The Glorious Vision
Isaiah 33:17
Your eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty, There is much of beauty in this world. And by Christ Jesus God created the worlds. So that he is the Archetype of all beauty. Everything lovely was first a thought of Christ before it became a fact in life. These eyes of ours have seen glorious spectacles: the sun rising to run his race; the tender greens and purples of the seas; the magnificence of Carmel and Lebanon. How much also have we all seen of moral beauty! - the gentleness of pity; the heroism of endurance; the sublimity of sacrifice. Yet these have all been mingled with some elements of worldliness and sin.

I. THIS PROPHECY IS FULFILLED IN CHRIST AS THE TRUE KING. Think of the kings of every age: the Pharaohs; the Caesars. There we see power, pageantry, and, alas! too often criminality and cruelty. Here we see the true King. One whose government is Divine, because it is within, holding in supremacy the conscience and the heart. One who is a King who "reigns in righteousness, mighty to save."

II. A PROPHECY FULFILLED IN THE BEAUTY OF CHRIST'S CHARACTER. Beauty lies in symmetry and completeness; he was perfectly holy, without spot or blemish. Beauty lies in subtle harmonies; and in Christ justice, love, and wisdom were all united in one. Beauty lies in conformity with moral law; and he was "harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners." Beauty is not to be found in mere sentiment alone. Character is not to be tested simply by exquisite feeling or profound teaching, but by a life where truth felt and truth spoken and truth lived are all embodied in one. He who spake as never man spake could also say, "Which of you convinceth me of sin?"

III. A PROPHECY FULFILLED THROUGH THE POWER OF SPIRITUAL VISION. "Thine eyes shall see." The beauty of Christ can be seen only through the lens of moral disposition. "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." It is distinctly said of the wicked, concerning their view of Christ, "They shall see no beauty in him that they should desire him." We may have the artistic eye to see the beauty of Grecian capitol and Roman arch, but we may not have the spiritual eye whereby alone we discern spiritual things.

IV. A PROPHECY FULFILLED IN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. "Thine eyes." Powers of vision cannot be transferred. How we have longed, perhaps, that those we love should see this beauty too! Nor can they be intellectually willed. We must have the spiritual heart before we can enjoy the spiritual eye.

V. A PROPHECY TO BE PERFECTLY FULFILLED IN THE FINAL REVELATION OF HEAVEN. Whatever we may see there of new displays of God's creative energy and power, however fair and lovely our own beloved ones may be now that they are "without fault before the throne of God," - we may be sure of this, that Christ will be "the Altogether Lovely." The eye will be perfectly purged from sin, and the soul perfectly alive to God. Then Christ's own prayer will be fulfilled, "That they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me." - W.M.S.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

WEB: Your eyes will see the king in his beauty. They will see a distant land.

The Distant Land
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