
This summer, we finally received an exciting royal invitation through this ISBC.
It’s about time we come together to meet our holy God and see His glory!
Tonight, we will see how God revealed His glory particularly to the prophet Isaiah in the temple.
This same God is cordially inviting each of us to meet Him tonight.
May He open our spiritual eyes to see His glory, experience His forgiveness, and respond to His glorious call!
Part 1. Holy, holy, holy, the whole earth is full of His glory (1-3).
Look at verse 1a.
“In the year that King Uzziah died,...”
The Prophet Isaiah lived around 739 B.C when King Uzziah of southern Judah died.
During his reign, the country had become very prosperous and strong.
Towards the end of his life though, he became prideful.
God struck him with leprosy and he died a tragic death, which caused a lot of fear and terror in people.
People of the country were also very sinful and morally corrupt.
All in all, the year that King Uzziah died was a dark time.
Now, look at verse 1b.
“...I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.”
In that dark and hopeless year, Isaiah saw the Lord in the temple.
He was high and exalted, seated on a throne as the King of kings with the long train of His robe filling the temple!
With king Uzziah’s death, Isaiah thought that the throne of Judah’s king was empty and dwindling.
With an empty throne, he feared that the country would become too weak to survive the surrounding superpower nations’ threats.
However, the Lord God was the real heavenly King seated on the throne, ruling the whole earth.
At the temple, God revealed Himself to Isaiah as the epitome of glory and majesty.
It was the exact image of God described in 1 Timothy 6:15b-16, “God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.”
This is who our God is and the God whom Isaiah encountered at the temple.
He is the glorious king who lives in unapproachable light!
There is absolutely no one as high and honourable as He is.
There is none like Him.
No one can easily dare to meet Him, as He is the King.
His glory and majesty far surpasses that of any worldly king or royal authority.
Thus, one cannot consider it lightly to approach God–His Majesty, the King and the Lord.
It is an utmost honour and privilege to get to meet the God of glory on the throne.
Look at verse 2.
“Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.”
These angels covered their faces and their feet before God, indicating that they feared and respected God.
Even holy angels could not stand before the Lord who is tremendously glorious and honorable.
The Lord was being praised by these holy angels.
God, as the King of kings and Lord of lords, deserves such honour and reverence.
Now let’s read verse 3.
“And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
What were the seraphim doing?
They were praising God together:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
They repeated Holy 3 times to emphasize God’s holiness.
The meaning of ‘holy’ is to be ‘set apart.’
God is the highest, the purest and the most glorious King who is set apart from the rest.
He stands out and His power and perfection can be compared to none!
He is sovereign and His dominance sets Himself apart from all His creations and all His subjects.
The angels praised God’s holy quality with all their hearts.
Isaiah mistakenly thought that the Lord’s rule was limited to only Israel.
Now that king Uzziah died, Isaiah feared that God’s glory and power was damaged and diminished.
However, the Lord of Israel reigned over the whole world and all the universe!
God’s sovereignty and power were still intact.
His glory was not harmed at all.
One cannot fathom how glorious and how pure He is!
He is set apart from all worldly things, as the majestic and sovereign ruler who is dominating.
It is our holy God on a throne who ultimately reigns!
And the angels also praised that the whole earth is full of His glory!
As God is the King of kings who is holy and outstanding, His reign and glory fills the whole earth.
There is not an area where God’s glory does not reach.
All the creatures ought to fear God, respect God, and worship God wholeheartedly.
When we look at world history, the leaders of superpower nations and strong dictators were ruling the world just because they possessed powerful weapons and armies.
However, the Lord our God is enthroned over them.
He is managing a multitude of angels who are heavenly soldiers.
Once, the king of Assyria besieged Judah with an intimidating number of soldiers.
They insulted Israel and ridiculed the living God.
King Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, the heavenly King.
The Lord listened to his prayer and sent angels and killed 185,000 enemy soldiers (Isa 37:36).
The Lord revealed His glory and power mightily.
Once, prophet Elisha enabled his servant to see the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around him (2Ki 6:17).
Even now, God’s glory is everywhere and on all of us!
God’s glory is all around and we are subject to His glorious rule and His sovereignty.
Our God is on a throne as the One who ultimately reigns!
The whole earth without any exception is full of His glory, that is filling every corner of our house, our church, our work and everywhere!
We cannot ignore it or escape from it.
God our King watches over us and rules over this world with His holiness and His glory.
The problem is we do not see that, because we are spiritually blind, due to our sins.
May God open our spiritual eyes to see His glory during this conference.
Then we can sing and praise God saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
Part 2. Your guilt is taken away, your sin atoned for (4-8).
Look at verse 4.
“At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.”
As the seraphim were praising God, the sound of their voices shook the temple.
What was Isaiah’s reaction?
Look at verse 5.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “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.”
Upon seeing the holy God and His glory, Isaiah was terrified.
He felt that he was too sinful and unclean to see the glorious God.
When Isaiah saw God, he realized his uncleanness and he initially thought that he would be punished and killed.
What happened to Isaiah?
Look at verses 6-7.
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
God sent one of the seraphim to Isaiah with a live coal.
Would God burn Isaiah to death with that live coal?
To his surprise, the seraph touched Isaiah’s mouth with a live coal and proclaimed, “your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
Wow! That live coal was not for burning Isaiah to death! Rather, by His grace, God cleansed Isaiah and sanctified him!
He used His refiner’s fire to burn away Isaiah’s sin.
He purified and sanctified him to make him a holy vessel to bear the holy word of God.
As we gathered here at this conference to see God’s glory, we first need to deeply realize that we are miserable sinners before God.
Let us cry out to Him like Isaiah! “Lord, I am a person of unclean lips and heart.”
Then God will accept us as we are and make us clean and pure to serve Him humbly.
Now look at verse 8a.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
Our God has a specific purpose and commission for His people whose sins and guilt are atoned for.
God has a vision to ‘send’ each of His people to reveal His glory.
He was openly recruiting Isaiah!
Look at verse 8b.
“And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
God’s salvation and His glory gave Isaiah confidence that He could and must serve God!
He was not ashamed any more.
He could now boldly respond to God’s calling saying, “Me! Me! Send me!”
Our God is looking for someone to send, someone who will go for Him!
Before meeting Jesus in my life, I never had confidence that I could be the one God would send.
Growing up in Korea, I was very shy and introverted and never really good at anything.
Whenever some kids at school saw me talking so timidly and not participating in any sports, they made fun of me saying that I’m like a girl.
That hurt my feelings a lot.
Such lack of confidence in my own masculinity led me to doubts and shame, which somehow turned into a sin of same sex attraction.
Whenever such wicked feelings occurred in me, I was so ashamed and scared that God would punish me.
I thought I’d never be able to marry anyone to live a happy normal life in the future.
I hid my sinful tendencies and incompetent feelings and just acted like a good Christian outwardly.
I felt like a big hypocrite.
Deep down in my mind, I was confused and anxious.
Why can’t I be like other typical guys?
Why isn’t there anything I seem to be good at?
I constantly compared myself to others and fell into an inferiority complex.
I felt that my life was always floating around somewhere in-between.
I was not a true Christian nor a non Christian, not a typical boy nor a girl, not a typical UBF 2nd gen nor a non UBF 2nd gen, not a typical Korean nor a typical Canadian.
I felt like I was nobody and I was not good for anything.
Like Isaiah, deep down I cried, “Woe to me! I am ruined.”
But God did not leave me alone.
After graduating from high school in Korea, He sent me to Toledo UBF in the US where Jesus met me personally.
Due to my sins, I was supposed to be burned by thousands of burning live coals.
But Jesus took my guilt away and freed me based on Romans 8:1-2, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
Instead of punishing me for my sins, Jesus cleansed me and raised me as a campus shepherd.
Afterwards, He sent me to Edmonton, Canada to pioneer the University of Alberta.
There, He trained me as a messenger, a Bible teacher and a chapter director.
Jesus made me a new man.
He revealed His glory over my life and cleansed all my guilt and sins away with His live coal (His precious blood)!
Despite my sinful inclinations and failures, Jesus faithfully and miraculously worked in my life over the years.
I’ve been married to a beautiful wife, missionary Esther for 14 years and God granted us 2 precious children.
God made me a husband and a father, a real happy and confident man I never felt I could become!
God transformed a timid and incompetent sinner like me into a missionary and a messenger of His word at this ISBC.
How is this possible?
It can only be explained by God’s grace and His glory!
No matter how dark and impossible our lives seem to be, our God is always seated on a throne as our King.
His sovereignty and His glory are never affected or worn out by what’s going on in this world or by our sins!
Unlike many things in this world that are subject to change, God’s sovereignty and Jesus’ glory do not change!
Once God’s glory filled Isaiah’s heart, Isaiah’s life had totally changed.
He was not just prophesying harsh judgmental messages but the Good News, the glory of Immanuel Jesus. (Isa 7:14)
He even prophesied about Jesus’ mission and foresaw His wounds and His death on the cross by which we are healed! (Isa 53:5)
Likewise, God’s glory enables us to witness Jesus’ glory that surrounds us and heals us.
This earth is filled with many problems, darkness and sins.
But through this ISBC, our holy God will show us that the whole earth is full of His glory!
This conference will help us see God’s glory through Jesus Christ (Jn 12:41).
Jesus is inviting us to personally encounter our holy God, our King!
May God bless us to encounter His glory and visualize and internalize Jesus’ glory personally through this conference!