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Sunday, June 24, 2012

A patchwork quilt

I have admired some of the most beautiful quilts over the years.  Depending on the occasion, there have been the traditional patchwork types with pieces of varying colors and fabrics stitched close together in no particular order.  Then there are the others which show a pattern, with great care taken in placing each piece so as to continue the pattern with each new row of material pieces added.  The traditional wedding ring quilts show the concentric rings intertwined, symbolizing the joining to two into one.  Regardless of the "pattern", they are a thing of beauty.  Today, we will look at something of a "patchwork" quilt of another kind.


In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Master sitting on a throne—high, exalted!—and the train of his robes filled the Temple.   (Isaiah 6:1 The Message)


In the times King Uzziah reigned, Isaiah is given a vision of the heavenly realm.  He is escorted into the "throne room" of the Most High.  There, he encounters the "robe" of the King of Kings.  This robe is so long, it fills the Temple!  Now, that is quite some robe!  Even the longest wedding veil I have ever seen did not fill more than the aisle of the church!


Here are some interesting facts about a kings robe:


1)  Each king had a robe.  Often, these robes would be very unique.  They were made of only the best of materials, such as twisted linen.  This is a quite dense and enduring material.  In turn, they were dyed with the dyes of the region - deep blues, purples, crimsons, etc.  They were decorated in all types of fashion - embroidered, or possibly emblazoned with emblems of gold and silver.  


2)  The robes "defined" the King.  In other words, he could be recognized by the robe he wore.  This is much like the current military uniforms we see today.  The highest ranking officer has the greatest amount of braiding, color, adornment, etc.  It is easier to recognize the "rank" by the "markings" on the uniform.


3)  Each robe had an "original" form which was "transformed" after each battle.  The robe started out as one form, but after each victorious battle, a new piece was added.  In keeping with the customs of the day, the victorious king would go over to the defeated king, remove a section of his robe, and in turn, this section would be sewn onto the train of the victorious king's robe.  In time, the more victories a king won, the longer (and more colorful) his robe became!


Now, let's go back to our passage.  Isaiah sees the Most High God seated in the throne room.  He is adorned in a great robe - so great that its train fills the Temple.  I think Isaiah was being given the opportunity to see just how many "battles" our God has been victorious in!  Did you ever stop to think of each new battle you face as being an opportunity for another "patch" to be sewn onto the Most High's robe?  He marches right up to each of our "enemies", places his foot squarely on their necks, declares us victorious, then carefully takes a piece of each "victory" and weaves it into the train of his heavenly robe!


When I think of the "beauty" of the patchwork he has added just by the battles which have been fought in my own life, I know there are MANY patches which have been added on my behalf!  The same is true of your life - each victory is an "adorning" addition to his robe!  As he admires each of these "patches", he can recount each "battle".  I find pleasure in imagining him running his fingers over each "patch" - taking in the "feel" of each victory.  I see his face, as his fingers pass over the patchwork, eyes filled with excitement, heartbeat picking up with each remembered victory. 


Imagine the patches added with each new victory in your life.  It should give your heart a thrill!