Throughout scripture, there are many descriptions of God, but we only read of about ten instances where God’s prophets were privileged to be given a vision of Him in heaven. Jacob saw the Lord standing at the top of the ladder on which angels ascended and descended (Genesis 28:12-13). Moses and the seventy elders, along with Aaron and his two sons, ate at the feet of God in front of a pavement of sapphire (Exodus 24:9-11). The prophet Micaiah saw the Lord sitting on His throne, with the host of heaven standing beside Him on either side (2 Chronicles 18:18). Ezekiel saw the throne of God in all His glory on two separate occasions (Ezekiel 1:26-28; 10:1). Daniel saw a vision very similar to Ezekiel’s (Daniel 7:9). The first New Testament martyr, Stephen, gazed into heaven at Jesus, standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55-56). Paul was caught up to the third heaven and saw things he was not allowed to write about (2 Corinthians 12:2). John, exiled on Patmos, was taken up to heaven in the Spirit and allowed to bring back many detailed accounts of God in His throne room (Revelation 4:1).
Each encounter has similarities, and if we compiled a comparative list, we might have a pretty good idea of what we will see when we enter heaven. I’m sure we all have ideas of what it will be like, and how we will respond. We don’t have to wonder. Isaiah’s vision and conversation with the Lord shows us exactly how we will feel in the presence of Almighty God.
The best way to really get to know someone is to visit them in their home. Where and how we live reveals much about who we are. Our homes are an outward reflection of what’s inside of us, our character, our personality, our preferences, what makes us happy, what matters to us, and what we truly value. Of course, our earthly homes may not be exactly what we want, but if we have been given the blessing of creating our own homes, the results are pretty telling.
I believe it’s the same with God’s throne room. What we see there, and how we respond to it, show us much about the nature and innate attributes of the God we worship.
Here are seven things Isaiah reveals about God as he describes his encounter in the throne room in Isaiah 6.
#1 – God is our Lord and Master.
Isaiah first refers to God as “Lord,” or “Adonai.” Adonai is a term of respect. Lord is defined in English as “someone or something having power, authority, or influence; a master or ruler.”
#2 – God is King.
Isaiah saw God sitting on a throne – a place of power and authority. Thrones are the seat of kings, and God is the King of kings, and Lord of lords – the sovereign, reigning King.
#3 – God will be exalted and worshipped by all the world.
Isaiah describes God’s throne room as a temple, filled with the train of God’s robe. Later, God will remind Isaiah that heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool (Isaiah 66:1). God’s glory fills the earth, just as the train of His robe fills the temple. Isaiah heard the seraphim proclaim it: The whole earth is full of His glory.
#4 – God is a thrice-holy God.
Isaiah heard the seraphim (angelic beings) calling out to one another, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts.” My childhood pastor used this phrase, “thrice-holy God” as an accurate description, for the worship of the seraphim reminds us that God is also a triune being, three distinct Persons yet one God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is holy, set apart, uncorrupted, undefiled, pure, and separate from fallen creation.
#5 – God is self-existent.
The seraphim used another name for God, written in all caps in your Bible: LORD. This is translated from Yahweh, or Jehovah, the name the children of Israel would not even pronounce because God was so holy. Jehovah refers to the “I AM” – the uncreated, self-existent God who needs nothing and gives life to all, who was, and is, and is to come.
#6 – God is the Righteous Judge.
When God spoke, the foundations of the thresholds trembled at His voice, and the temple was filled with smoke. This speaks of judgment and God’s authority and power to judge because only He is righteous and knows the hearts of men. Isaiah’s next words reveal his full acknowledgment of God’s right to judge him for his sin. Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts (Isaiah 6:5). Therefore, we don’t have to wonder what our response will be when we enter God’s throne room. Like Isaiah, we will recognize God is holy, holy, holy, and has a perfect right to judge.
#7 – God is our Redeemer.
How sad it would be if Isaiah’s vision ended with the knowledge of his sin and awareness of God’s holiness. That would be a terrible time to wake up from the vision! Thankfully, we see the rest of what happened. As a picture of the sacrifice made by Christ, and His blood that was poured out on the altar in heaven, the seraphim takes a burning coal from the altar and touches Isaiah’s lips, assuring him that his iniquity has been taken away, and his sin forgiven. God has made a way of redemption. Jesus has torn the veil, and we are allowed to gaze on the glory of God. Isaiah saw in a vision the results of what Jesus would do seven hundred years later.
I’m so thankful God invited Isaiah for a visit and revealed much about Himself in just one short encounter. That encounter changed Isaiah’s life. It gave him the strength and endurance to say “yes” when God called him to go and share the gospel with stubborn, unrepentant people who continually closed their eyes and stopped their ears from listening to his message of truth and warning.
It’s important to know who God is and believe what He has revealed about Himself. One day, each one of us will stand in that very throne room Isaiah saw in a vision and give account to God for our lives. If we have by faith trusted in Christ for salvation, we will enter God’s home and enjoy His presence forever. If we have refused to believe and worship Him as the holy, righteous King and Lord of our lives, we have no excuse. He’s shown us who He is, and who we are. What we do with that is up to us.
What would we learn about you if you invited us into your home?