I recently picked up Ray Ortlund’s excellent commentary, Isaiah: God Saves Sinners, for a project I’m working on. This passage from his notes on Isaiah 6:1-13 is awe-inspiring:
“Holy, holy, holy” is not just repetition; it is emphasis. It isn’t one + one + one; it’s perfection x perfection x perfection. The holiness of God distinguishes him absolutely, even from the sinless angels. The Bible speaks of the splendor of God’s holiness (Psalm 29:2), the majesty of God’s holiness (Exodus 15:11), the incomparability of God’s holiness (Isaiah 40:25). His holiness is simply his God-ness in all his attributes, works, and ways. And he is not just holy; he is “holy, holy, holy,” each word boosting the force of the previous one exponentially. No other threefold adjective appears in all the Old Testament. It takes a unique linguistic contrivance to convey meaning beyond its meaning as the seraphim strain at the leash of language to say that God alone is God. He is not like us, only bigger and nicer. He is in a different category. He is holy.
And the holy God is filling the earth with his glory. He is not only out there; he is also down here. He is why there is a “down here.” Think back to the beginning. Why did God create anything at all? Throughout eternity past, before time was launched, God was complete in himself. He was never lonely within the blazing fellowship of the Trinitarian Godhead. He has always been happy and full. Why does that kind of God create anything? Not to remedy a lack in himself, but to enjoy spreading his goodness. The delight that God feels in being God is so great that his exuberance spills over into a creation filled with his glory…
We are not just ordinary. Nothing is just ordinary. “The whole earth is full of his glory.” We keep trying to fill it with monuments to our own glory — kingdoms, businesses, hit songs, athletic victories, and other mechanisms of self-salvation. But the truth is better than all that. Created reality is a continuous explosion of the glory of God. And history is the drama of his grace awakening in us dead sinners eyes to see and taste to enjoy and courage to obey.
Do you realize that it is God’s will to make this earth into an extension of his throne room in Heaven? Do you realize that it is God’s will for his kingdom of glory to come into your life and for his will to be done in you as it is done in Heaven? Heaven is expanding, spreading in your direction. That is the meaning of your existence, if you will accept it and enter in.
Heaven is taking over. Yield.
Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr., Isaiah: God Saves Sinners (Kindle Edition)