The King in His Beauty

“Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; They will behold a far-distant land.” (Isaiah 33:17)

The Prophet Isaiah is speaking to the people of God, the House of Jacob. Although the Israelite nation would be rejoined in the future the prophet is speaking in particular to the Southern Kingdom of Judah. As the Spiritual Kingdom of God, the Christian Church is grafted into the House of Jacob, this message is also spoken to us the followers of Jesus Christ. A lot of the prophecies of Isaiah was written for the near future and also the distant future. For our purposes “Your eyes” are for the eyes of the saints of the Christian Church as well as the Jewish nation who are the remnant that recognize Jesus as their Messiah.

The prophet is delivering a promise from the Lord God that we will see the King in His beauty. Some in the day this Scripture was written as Isaiah speaking of King Hezekiah, who at the time was distressed over the words of the Rabshakeh who delivered a message form the king of Assyria that King Hezekiah would not be able to save his people. Hezekiah was distraught and humbled himself and wore sackcloth. “And when King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth and entered the house of the LORD.” (2 Kings 2:19) King Hezekiah prayed to the Lord the King of Assyria was not able to conquer Jerusalem.

This prophecy was for the people of Judah and it is also for God’s people of today. Isaiah is also speaking a prophecy of our King, the King of kings, our Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. We shall see Him in all His beauty. There we shall see Him in all his glorious majesty surrounded by His attendants. “One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads” (Revelation 4:2-4)

We shall see Him there and we shall be in a far-distant land. It is not King Hezekiah as he was pent up in a siege from the King of Assyria. This is not the Jerusalem surrounded by the enemy but Jerusalem in a far-distant land, the Jerusalem above in Heaven. The place we shall be following the earthly reign of our Messiah. During His 1,000 year reign Jesus will rule from Jerusalem here on earth. After that He will reign from the heavenly Jerusalem. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)

Only approximately 500 hundred have seen Jesus in His glory after His resurrection from the tomb on Easter Sunday nearly 2,000 years ago. For us we know of His glory through our faith and His indwelling Spirit. Yet when He appeared He was vindicated by the scars of His crucifixion. We see people today marked by the scars of life and we rarely see them as beautiful. When we think of the suffering and shame that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ endured that our sins could be wiped away it is a vast measure of beauty. It is not for pride that Jesus retains these scars but for our remembrance. “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” (Revelation 5:9) His beauty is the love that He has that He would sacrifice Himself so that the unworthy could be worthy. His beauty is that His glory is power, riches, wisdom, might, honor, and that He blesses those who are His own. “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” (Revelation 5:12)

He has kept the beauty of His scars to confirm His testimony the He is the Lamb of God and has the right to forgive those who call upon His name of their sin against His Father. The Apostle Thomas would not believe least He saw the scars of His sacrifice. “So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25) Eight days later Jesus appeared again and Thomas was there and saw his Lord and the scars upon His glorified body and fell to his knees and said, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28) Thomas’ desire was met by his Lord and he realized the beauty of the Savior. And his Lord spoke to him. “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” (John 20:29) We are blessed because we have been given a heart that can see the beauty and believe.

The Prophet Zechariah spoke of the day that the Jewish people also will believe and see the King in His Beauty. “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10)

In that day God will pour out His Spirit of grace upon His chosen people the nation of Israel. “I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,” declares the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 39:29) “The “spirit of supplications” is the mercury whose rise or fall is an unerring test of the state of the Church.” [Moore].

Then the Jewish people will look earnestly upon the beauty of their Messiah that they so long denied. Their King whom they had pierced with nails and spear and see the beauty of His scars. They will look, as Thomas and mourn with true repentance at their crucified Savior. With eyes of true faith they will see the truth and their tear drops of faith will testify to the remorse of their heart. They will weep from their sins and love Him who had suffered the cross that they could be free. They will mourn as one mourns over the loss of a son, there first born who came and they rejected while He sacrificed Himself that they could receive the salvation of the Lord. Jesus, their Messiah, the first born of many brethren. “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)

They will look upon Him and say, “And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will say, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.” (Zechariah 13:6) Jesus came to them as their friend to save the lost house of Israel. He spoke to them in their Synagogue telling them who He was and why He came. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19) So long they patiently waited and now they see the Beauty of their King.

Today we see His beauty dimly through our weak faith but some glorious day we shall see the Beauty of our Lord clearly, as our eyes opened to see our King in His Beauty. “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 31:12)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, June 30, 2017

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