“It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!’ Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.” (Isaiah 6:1-4, NLT)
The first thing we read that happened in this classic text on worship was that God revealed himself to Isaiah. God disclosed himself to Isaiah in at least two ways. First, God revealed himself as the exalted King. Perhaps Isaiah and the people of God had placed their expectation on a human king. Maybe the tragic demise of Uzziah had left Isaiah disappointed or even afraid. But then he came face to face with the exalted King of Kings. Second, God revealed himself in holiness. The Hebrew language doesn’t have a grammatical system for expressing superlative relationships, such as good, better, and best. Hebrew writers would use repitition to express superlatives, hence “holy, holy, holy.” God revealed himself to Isaiah as the holy, exalted King of the universe.
Worship always begins with God’s self revelation to his people. God doesn’t always come as we think or want, but when he comes he comes as he really is. I think one of the reasons we worship so poorly and often miss God is because we project ourselves on to what we think God is instead of letting God reveal himself. This is why we are so prone to idolatry. Sometime I hear people say, “I don’t think God would do this or say that…” Why? Because we have confined God to be like what we think and do and say. One of the biggest mistakes we make in our understanding of God is making the simple premise that God is like me. No, God is not like you. Your God has to be bigger than you are. Tomorrow I’ll post the next thing that happens in worship.