Your eyes will see the King in His beauty, they will see the Land that is very far off (Isaiah 33:17-24)
Created by Jon Taylor - Sunday 30 Dec 2018
Jon Taylor
These verses have provided hope for many over countless years since they focus our attention on what really matters; glorifying the King and trusting in His promises. At the time of writing the Assyrians were steadily gaining power, The northern kingdom had been taken and now Sennacherib would launch a campaign to take Judah.
Sennacherib boasted excessively against Hezekiah and the Lord. Details of Sennacherib’s self-importance and overview of his treatment towards Hezekiah are contained on a small hexagonal shaped prism to this day in the British Museum. However, the Angel of the Lord decidedly slew 185, 000 of their number in a single night bringing deliverance. One can still walk/wade through Hezekiah’s tunnel and very recently clay impressions of his seal have been discovered in Jerusalem.
The scope of this passage takes us beyond Hezekiah and even speaks of times still future. Though this is undoubtedly a message of courage and hope and a summons to turn our attention towards the glory of the Lord, verse 18 speaks of meditating on terror still future! The Assyrian invasion would have been terrifying as would enslavement in Egypt. Nonetheless when one is delivered from oppression and slavery; in later years one still remembers with gratitude and thankfulness the Saviour who powerfully delivered a people from their tyrants.
Three questions are asked concerning the location of the scribe, the one who weighs and the one who counts the towers and a reassuring immediate promise is granted in the next verse that the Assyrians will no longer be seen or heard in their close surroundings in Jerusalem.
Isaiah instructs us to look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts. Three times annually the Israelites would go up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut. 16:16). Zechariah like Isaiah looks forward to the millennial kingdom when other nations will also celebrate Tabernacles in a time still future (Zech. 14:16-21).
The ‘tabernacle’ will not be taken down, nor uprooted.  Amos also spoke of a time when the tabernacle of Israel would be raised, the land would be fruitful and similarly they would never be uprooted from the land the Lord has given them (Amos 9:11-15).
It is spoken of as a peaceful habitation where the residents are healthy, comforted and forgiven because the Lord is Judge, Lawgiver, King and Saviour. It is contrasted with a ship that is unable to hold the mast firm or keep the sail spread. The inference is that without God we are impotent and going nowhere. In the same way that we trust a pilot as they fly us to our destination, we need to trust and rely upon God as we journey through our lives.
Our eyes will see the King in His beauty. Our Lord dwelt and tabernacled among us at His first coming (John 1:14). Peter, James and John were privileged to see the Lord transfigured. Peter probably wanted that astonishing revelation to continue hence his keenness to build tabernacles. It isn’t possible to describe the indescribable or to adequately express either the beauty or the glory of the King.  Mark simply says that His clothes where whiter than any launderer on earth could whiten them.
The desire of the Psalmist was to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life and behold the beauty of the Lord (Psalm 27:4).  His ambition should be our ambition, his resolution should help us to refocus for the coming year. Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on His throne and filling the temple. It seems that he was simultaneously overcome with godly fear and wonder.
This passage helps us to renew our minds and transform our thinking as we meditate wisely and accurately on what God has done in the past. It grounds us in the present, reminding us that anything we consider to be remarkable in this earthly domain is eclipsed by the glory of God.  It helps us to be at rest concerning the future since God has determined pre-appointed times and the boundaries of our dwellings (Acts 17:26).
One day we will see the King in His glory. By comparison everything else will be secondary and though we will also be glorified, we will be lost in wonder, adoration and praise as we proclaim the greatness, majesty and glory of God and behold the beauty of the King.
Sunday 30 Dec 2018