Tuesday, January 9, 2018

"Isaiah 6", A Closer Look by Rick Sons

Isaiah’s Vision of the Lord

1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 
3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 
5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

God is always looking for faithful men and women that He can support and empower to accomplish His will and purposes on this earth. For some, the call may be to foreign missions or to the ministry but most of us will be called to be ministers of the gospel even though our career paths might look much different. As Andy can tell you, several years ago becoming a deacon or minister was not high on my list of priorities. Nor would the thought of me going Kenya to speak to possibly 100 pastors be an option. God is looking for people whom He can support to build His kingdom. Sometimes we must let ourselves be found.

If you take time to think about it, there is nothing particularly extraordinary about faithful men like Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, at least in and of themselves. In the book of James, James makes it clear when he says, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours.” He was human just like we are with faults, weaknesses, and temptations. Yet he, like many other men and women, was faithful to do what God asked him to do.

In the above scripture we have seen Isaiah’s vision of what God and heaven is like. Notice in the beginning, God has not spoken to Isaiah. He has only showed him. Then God asks, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” The Us clearly refers to all: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

See God upon his throne and that throne high and lifted up, not only above other thrones as it transcends them, but over other thrones as it rules and commands them. Isaiah saw not Jehovah (the essence of God which no man has or can see), but Adonai, His dominion. He saw the Lord Jesus. This vision is explained in John 12:41. John says that Isaiah saw Christ’s glory and spoke of Him, which is an incontestable proof of the divinity of our Savior. It appears evident from this passage that the glory which the prophet saw was the glory of Jehovah. By saying that it was the glory of Jesus, John shows that he considered Jesus to be Jehovah.

Isaiah saw holy angels called seraphim; for He makes his ministers a flaming fire (Psalm 104:4). They burn in love to God and zeal for His glory. Hearing them sing praise to God. Hear the anthem, or song of praise, which the angels sing to the honor of him that sits on the throne, how this song was sung. With zeal and fervency they cried aloud.  In Isaiah 6 we see the vision of the awesome majesty and holiness of God presented. Isaiah had to have been moved by the wonders he was seeing just as we will be when we see God and heaven for the first time and bask in the glory. With this knowledge of the glories of God, Isaiah had to have been filled with wonders maybe just as Moses was on the mountain.

With this question asked by God, Isaiah’s only reasonable answer was to volunteer himself. After all, there was no one else standing there at the time. In Isaiah 6:8 he says, “Here I am. Send me.” Interestingly, God didn’t force Isaiah to volunteer. He merely asked if there was any who would go and Isaiah said, “I’m available. I’ll go.” God doesn’t force us to serve but He works in our hearts so that we desire to volunteer for Him. Deep down I think it is safe to say that every one of us want to do as God asks us to do.

In Sunday School last week, we discussed the change in our church over the past few years. Our church has always supported missions and we have had several go and work with others in different states and countries. But the mission to spread the Word locally has fallen short. Too often, we wait for someone else to share the gospel with a loved one because we don’t want to stir the waters. Sometimes we expect our pastor or our deacon to do all of the ministry things while we just show up and support him.

God wants us to have willing hearts and not pass off our responsibilities to someone else. God has created good works for us to do, and it is our responsibility to do them. We will not be judged one day by what our pastor has done or by what other people do but by what we do. We will give an account for ourselves.

Isaiah, an ordinary man, was willing to obey God and step out in faith to let God do extraordinary things through him. Let us pray that we would come to see the value of God’s mission (as Isaiah did) and say with Isaiah, “Here I am. Send me.”

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