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Sermon #105 — Isaiah Series
Title: Seeing The King’s Beauty
Text: Isaiah 33:17
Subject: Seeing the Beauty of Christ Our King
Date: Tuesday Evening — October 8, 2019
Readings: Lindsay Campbell and Mark Henson
There is a promise found in Isaiah 33:17, a promise from God to his people in this world. That promise is my subject and my text. — “Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty” (Isaiah 33:17).
When Sennacherib invaded Judah and was about to attack Jerusalem, while the immense army of the Assyrians was encamped around the city, Rabshakeh was sent with a railing, blasphemous message to Hezekiah and the people of Judah (2 Kings 18). When Hezekiah heard the blasphemies of the proud idolater, “he rent his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord” (2 Kings 18:1). Then he called for the elders of the priests, and sent them covered with sackcloth to Isaiah, the prophet of God (2 Kings 19:2-5).
(2 Kings 19:2-5) And he sent Eliakim, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. (3) And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. (4) It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left. (5) So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.
The people of Jerusalem had seen their king in humiliation, mournfully annoyed, wearing the garments of sorrow and humiliation. But Isaiah sent a message to the people to cheer their hearts. His message was this — “Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty.” And they did (2 Chronicles 32:27-30).
(2 Chronicles 32:27-30) And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honour: and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels; (28) Storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and cotes for flocks. (29) Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance: for God had given him substance very much. (30) This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works.
There is in our text a message, a promise, from God to gladden the hearts of God’s saints in this world of woe because there is a nobler, greater King here than Hezekiah. Hezekiah was the historical figure. But the King spoken of here by the Spirit of God is Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Prince and Monarch of the universe.
We have seen our well-beloved King humiliated in the days of his flesh. He was “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” While he lived in this world sorrow was his robe, reproach was his vesture, and adversity was his bread.
None was ever more afflicted than the Son of man. When he died, he died the painful, shameful, ignominious death of the cross. Reproach broke his heart. He was beaten, nailed to a cross, hung up naked before a drunken mob and his religious persecutors. Men and women mocked him, plucked out his beard, beat him, and spit in his face.
But his humiliation is over now. He has triumphed over his enemies. Now faith beholds the King in his beauty, returning with the dyed garments of Edom, robed in the splendor of victory. He no longer wears the purple robe of mockery. He is clothed with the royal garment of his glory. His train fills the temple above. He is no longer wearing a crown of thorns. A crown of glory adorns his brow. Around his waist there is a golden girdle. From his side swing the keys of death, hell, and the grave. And he sits upon a throne, the throne of majesty, glory, and universal dominion. This is our God and our King! And this King is our Savior!
Proposition: God’s elect, being taught of God, see Christ’s beauty as King.
Divisions: I want to show you three things in this message.
1st — The Lord Jesus Christ is our King. — Let others if they dare, deny the royal dignity and kingship of Christ. We know that he is King of kings and Lord of lords. He is not waiting to be made a King. He is the King. And every believing heart gladly bows to and acknowledges Jesus Christ as King. It is impossible to exercise faith in Christ without bowing to his dominion and confessing him as Lord and King (Roman 10-9-13; Luke 14:25-33; Mark 8:35).
(Romans 10:9-13) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (11) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (12) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
(Luke 14:25-33) And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, (26) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (27) And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (28) For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? (29) Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, (30) Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. (31) Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? (32) Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. (33) So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
(Mark 8:35) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
If Christ is not your King, he is not your Savior! If he has not become Master of your heart, he is not the Savior of your soul.
The enlightenment of grace given to God’s elect in regeneration is intimately connected with the kingship of Christ (Ephesians 1:17-23).
(Ephesians 1:17-23) That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: (18) The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, (19) And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, (20) Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, (21) Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: (22) And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, (23) Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Christ is King by a sevenfold right. — I am not going to enter into a debate with anyone about whether Christ is King. I am here as his ambassador to declare his dominion (Acts 2:36). The Lord Jesus Christ sits upon the throne of universal dominion and holds the reins of universal government by right.
1. Royalty belongs to Christ by God’s decree (Psalms 45:6-7; 110:1; Isaiah 9:6-7).
(Psalm 45:6-7) Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. (7) Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
(Psalm 110:1) The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
(Isaiah 9:6-7) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (7) Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
2. Christ is King of the universe by right of his own, eternal Godhead. Who should be King but God? And since Jesus Christ is very God of very God it is right for him to rule the world. And rule it he does in total sovereignty.
3. Christ has the right to reign over all creation because he is the Creator of all things (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-18).
(John 1:1-3) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.
(Colossians 1:16-18) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (17) And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (18) And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
If the Son of God has made us and fashioned us, shall he not rightfully command us?
4. Christ rules all men by right because he is the Preserver of all men. By him all things consist. He is in this sense “The Savior of all men, especially of those that believe” (1 Timothy 4:10).
5. Christ is King by right of his mediatorial accomplishments (Psalm 2:8; John 17:1-4; Romans 14:9; Psalm 24:7-10).
(Psalm 2:1-12) Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? (2) The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, (3) Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. (4) He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. (5) Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. (6) Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. (7) I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. (8) Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. (9) Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. (10) Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. (11) Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. (12) Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
(John 17:1-4) These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: (2) As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. (3) And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (4) I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
(Romans 14:9) For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
(Psalm 24:7-10) Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. (8) Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. (9) Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. (10) Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
6. Christ is King by right of conquest (Psalm 68:18-20; Colossians 2:9-15).
(Psalm 68:18-20) Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. (19) Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. (20) He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.
(Colossians 2:9-15) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (10) And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (11) In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: (12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (13) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (14) Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (15) And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
7. And Christ is King by popular will. All the citizens of his Kingdom want him to be their King!
The Lord God promised his Son that he would give him a portion with the great and that he would divide the spoil with the strong. We are that spoil! We are the trophies of his victory! We are the treasure hidden in the field of fallen humanity for which he laid down his life, that he might redeem us unto himself!
“The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now;
A royal diadem adorns
The mighty Victor’s brow.
The highest place that heav’n affords
Is His, is His by right,
The King of
kings and Lord of lords,
The joy of all who dwell above,
The joy of all below,
To whom He manifests His love,
And grants His name to know!”
Be sure you understand what Christ’s Kingship involves.
His Word is our only rule of faith and practice. — Not the Creeds — Not the confessions — Not the Denomination. — His authority is the authority by which we operate. — We willingly bow to and obey him alone (John 2:5).
Christ our King is Christ our Captain. He will fight for us and defend us. — “The battle is the Lord’s!”
We sincerely and cheerfully acknowledge that Jesus Christ our Savior is our King.
2nd — Christ our King possesses infinitely, superlative beauty. — The Puritan, Thomas Brooks, wrote of our King — “Christ is lovely, Christ is very lovely, Christ is most lovely, Christ is always lovely, Christ is altogether lovely.” And we sing of our Beloved, “He is altogether lovely” (Song of Solomon 5:16).
There is a natural beauty that belongs to Christ, for he is God. Who is more beautiful than God, who is “glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” And there is a natural beauty in Christ as man. He is manhood in perfection! There is also a natural beauty in Christ, the God-man. — But the beauty referred to in our text is not that of his nature and character. The beauty, the glory, that Isaiah is talking about is the beauty and glory of his office and position as King, the beauty of his sovereign dominion as King.
Hezekiah was a man of beautiful character when he wore the garments of humiliation. But God promised the people that they would see him in the beauty of his royal position. Even so, the promise of our text is that God’s elect shall see Christ in his royal beauty and glory as their King.
Our Savior had this beauty and glory, the beauty and glory of total dominion as king originally (John 17:5). He who is the eternal God is the eternal King by incontestable right. He who is the express image of the Father’s Person and the brightness of his glory is rich in glory from everlasting. But for our sakes he cast off the beauty that originally belonged to him (2 Corinthians 8:9).
Š His Incarnation!
Š His Humiliation!
Š His Obedience!
Š His Death!
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain,
The Prince of Peace who groaned and died;
Worthy to rise, and love, and reign,
At His Almighty Father’s side.”
Today, our King wears the crowns of glory and beauty as our Mediator. — “On his head were many crowns” (Revelation 19:12). — Christ Jesus wears the crown of…
(Hebrews 2:6-9) But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou visitest him? (7) Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: (8) Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. (9) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
3rd — There are seasons when we see the King in his beauty. — The King does not stroll through the streets in public view every day. He does not always appear to men, wearing his royal apparel. The King reveals himself to whom he will, when he will (Song of Solomon 2:9, 14). And there are seasons when we all, that is all who believe, all God’s elect, shall see the King in his beauty. This is God’s promise to his people. — “Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty.” Let me talk to you for just a minute or two about these sweet seeing seasons.
At the Appointed Time of Love and Grace — “Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty.”
When he brings You into His Banqueting House and His Banner over You is Love (Song of Solomon 2:4) — “Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty!’ — It is one thing to come to the house of God. But it is something else again to come to the house of God upon the arm of Christ, leaning on the King, escorted by the King. Then, “thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty!”
Š In the Preaching of the Gospel.
Š In All the Work that He Has Done! — His Everlasting Love! — His Covenant Engagements! — His Glorious Predestination! — His Blood Redemption! — His Sovereign Providence! — His Gracious Intercession! — His Saving Power!
At such blessed times, when your eyes behold him, your ravished soul wants nothing to interfere with your blessed communion (Song of Solomon 2:4-7).
In Your Private Contemplations — “Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty!” Perhaps, more than at any other time, we clearly see our Savior when he comes to restore to us the joy of faith.
Š David (Psalm 73).
Š Peter (John 21).
Š Thomas (John 20).
When You are about to Leave this World — “Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty!” — In his beauty and glory, you shall see him! Stephen did. — “I see Jesus standing at the right hand of God!” — Augustus Toplady did. Just before he went to Glory, he said to friends standing by, “Oh, what delights! Who can fathom the joys of the third heaven? What a bright sunshine has been spread around me! I have not words to express it. I know it cannot be long now till my Savior will come for me, for surely no mortal man can live after the glories that God has manifested to my soul. All is light, light, light — the brightness of his own glory! O come, Lord Jesus, come; come quickly.”
When he comes to Judge the World — “Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty” (Acts 27:31). In that day, every eye shall see him, every knee shall bow to him, and every tongue shall confess him (Revelation 1:7; Philippians 2:9-11). But we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2).
When he presents His Ransomed Bride, His Kingdom, His Church to the Father — “Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
Throughout The Endless Ages of Eternity — “Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty!” Heaven is seeing Christ in his beauty. — I think the bliss of heavenly glory shall be a blessed, ever expanding vision of Christ’s glory.
Š His Person
Š His Redemptive Accomplishments
Š His Operations of Grace
Š His Wonderful Providence
Spirit of God, help us now to see the King in his beauty. Cause sinners here to see him in the beauty of redemptive grace and glory. Cause us now to see him in his beauty. O Spirit of God, graciously cause this ransomed sinner to see King Jesus in his beauty relentlessly. Graciously cause me to so gaze upon the Sun of Righteousness that I may have Sun burnt eyes, eyes that see the Sun, my Savior, everywhere!