Devotional Word for Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Good Morning and thank you for joining me on July 1st 2020 for some devotional thoughts. I am not John Niederhaus, my name is Michael Nowling and I am the Youth and Children’s Pastor at Immanuel Leidy’s Church. With Pastor John’s retirement, Pastor Steve and I have resolved to continue these devotions albeit in a slightly modified format. In the coming weeks and months Pastor Steve and I will be posting devotions twice a week. We are happy that you have joined us and pray that these will be a blessing to you.
Today I would like to invite you to think about one of my favorite passages of the Bible. I turn to Isaiah 6 in times of transition or distress. When life is not certain and I am not sure of what to do next, Isaiah 6 is a helpful place to turn. It begins this way, “In the year of king Uzziah’s death.” Isn’t that cheerful. Uzziah, who was also called Azariah was generally a good king and he reigned for a long time. 1 Kings 15 tells us that he reigned for 52 years. While some of that time was likely as a coregent, he held sway over the political life of Judah for many years. As a godly king, his death would have meant uncertainty for the people. What will happen to us? Will the new king follow the Lord? What will happen if the new king doesn’t follow the Lord? These and others were questions likely in the mind of Isaiah and others of his day.
In the year of Uzziah’s death, Isaiah had a vision. Isaiah 6 describes the substance of the vision in this way. I SAW THE LORD SITTING ON A THRONE, LOFTY AND EXALTED, WITH THE TRAIN OF HIS ROBE FILLING THE TEMPLE. SERAPHIM STOOD ABOVE HIM, EACH HAVING SIX WINGS; WITH TWO HE COVERED HIS FACE, AND WITH TWO HE COVERED HIS FEET, AND WITH TWO HE FLEW. AND ONE CALLED OUT TO ANOTHER AND SAID, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, IS THE LORD OF HOSTS, THE WHOLE EARTH IS FULL OF HIS GLORY.” At the sight of this vision, Isaiah is undone. It is easy to understand why. He sees the Lord sitting upon His throne with the train of His robe filling the temple. That is to say that the train of the robe was filling the heavens! Isaiah, in a vision, gained a glimpse of the Lord in His glory and might. Then there were angels flying and calling out Holy, Holy, Holy. Note that when the angels called out to one another the whole temple which is to say the heavens shook.
You might be wondering why I like this passage. It seems like it would have been a terrifying experience. When Isaiah received this vision, he was terrified. However, he was also comforted. It was a reminder that even though the king of Judah had died and life was uncertain, the Lord continued to reign upon His throne and nothing was out of His control. This IS comforting news not only for Isaiah but also for us. As we look around, we see riots, COVID-19 cases, and uncertainty all around. Even within our fellowship at Leidy’s church. We thank the Lord for Pastor John and his many years of faithful ministry, but we also recognize that we do not know who will replace him.
We like Isaiah need to look to the Lord seated upon His throne. It is a reminder that He is the sovereign God of all creation and that there are no circumstance which surprise Him or are out of His control. When we look at the transitions around us, we need to pray knowing that God will continue reigning upon His throne. We can then have confidence to follow wherever He leads.
Let us pray. Lord help us to see and understand that you are ruling upon your throne. Help us to turn to you in times of uncertainty secure in the knowledge that you are in control and that you will hold us fast. You have not abandoned Your promises or Your people but remain faithful forever. Let us look to the future with confidence knowing that you will continue to reign upon Your throne. Amen.