We are given an account of a heavenly vision from one of the most significant Old Testament prophets in Isaiah 6:1-6.
In our scripture reading, it is easy to buzz by the strange images of six-winged creatures in favor of Jesus’s parables or Paul’s letters.
Yet it’s worth our while to read and chew on these verses. The picture Isaiah paints of heaven’s throne room with God’s majesty on full display provides us with a means for finding meaning in the mundane activities of our lives. It helps us better reflect God’s glory in daily life.
The Malaise of the Mundane
We get up, get dressed, snatch some breakfast, and rush to work on a weekly basis.
We grind through our weekly assignments or whatever routine work we do to earn a paycheck. Friday comes and we look forward to a concert, a movie, some football, reading a book, or doing odd jobs around the house.
The cycle can become monotonous as we retrace the same patterns week after week. Maybe we face a new problem, have a pleasant interaction, or occasionally get a promotion. Much of life is still routine.
We are easily lulled into a feeling of discomfort in our routines. Perhaps it feels like retirement, our hope for escape from routine, is too far off. The pattern will never end.
If our perspective on our daily work is limited to earning a paycheck or solely navigating the success and failures of a single week, we can easily grow cynical and listless.
We may have our mundane vocations renewed and inspired if we have in view the glory of the God whom we serve through our daily work. This is where Isaiah’s vision comes in.
Isaiah’s Glimpse of Glory
God gave Isaiah a limited-edition glimpse of glory. He did this to give Isaiah a sense of his power, glory, and goodness.
There are only a few people in the history of the world who have had such an opportunity. We should be thankful Isaiah captured a sense of his vision for our edification.
Isaiah served as a prophet to the people of God. He was given the unpopular task of calling people to repentance and telling them they would be conquered. Some traditions within the church teach that Isaiah was sawed in two for his perceived pessimism.
God didn’t give Isaiah his vision to scare him into obedience to his calling. He gave it to Isaiah so that Isaiah would be encouraged and sustained in obedience as he went about his difficult task.
God’s vision to Isaiah explained the coming judgment and gave Isaiah a sense of the power behind the prophecies he would be given predicting the coming of the Messiah.
Doing Our Jobs with Wonder
Seeing the eternal purpose of our daily work becomes easier when we have a greater vision of who God is.
Even without accepting that account of Isaiah’s martyrdom, the clarity of his calling was increased by a vision of the majesty of the one true God (John 12:41).
Just as Isaiah was called to give people a sense of the nature of the kingdom of God (e.g. Isaiah 65:17-25), so we have the opportunity to point those around us towards the kingdom, through our words, the quality of our work, and how we fulfill our callings.
Our ability to represent God’s kingdom is enhanced as we gain a greater sense of God’s glory. The sheer awe evoked by Isaiah’s account of the heavenly throne room has the power to inspire us to wonder at what we do each and every day.
As we do our jobs with wonder at the amazing world around us – even the mundane things – we can convey a better sense of what a redeemed and restored world will look like.
It will look like something reflecting the reality that the glory of the Lord of hosts fills the entire earth (Isaiah 6:3).