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Devotionals

Past, Present, Future

As a child, we as a family went on one holiday. I was 4 years old when dad took mom, my sister and myself from Cape Town to Florida, Johannesburg by train to visit my uncle (dad’s brother) and his wife. Picture a four year-old farm boy jailed in a small four-sleeper compartment for two and a half days with two adults and his sister. As soon as I could, I sneaked out and ran up and down the corridor of the coach until the conductor rebuked me. I remember how trying to sleep I heard the train’s wheels going clucky cluck, clucky cluck, clucky cluck. I also remember being at an open area that sloped downwards in a circle with a big deep hole in the center with water far towards the bottom. I was so scared because I knew that if I fell and rolled into that “pit of water” I would be a goner.

That was in the past … some 68 years ago. Today, in the present I marvel at so many different landscapes, especially of the bush and mountains. I do realise that, God willing, I would like to see one or two other sights in the future that I have only heard of. There are the past, present and future sights. We all have these … but I want to show you three far better and more thrilling sights in this Daily Note.

A Past Sight

I wonder whether you are able to see through the eye of faith the picture described in Isaiah 6?

Isa 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;

the whole earth is full of his glory.”

4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

In the vision Isaiah beholds the most awesome sight possible. We even have the exact date this happens. Look what he sees … the Lord God Almighty seated on His Throne in Heaven. He is elevated high. He is exalted. The flowing train of His Kingly robe literally filled the temple of Heaven. The sight was so majestic and glorious that heaven literally stood still. Look at the Seraphs. They have six wings each and as they fly in honour of the Lord upon His Throne … almost like a stately fly-over by the air force. They fly with two wings covering their faces because even for these angels the sight of God in all His majesty is far too much. They cover their feet with two wings symbolizing that they can scarcely tread on the holy ground of that heavenly place. The remaining two wings gives them flight.

Now notice what happens in the by-pass flight … they call to each other what must surely be the anthem of heaven … “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Now look at Isaiah who sees all this … he is reduced to humbleness as he becomes aware of the thrice Holy God … and his sin is exposed … and he sees just how depraved his is. How does he become aware? What does he see? He literally cries out … “my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty”! In the vision he saw God. That is the past.

A Present Sight

The writer to the Hebrews continues to make his case about Jesus being greater and superior to angels as he again reminds his readers that nothing escapes the Lordship and control of Jesus:

Heb 2:8 In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.

In the eternal scheme of things they and we can see this! What do they and what do we see?

Heb 2:9 we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

We see Jesus in His role as Saviour. We have the whole Bible and the wisdom of many Church Father’s and their insight and wisdom handed down to us. We know where Jesus is right now … reigning in glory … yet it’s hard for us to see that. We see what the pages of the gospels reveal to us …We see Jesus as the Servant King who came to save. This is what we see in the present.

Future Sight

There is the past sight of our Lord in all His holiness and majesty. We see Him is His homely environment … is all His Holy, Righteous beauty (Isaiah 6). Then we see Him in the present as our Servant King. The One who came to serve and give His life for many. (Hebrews 2).

But now we need to see that future sight! It’s that future sight that motivates us onwards as Christian soldiers.

1Jn 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

One needs immediate caution here. When He appears we shall be like Him … It is not saying we will be like Jesus in all His divinity and majestic glory. You see that would be cultic for we shall never be like God. The ancient serpent promised that to Eve in the Garden. She and her husband lost their godly image and likeness because of sin. No we shall not be like Jesus in His God-ness. What does it mean that we see Him as He is … and … be like Him? To me this seems to be saying that when we see Him we shall be restored to the image and likeness of God lost in Genesis chapter 3!

Ro 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son

This will be in the future, once the end arrives!

Dear God, we saw in the past something of Your majestic glory and holiness. Then we saw You as the Servant King who came to save. Lastly we will see you as You are … and we look forward to experience You … when faith gives way to sight … for we shall see You our Lord in all Your splendor and glory. Thank You that we have a past, present and future … and thank You that as we have a past and present picture of You, we shall see You as You are in the future when you collect us to Yourself. We pray with thanksgiving and expectation in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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