Song for Today: Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Holy, Holy, Holy byReginald Heber, 1826.

Verse 1

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!

Observe: Heber’s classic hymn recalls the time the prophet Isaiah encountered the living God in the Jerusalem Temple. 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.” (Isaiah 6:1–4, ESV).

Although Isaiah had only a glimpse, it was too much, and he cried out, “Woe is me! For I am lost.” Yet God graciously cleansed Isaiah for his work to come.

Verse 2

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.

This verse takes us to Revelation 4, where Isaiah’s vision in the earthly Temple in the earthly Jerusalem is revealed in its heavenly reality. John sees four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” …the twenty-four elders fall down before him …cast their crowns before the throne, (Revelation 4:8–10).

There is no necessary reason for God to save anyone. Verse 3 is the amazing statement that the God of mercy and love chooses to save sinners by his grace alone.

That truth leads to verse 4.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

In Psalm 145:4, David writes, One generation shall praise your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. We join with the totality of creation, earth, and sky and sea to praise him because he is the thrice-holy, merciful, mighty Father, Son, and Spirit who is blessed forever, Amen. Praise his name today.

Blessings, Pastor Don.


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