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Janet's Corner

Home | 2006-2007 | 2005-2006 | 2004-2005
Oh....To See the Holy One of Israel

We have heard much of Isaiah’s prophecies of warning and hope to the nation of Judah during the reign of King Jotham.

Now in chapter 6, we see the crisis of faith that brought Isaiah to this prophetic office. He presents his vision of God and call from God as the basis of his ministry.

 

Let’s read Isaiah 6

 

We see Isaiah has a vision of The Holy One of Israel.

When did this happen? The year King Uzziah died. This is significant for two reasons.

 

1.     The Timing: This vision happened before Isaiah began to prophesize about Judah’s demise. This vision of God was the reason he was doing what he was doing. As he relates it to us, he is justifying the judgments we have been studying. In other places in scriptures we often hear about the person’s call first, before there ministry. Isaiah begins with his ministry and then he explains his call from God.

2.     The Person: King Uzziah had been a faithful and good king who reigned for 52 years during Isaiah’s childhood and teenage years. Many, including Isaiah, had looked to him as their worldly leader rather than the LORD himself. The earthly throne was empty – now what?

 

So with this question on his mind, Isaiah walks into the temple, the place where God’s presence dwelled in those days. What a good example for all of us. When our world is shaken, where should we go? We should seek the presence of God in all his fullness! I remember the day my sister died at the age of 48.  I remember having to remind myself to breathe. And I remember running to the word of God for my very breath. I remember opening up the lifeline to God, so that I could find the strength that I needed. Where do you go when your world is shaken?

 

And what a sight Isaiah beheld!

 

I. Isaiah’s Vision: Let’s look at what he saw in verses 1-4.

1.     His Majesty! Isaiah had a vision of the Holy One of Israel, who sat upon the throne above all the thrones of any earthly King. Isaiah needed to remember that the Holy One of Israel was the one who was sovereign over all! He was lifted up above all else!! He is exalted! He is majestic! Remember the word majesty means to be lifted up. Isaiah saw God in all his majesty – “seated on His throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.” In the midst of our lives – our disappointments, fears, joys, famines, victories- we need to remember God is on the throne. He still hears and answers prayers, He still is doing miracles.

2.     His Holiness! God is not just on the throne, He is holy. Look at the song of the seraphims around the throne. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty. The whole earth is full of His glory” (verse3). They proclaimed God’s holiness. What is holiness? It is more than goodness, more than purity, more than righteousness. It is all these in complete perfectness. It is being completely free from any imperfection and includes, not just the absence of evil, but the antagonism toward evil. Have you ever felt the absolute abhorrence of something that is evil? Could that be the holiness of God rising up with in you? Isaiah saw God in all his holiness.

 

What was his response to seeing God as He truly is?

 

II. Isaiah’s Response: verse 5-8

1.     Isaiah confesses his sin. Isaiah sees the truth about himself.  (vs 5) “Woe…”   Remember that world woe is used in a time of grief or disaster. What is Isaiah’s grief all about?  He sees his “unclean lips” which according to scripture are just a reflection of our sinful hearts. Unclean lips come from an unclean heart. Isaiah saw himself as sinful in the light of His Holy God. He felt ruined. Actually, the word there means unglued! In the presence of the Holy God, he saw himself as he really was. It is true with us as well. The scriptures say “If we walk in the light of the Lord, we will see ourselves as we truly are and we will have the opportunity of the cleansing of Jesus (I John 1:7)

2.     Isaiah is cleansed of his sin. (vs 6-7)  The act of the seraphim signifies the cleansing of sin by The Holy, Forgiving God. The live coal represents for us today God’s provision for man’s sin the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. Just as Isaiah had the opportunity to be cleansed we do as well… I John 1:9 “If we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and to cleanse us from all righteousness.” God met Isaiah’s need and he meets ours.

 

Without the confession and cleansing of sin, we would end up like David in Psalm 32: 1-5 – wasting away, oppressed in our thoughts, drained. With the confession of sin David was forgiven the guilt of his sin. It is no different for us. Our sins are not just forgiven (pardoned) but washed away!

 

You and I may not have a vision of the holiness and majesty of the Lord as Isaiah did, but we can see Him through the Word and the power of God’s Holy Spirit will give us revelation knowledge of Him. Has God used any verses in your life, allowing you to see God’s holiness and majesty and to see you as you really are? Often these are some of the verses God leads me to when I am in need of seeing God for who He really is. God has also used Deuteronomy 32:4. “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” I need to see He is the rock, He is perfect, He is just and allow him to be on the throne of my life. God is personal – what will help you see His majesty and holiness?

 

 

3.     Isaiah called: (verse 8)

     Isaiah heard the voice of the LORD calling a faithful servant. “Who will I send. Who will go?”

     Isaiah, having been cleansed was ready to serve others. He was ready and willing and accepted the call of God without any discussion! God prepares our hearts to serve. He calls us to use our gifts and he will lead us in places of ministry so others will hear the gospel. God needed a faithful servant. Isaiah was willing. Are you one of God’s willing volunteers no matter what the call?

 

III. Isaiah’s Assignment: (vs 9-11)

 

Just as his cleansing came before he was called to serve as a prophet, Isaiah needed to respond to God’s call before he was given his assignment. Now he finds out what his assignment will be. He is to go to a people who will not listen, reflected in their unwillingness to doing or understanding the will of the Lord. These verses are quoted often in the New Testament. These references in the new Testament used by Jesus are showing that some would listen and some would not. And to those who would not the secrets of the kingdom would remain hidden. Warren Weirsbe in his commentary on Isaiah states this truth very clearly. “God does not deliberately make sinners blind, deaf or hard-hearted, but the more that people resist God’s truth, the less able they are to receive God’s truth.” God knew that Isaiah’s message would only intensify this problem of them going their own way, yet he sent another prophet to give them another chance. The test of the prophet’s ministry is not the response of the people, but the faithfulness of the prophet to the Lord. Even today we see the truth of II Corinthians 2:14-16 coming true, as some respond to the gospel as sweet smelling aroma that brings them life, and to others it is a message of judgment and death.

 

Isaiah had a concern – verse 11…”How long will they resist this message?” And God answers with the sad truth, yet a glimmer of hope.

Verse 11-12 …Captivity  would come as judgment of their sin as a nation.

Verse 13 – There would be a remnant that would survive the judgment of God. There would be a “holy seed” that would like a stump of a tree in the land that would bud into new growth. A few faithful from the nation of Israel would one day return to the promised land and make the way for God’s plan for a Messiah.

 

It is evident that Isaiah would be obedient at any cost. We will see that unfold more and more as we put the pieces of this prophecy into place.

 

Have you seen the LORD?

Have you seen yourself in the light of the LORD?

Have you been cleansed?

Are you a willing servant no matter the assignment or the cost?

 

Keepsake Truth

Isaiah 6:1

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.”