While no one on earth can look God in the face HE has chosen to appear at times as recorded in Scripture giving us limited sightings of His great self. Isaiah sees His throne and robe which fills the temple. Whether Isaiah is viewing the temple in Jerusalem or Heaven is not for certain, but his vision of God certainly impacted him. That's where we will start this Sunday...taking a glimpse of God as Isaiah saw Him. Interestingly, the Apostle John indicates that Isaiah was actually seeing the glory of Jesus! (John 12:41).
We also will meet the Seraphim who with 6 wings surround the throne of God with praise for His holiness. We sing what they sang/cried when we sing the hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy". Uniquely, we meet these celestial creatures only here in the whole of the Bible.
Isaiah's encounter with the Lord brought 3 results. First, he confessed that he was ruined and unclean. Most Bible teachers understand Isaiah to be acknowledging his unworthiness and sinfulness before a Holy God. The attribute of God's holiness brings about a combination of celebration and confession. It is interesting to note the experiences of Abraham, Job, Daniel and John when they see the Lord...each of them are completely humbled before Him. Second, there is cleansing for Isaiah. This is displayed as a live (burning) coal taken off of the altar in the temple and touched to his lips. We know that the altar was for sacrifice and the burning coal speaks of fire which purifies. We can certainly see the symbolism of the cross where the sacrifice of our Saviour provides cleansing and purification for our sins. Finally, God asks who will go to carry His message to the nation of Judah and beyond. Isaiah responds without hesitation "Here am I, send me".
Isaiah's willingness to go and serve is at the heart of this Sunday's sermon. In the coming weeks we at Hebron will be challenged to go BEYOND and serve our Lord and others. It is my hope that as we look at our Lord and realize how worthy He is; how unworthy we are; and yet He loves us, cleanses us and invites us to serve Him so that we will heartily, enthusiastically and unhesitatingly volunteer for His service!
1. How do you reconcile that no one can see God with Isaiah seeing Him? 1 Timothy6:15,16; Isaiah 6:1
2. Is God sitting on a throne unusual? Daniel 7:9; Revelation 4:2
3. Compare the heavenly praise of God in the Old Testament with the heavenly praise in the New Testament. Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8
4. What is an interesting difference between the Seraphim and Cherubim? Isaiah 6:2; Ezekiel 10:20:21
5. Why do you think Isaiah describes himself as a man of unclean lips? Matthew 12:34
6. Consider Isaiah's confession (6:5) and cleansing (6:6,7) in light of 1 John 1:9.
7. Does the Seraph's praise of 3 Holies along with God saying "Who will go for us" make you think of a particular Christian doctrine or doxology?
8. When responding to God's question about someone to send does Isaiah offer any excuses or stipulations? Isaiah 6:8. Is there a lesson for us here?