If you stop by a Christian bookstore today, you will notice stacks of firsthand accounts of heaven. Tourism to the New Jerusalem seems to be on the upswing. Everyone seems obsessed with getting the heavenly inside scoop. Some of these books may be entertaining, but the Bible gives a more reliable record.
Isaiah 6:1-7 HCSB
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts; His glory fills the whole earth.
The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke.
Then I said:
Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said:
Now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed and your sin is atoned for.
A Heavenly Worship Service
In Isaiah 6 we get to witness the prophet Isaiah as he participates in a heavenly worship service. This service is his commissioning service; Isaiah witnesses God’s glory, is horrified by his own sinfulness, is cleansed through divine action and is commissioned as a messenger of Yahweh. Here we meet the Seraphim. God has surrounded himself with these angels and appointed them to worship Him. Since this worship service was designed by God, let’s see what we can learn from how the Seraphim worship God.
Clues from the Seraphim
Read Isaiah 6:2-3 and pay special attention to any details about the Seraphim. Look to see what they may be teaching about how God desires to be worshipped. What did you discover? Here are five things we can learn from the worship of the Seraphim:
1. God should be served. These seraphim stand and fly before God. This doesn’t mean that the Seraphim have ADHD and can’t keep still. Instead we see that they are actively waiting on God. Like servants waiting around a king’s throne, they attend God. These angels aren’t chilin’ on a sofa or checking Pinterest, their focus in on serving God. Lesson: Worship requires serving God, not ourselves.
2. God should be approached with modesty.
The angels approach God with humility and reverence. They cover their eyes because God is too holy to gaze upon and they cover their bodies because they are unworthy for God to look upon them. Even these holy angels are aware that before the Almighty they are naked and must cover up. Lesson: When you approach God, recognize your lowliness before Him. Also, don’t wear a swimsuit to church!
3. God should be praised with voice.
These angels speak audibly and use words understandable to Isaiah. Lesson: God wants to be worshipped out loud with normal language.
4. God should be praised in community.
While these angels are praising God, they speak to each other. The worship of God is not just a solo activity, it is essentially communal. Lesson: Go to church! You can’t just worship by yourself.
5. God should be worshipped with truth.
First, the angels speak of God’s holiness (His uniqueness and purity). Secondly, they declare that God has revealed Himself. The heavens declare the glory of God, the Bible discloses God, and Jesus physically filled the earth as the incarnate God-man (John 1:14). God’s glory is ultimately displayed on earth in Jesus. Lesson: Praise God for who He is and What He has done. Remember the supreme revelation of God is Jesus.