Devotional Thoughts Based on the Glory to God Hymnal
It took a few Presbyterian hymnals for Holy, Holy, Holy to work its way to the number one slot, but it appears in the Glory to God Hymnal as hymn 1. It has been sung in every church I have belonged to, and it truly is a much-beloved song. (When the sopranos hit the descant on the last verse, I swear I have heard angels!)
This powerful hymn was inspired by a powerful scripture. Isaiah chapter 6 tells of the call of the prophet Isaiah. In seminary, I heard it suggested that Isaiah 6 models for us the movements of public worship.
6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 The pivots[a] on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 The seraph[b] touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” 9 And he said, “Go and say to this people:
When Isaiah caught a vision of the worship of God Almighty in the celestial temple, what was the song that the creatures sang to their Creator? It started out – Holy, Holy, Holy ….
Praising God – as the Holy God – is what we are made to do.
Loving Creator, I join all the works of Your wonderful world in praising Your name. Merciful and mighty God, thank You for giving me the life and the breath to praise You. Amen.