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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Holy, Holy, Holy

Revelation 4:6-8 - And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.  And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

A couple of weeks ago a missionary friend of mine came by and preached for us on a Wednesday evening.  He preached a wonderful message from Revelation four and five.  It was a message that really exalted the Lord Jesus Christ.

I listened intently as he opened up the Scripture for us and I was seized by a renewed awareness of the four beast that were before the throne.  I am inclined to believe according to Isaiah six that the four beasts were seraphims, angelic beings that promote, guard, and sustain the worship of God at His throne.

Revelation informs us that they "rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come."  I have always stood in awe as my feeble mind has sought to take in this glorious sight, to comprehend the perpetual praise of these four beasts.  I have noted on many occasions the attribute of God which maintains their vigilant attention is Holiness!

That evening I began to think about not so much what they were crying as what they were not crying.  They could have cried anything.  I am compelled to accept that they were crying "Holy, holy, holy" at the Lord's direction.  This is what the Lord wanted cried at his throne day and night without rest.

Think with me for a minute what they were not crying:

Love, love, love, Lord God Almighty
Righteousness, righteousness, righteousness, Lord God Almighty
Merciful, merciful, merciful, Lord God Almighty
Faithful, faithful, faithful, Lord God Almighty
Immutable, immutable, immutable, Lord God Almighty
Sovereign, sovereign, sovereign, Lord God Almighty

No, it was none of these!  It was "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.  This they cried day and night without rest, it was their perpetual refrain.  The seraphim are one note creatures, there is no medley extolling the many attributes of God; just this single verse over and over and over again.

His undiluted purity revealed in infinite holiness drowns out all other voices at the throne.  It seems likely that if we spent more time at the throne the same verse would be on our lips.  We would not tire of it. We would not become weary with the monotony.  We would not dread days without number declaring his holiness without distraction!

We move from his holiness and we cannot rightly understand the true beauty of the lesser attributes of God.  We supplant the heavenly verse with the attribute of our own choosing and we diminish his glory! 

Isaiah 6:1-3 - In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had sic wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy!  All the saints adore thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
Who wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy!  tho the darkness hide thee,
Tho the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see;
Only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
Perfect in pow'r, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!
All they works shall praise they name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons blessed Trinity!
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