It is impossible for a man to have any understanding of GOD, apart from first being humbled before HIM as that ONE who is HOLY. Isaiah’s vision is a very clarifying moment for those who would desire to know who the LORD of GLORY is. “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isa 6:1-3)
The reaction of Isaiah to this vision is the same as all who are given even a measure of this understanding. “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” (Isa 6:5) We see the same reaction in the Apostle Paul on his journey to Damascus, “suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, ----And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus.” (Acts 9:3-5) Up until that moment he simply thought of JESUS as a man from Nazareth whose followers were heretics. Yet the brightness of HIS PERSON now overshadowed him, and he was struck down in worship.
When John was brought face to face with HIM in an unclouded vision he too was struck down upon the ground. “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.” (Rev 1:14-17) This is that same JESUS with whom he had walked many miles and at whose feet he had sat and been taught, yet now he is enabled to see HIM “as HE is”, and he is unable to stand in HIS presence.
We see the same reaction with Daniel, a great prophet of GOD, “Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.” (Dan 10:5-9)
The natural man often considers that he has some sort of a natural relationship with GOD. Very few folks would not claim to pray from time to time, some more often than others. Most assume that since they pray that surely GOD must be interested in their prayers; as they imagine HIM to be a kind listener (like a faithful hound) and ONE who is attentive to their needs, if not actually obligated to hear them. The Pharisee who went to the temple prayed this sort of prayer which the scripture describes as, “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself.” (Luke 18:11)
Many will grow quite angry if one dares to question their ability and right to “pray” as they see fit, because after all, they believe they have the right to converse with GOD any time they get ready. They picture HIM as a kind old gentleman (probably with a beard) who is just sitting idly by awaiting their petitions. Many blind guides even instruct men on how to pray in such a fashion that they can back GOD into a corner, and basically force HIM to answer them as they desire.
Carnal men desire a “carnal GOD”, who is in many ways like unto themselves or at least one which can be worshipped according to their own ideas. This is the “idolatry” which is quite common among the masses and even prompts men to hew out statues, paintings, and religious traditions which capture their god(s) according to their various whims. This is what prompted the Philistines to build a temple in which they placed their “god”, Dagon; but is the exact notion which prompts many who call themselves “Christians” to imagine that they can put “god” any place they desire and that they can worship him as they please according to their “free will”.
Yet the scriptures give us a completely different picture of HIM than anything which a man might imagine. “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” (1Tim 6:16) HE is “inapproachable” and the place of HIS habitation is far removed from the prying eyes of men. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place.” (Isa 57:15) “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: (literally “come into my presence) for there shall no man see me, and live.” (Exo 33:20) “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, (i.e.; cannot be seen by the natural eye or thought) the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever.” (1Tim 1:17)
HE is a HOLY GOD. HE is set apart from HIS creation which must wait upon HIM who is in the heavens and does whatsoever HE pleases. None can stay HIS hand nor even question HIS doing. “The LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.” (Hab 2:20) HIS immortality, which HE alone possesses, sets HIM completely apart from all that is the creation of HIS hand. HIS holiness sets the backdrop for HIS justice and judgement, which are inescapable and immutable. None can enter into HIS presence who is in any wise less than holy. “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” (Psa 24:3-4) Only ONE who has ever been born of a woman has met this criteria and HE alone is acceptable in HIS FATHER’s sight. Thus, we read that HE is seated at the FATHER’s right hand.
We are to worship at HIS “footstool”. This word appears seven times in the OT and nine times in the NT in the KJV. The Hebrew word(s) literally means to “stamp upon with the foot”. In the Greek it literally means “to put under the foot, or a foot rest”. The picture that comes to mind is that of ONE who has finished HIS work and does now rest from HIS labors, having triumphed over all of HIS enemies and is clearly a VICTOR over sin, death, and hell. “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col 2:13-15) It is here that the sons of GOD bow down and worship. “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Gal 6:14)
Let us never forget that HE has won this victory for HIMSELF. HE alone is worthy of glory and praise. We are the beneficiaries of that which HE has achieved. For the joy which was set before HIM, HE endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now set down at the RIGHT HAND of GOD. “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Heb 10:12-14) Low, before THY footstool kneeling, let us go in humble prayer. Glory be to GOD in Heaven, THOU hast reigned and triumphed there. All thine enemies are vanquished, trampled here beneath THY feet, Reign forever blessed SAVIOR, and receive THY glory meet.