Proclamations Of Terrible Glory

IMG_5209Has it really been a week and a half since the Shepherds Conference? As I did last year, I enjoyed the various General Sessions, though they obviously were intended primarily for pastors rather than for housewife bloggers (regardless of how interested such bloggers might be in Biblical theology). Therefore, at times I felt a bit like an eavesdropper, hearing things that weren’t exactly mine to hear. Nevertheless, I don’t regret watching the live-stream, and I’ll do it again next year.

One session, however, got me thinking seriously about the emphasis of this blog, or perhaps the way I approach my emphasis. In his introductory comments to his Session 9 lecture on 2 Corinthians 5:20, Paul Washer pleaded with his audience to preach the attributes of God more than the sinfulness of humanity. He made the point that, as people encounter Christ’s glory, they will automatically be confronted with their sinful  conditions.

As Washer  spoke, my mind went back to that familiar passage in Isaiah 6, in which Isaiah came into direct  contact with the Lord. Look at this passage with me, ladies, and I’ll show you how it applies to my blogging efforts.

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” ~~Isaiah 6:1-5 (ESV)

First, you need to notice the power of what Isaiah saw. To begin with, the Lord did not appear as a social equal to Isaiah. Much to the contrary, He appeared seated on an exalted throne, denoting His majesty and authority. That alone would quite properly fill  Isaiah with an overwhelming sense of awe and reverence! But on top of that, seraphim (which are fiery angels–literally “fiery, burning ones”) attended Him, each calling to the other with proclamations of God’s holiness. And if all that wasn’t enough, the very foundations of the temple’s thresholds quaked uncontrollably as smoke filled the house.

This wasn’t a tame little vision! The Lord revealed His glory to Isaiah in all its terrible power, and it must have been frightening! The prophet responded, not with spiritual pride at the fact that the Lord of heaven and earth had appeared to him, but with a sense of personal and national sin that shook him to the core of his being.

Paul Washer didn’t say that pastors should avoid preaching about human sinfulness, but he made it clear that people realize their sin when they see the Lord’s splendor and holiness. Therefore he begged the men at the Shepherds Conference to show Christ, in all His magnificence, to their congregations. From there, he launched into a rich and passionate sermon on what Christ accomplished on the cross (here’s the link to his sermon).

Although I’m a housewife blogger rather than a pastor, I believe some of what Washer told those men at the conference can apply to my blogging practices. I’ve been troubled  by the fact that what passes for evangelism in 21st Century Western culture minimizes the seriousness of  sin, consequently causing people to be converted to a false gospel. Such is sadly true. But perhaps the more effective way of helping people come to terms with their sinful conditions lies in showcasing God’s holiness. And perhaps a housewife blogger needs to take  such a thought to heart.

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