This week is built on one line from Crowder’s “O Praise Him.”
All this for a King
We could join and sing
In Isaiah, the prophet has a vision of Heaven.
Just pause for a moment.
Let that sink in.
I know a lot of us have read this story, but really, take a step back and imagine.
You’re sitting there, spending time in prayer, knowing you have heard the voice of God speak out loud to you about His will and about the way that the world is. Repeating the words He gave you has not made you wildly popular. In fact, it has caused people to hurry out of your way when they see you coming. They put on a show to pretend they are better than they are. Some have stopped trying and treat you with utter contempt.
But you keep going back to the source of that moment.
You go back because, even though you suffer a crushing loneliness for the company of other people, you have known no kind of relational connection like you experienced when the Great I Am spoke to you.
Months and years pass.
A king dies.
The nation mourns and it moves on.
And there you sit in prayer.
And then WOOSH!
God brings you into the place for which man has longed ever since his fall. He brings you to the place where He reigns and His glory is unrestrained. Like an out of control fog machine in the middle of “Oceans,” the room is full of something you can’t quite touch. God’s glory in authority fills the space and the sound that fills the space along with that is the song sung by the war fighters of God. Their voices are so full of conviction and truth that the ground shakes because of the impact of it implications.
The earth shakes.
With the third “holy,” even Isaiah’s bones shake within him, threatening to come undone from the knitting that God Himself designed because all of the fabric of reality, sewn together by the Word of God, trembles before Him.
Ever since that moment, mankind has sought to find a way to re-enter that moment of glory on this side of eternity. It is the aim of every time we worship God to bring Him glory He will accept as perfectly as the praise that is sung day and night before His throne.
And like Isaiah, when we find ourselves unwittingly, albeit intentionally, within His presence, we know we do not deserve to be there. The soiling of our soil based reality and the worldly nature of our people stand between us and we need to be brought, by His power, and not our prowess, into communion with Him.
So, to those ends, we praise Him. We sing “Hallelujah,” because it is the praise of worth in the strongest terms. It surrenders and glorifies because of His absolute singular goodness. He is holy, which means He is set apart as the definition of everything we want to be.
It is by that merit that He is King. He reigns.
We sing “holy” because He is good. We sing “worthy” because it is the foundation of the worship we bring. We sing because He has given us permission and we cannot keep quiet.
The absolutely devastating and beautiful truth behind all of this is the fact that Jesus Christ, THE HOLY ONE of God, desires relationship with us. He reached down through to our mortal existence and walked in it to intimately connect us to Himself.
He is perfect.
But he is also extraordinarily interested in us.
Therefore, not only do we have front row seats to His absolute holiness, but we have individual, unique, and undeniable experiences of His love, aimed personally, specifically, and inexorably toward us.
So we say, “yes.”
And then we worship Him. Because He is good.
For some other songs that relate to our desire to connect to Heaven and its King, here are some songs we won’t be using this week, but I CANNOT get out of my head. There’s also the Spotify list of the songs we WILL use, which, likewise, are happily stuck in my head.
- David Crowder, “O Praise Him,” Illuminate, SixSteps music, Capital CMG Publishing, 2003. CCLI# 4158022.
- Michael W. Smith, “Agnus Dei,” Worship, Sony/ATV Music, 1990. CCLI# 626713.
- John Bacchus Dykes, Reginald Heber, “Holy, Holy, Holy, (Nicea),” Public Domain.
- Ben Fielding, Brian Johnson, Ed Cash, Jason Ingram, Jenn Johnson, “Goodness of God,” Victory, Shout! Music Publishing, Bethel Music Publishing, 2018. CCLI# 7117726