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: “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple” (v. 1, NKJV) and angels crying “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory” (v.3) as they flew with covered faces around the throne of God. It was a sight so majestic that Isaiah wrote, “And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said: ‘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 my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (vv. 4-5).
As I reflected on this portion of the text, the profound truth of the first verse and its 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. Bible scholar Matthew Henry writes, “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.”
The apostle Paul spoke of this exaltation of Christ when he wrote that not only had God raised Him from the dead, but He “set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:20b-23). Henry observes, “He it is who when, after His resurrection, He sat down on the right hand of God, did but sit down where He was before (John 17:5).” In other words, not only is the Lord sitting on the throne but He is unmistakably and totally in charge of everything, limited only by the limits He has placed on Himself through His Word.
Amidst the tough economic times, various strains of COVID-19, increased stress and anxiety, along with other challenges we all have to deal with, it is reassuring to know that the Lord is still on the throne. He has not abdicated and despite Satan’s best efforts, He has not been overthrown. No one else 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. Yet we can take comfort in knowing that our Lord is high above all else. His eyes are still watching 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 without His care. His words reassure us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5; Deut. 31:6).
The writer to the 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” (Hebrews 4:15-16). The next time you approach the throne, isn’t it reassuring to know that it is not empty?