In Isaiah 6 we read the wonderful narrative of Isaiah’s vision and commissioning. In this vision, he had a glimpse of the wonders of heaven – angels crying “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory” (v.3, KJV) as they flew with covered faces around the throne of God. On this throne was the Lord, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple, a sight so majestic that Isaiah wrote, “And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, ‘Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts'” (vv.4-5).
As I reflected on this portion of text, the profound truth of the first verse and the implications for us as believers came alive in my being. Isaiah’s vision began with him seeing the Lord sitting upon a throne. The theology in this text is far greater than we need for our purposes, but what we can take away is the fact that the throne in heaven has not been abdicated, a word defined as to “give up, such as power, as of monarchs and emperors, or duties and obligations.” Not only was the Lord sitting on His throne, but He was high and lifted up, not only, as Bible Scholar Matthew Henry observes, “above other thrones, as it transcends them, but over other thrones, as it rules and commands them. Isaiah saw not Jehovah—the essence of God (no man has seen that, or can see it), but Adonai—His dominion. . . . See the sovereignty of the Eternal Monarch: He sits upon a throne — a throne of glory, before which we must worship; a throne of government, under which we must be subject; and a throne of grace, to which we may come boldly. This throne is high, and lifted up above all competition and contradiction.”
Amidst the tough economic times, acts of violence and terrorism in many places, and the different challenges we all have to deal with, it often feels as if Satan, the god of this world (see 2 Corinthians 4:4), have the upper hand in the battle between good and evil. It is therefore reassuring to know that the Lord is still on His throne. He has not abdicated and despite Satan’s best efforts, He has not been overthrown. Nobody but our Lord sits there. Yes, at times it seems like things are out of control and the enemy of our souls would have us believe that God is unable to do anything about what is going on. But as the one on the throne, God is still sovereign and Satan can only operate in this world within the boundaries that God, in His infinite wisdom, has set for him.
As believers, we can take comfort in knowing that our Lord is high above all else and His eyes still watch over us. He sees our struggles, our tears, our fears, and He knows our pain. There is never a moment that we are out of His sight; never a time when we are out of His care. The writer of the book of Hebrews reminds us, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (4:15-16). The next time you approach that throne, isn’t it reassuring to know that it is not empty?