Summary: A sermon based on Isaiah 6:1-8 drawing lessons for us concerning worship.
A HUNGER FOR WORSHIP
INTRODUCTION: There is an old French proverb that says, "A good meal ought to begin with hunger." It is hard to enjoy a good meal when you are not hungry, but when you are starving anything tastes good! The same is true with worship. When we approach worship with a hunger for God, starving for a spiritual connection with Him we will always be fulfilled and satisfied. On the other hand, if we enter into worship with little or no appetite for God, then we will leave with having never tasted of Hs majesty and goodness. In Matthew 5 Jesus gives as one of the beatitudes, "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." This hunger is a need for God, a deep inner longing for Him. Isaiah had this hunger. His people were wicked; following their own desires and lusts. His King who had tried to turn the people back to God had died, and now Isaiah feels as though he is without hope and without help. This is the setting when he is given the experience of a lifetime, a vision of God and special opportunity at worship. READ TEXT This passage contains some great lessons for us concerning worship. This morning, let’s notice three.
I. WORSHIP IS BEING IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD
A. There is some debate here as to whether Isaiah actually enters the Temple, or is caught up in a vision. Whatever the situation is the fact remains that Isaiah finds himself in the presence of God, and the scene that he beholds in enough to drive him to his knees.
1. Notice what he sees. He sees the sovereignty of God – seated on a throne exalted above all things. He sees the majesty of God – the tail of his robe filling the temple. He sees the glory of God – the temple filling with smoke.
2. This is the experience of a man who hungered for God, one who longed for God’s presence and God’s fellowship. In a time of despair, where he could have given up, joined the crowd, Isaiah sought God, and by so doing he found himself standing in His presence.
B. Folks, worship is about seeking and then being in God’s presence. It is not about how good the song selection is, or how well worded the opening prayer is, or even how inspiring the sermon is. It is all about being with God. It is about experiencing His sovereignty, His majesty, His glory.
1. And every time we gather together to do just that we are guaranteed that God is present. In fact, I know that as we sit here right now, because of the righteous hearts of some we are sitting in His presence.
2. "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20.
3. John 20:19, "Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you."
4. Revelation 1 we are given a great vision of Jesus standing in the midst of the churches clothed and serving as High Priest
II. WORSHIP IS CONFESSION IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD
A. When Isaiah saw the glory of God it shook him to his core. The text tells that he was struck deeply by the fact that he was unworthy to be in God’s presence and he cried out in despair saying, "I am undone, ruined, lost." Isaiah was doing pretty good in his own eyes until he was forced to compare himself with God.
1. He then confesses to be a "man of unclean lips in the midst of a people of unclean lips." Uncleanness means ungodliness. By being in God’s presence Isaiah realized that he was ungodly and he confessed it.
2. His enlightened eyes told him that he was no better than the sinful, wicked, rebellious Jews who were seeking their own desires and following after their own lusts.
B. You see, once you see God for who and what He is, you cannot help but see yourself for who and what you are. Reality is that none of us are worthy to be in his presence, even though some may think they are the finest thing since sliced bread. Romans 3 - None righteous no not one, all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.
1. When we realize who we are in the presence of God, the only thing we can do is confess. We are all sinners living in the midst of a sin-filled world. Our righteousness hangs about us as rags, and we are hopeless in and of ourselves.