Pollsters ask Americans, “Do you believe in God?” 80% to 90% say, “Yes.” But David Wells observed, “Those who assure the pollsters of their belief in God’s existence may nonetheless consider him less interesting than television, his commands less authoritative than their appetites for affluence and influence, his judgment no more awe-inspiring than the evening news, and his truth less compelling than the advertisers’ sweet fog of flattery and lies. That is weightlessness” (God in the Wasteland, p. 88). In other words, many Americans believe in a weightless God, who sits on them like a feather.
A weightless God is a figment of our imagination, a false god, a man-made idol. In our Bibles, the Hebrew word translated “glory” is kavod and means “heavy, weighty.” That means to sin against the holy God is a very big deal. In Isaiah 6 we see the angels around the throne of the King of heaven, high and lifted up. The greatness of the King can be measured by the length of his train and this King’s train fills the temple of heaven! How great, mighty, holy and weighty is He! The angels are singing around His throne, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of your glory [kavod]!” Isaiah says that when this King of heaven spoke, the very foundations of the temple thresholds shook and the whole heavenly temple was filled with smoke. He is “weighty”!
So what was this godly prophet’s response to this vision of God’s “heavy” holiness and “weighty” glory? Did he say, “Groovy, man!” Or, “That’s cool!” Or, “Whatever.” Absolutely not! This godly man cries out, “Woe is me! [That means, Damned is me! I will perish!] For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” So who is that holy, weighty, glorious King who did not sit on Isaiah like a feather but caused him to become completely undone and cry out as a desperate sinner? The Apostle John tells us who Isaiah saw: “he saw [King Jesus’] glory and spoke of him” (John 12:41). Jesus is not a weightless feather because God is not a feather. Jesus is God. He is heavy, weighty. And Jesus will either drink the wrath and judgment of God for your sins in your place, or you will bear His judgment yourself under “the wrath of the Lamb” (Rev. 6:16).
Notice the angel came back to Isaiah with a burning coal from the altar of sacrifice, hot from the wrath of God for man’s sin, and touched Isaiah’s unclean lips with it and said, “your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” Believe in that God, the real One, and Jesus will take the guilt of your sin away, too, and you can face the Judgment of God in peace. Amen.