Summary: Encountering God, Experiencing Change – Isaiah chapter 6 verses 1-8 – sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Principle 1: God Uses Circumstances to Make Us Aware of His Presence (vs 1).
• Principle 2: God Reveals His Character to Make Us See Our Need.
• Principle 3: God Gives Us Hope to Make Us Know We Are Useful (vs 8).
• Principle 4: God Expands Our Vision to Make Us Evaluate Our Availability.
• Principle 5: God Tells Us the Truth to Make Us Focus On Reality.
• Soren Kierkegaard was an 18th century Danish philosopher, theologian, poet,
• Social critic and religious author;
• Who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher.
• He was a very clever man; his books will baffle you and in every way strain your brain!
• But he had the gift of being able to use very simple stories/illustrations/parables;
• I like this one:
• He tells the story of a community of ducks;
• Each Sunday they waddled off to duck church to hear the duck preacher.
• The duck preacher spoke enthusiastically and eloquently of how;
• God had given the ducks wings with which to fly.
• With these wings there was nowhere the ducks could not go,
• There was no God-given task the ducks could not accomplish.
• With those wings they could soar into the presence of God himself.
• Shouts of "Amen" were quacked throughout by the duck congregation.
• At the conclusion of the service, the ducks left,
• All of them commenting on what a wonderful message they had heard;
• And each one waddled back to their homes!
• TRANSITION: So often I think we are a lot like the duck church.
• We come to church...we sing the songs........we hear the message.......
• But when the service is over........we leave the same way we came in.
• We leave unchanged! We leave unaffected !
• The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
• I believe that each time we come to church, each time we gather,
• Our concept (belief/information) that God has something for us,
• Can become a reality, an encounter, something real.
• It may not always be emotional or intense;
• But he still has something he wants to do in our lives;
• And if we don’t get it or experience it, then it’s our fault, and not his!
• “How would you describe God?”
• e.g. Almighty? Loving? Eternal, Merciful, Wise, Gracious, Faithful, Just?
• He has so many attributes we could probably all come up with a different one!
• But what if you could use just one word to describe Him?
• I wonder if you would be able to do it?
• I couldn’t!
• Even the Seraphs in verse 3 of our reading could not!
• They got close in they found one word;
• But then they had to repeat it three times!
• Repeating a word in Hebrew is to emphasize something.
• ill: it is kind of like you using a highlighter to mark something.
• And magnitude is made by the doubling up of a word.
• You don’t see that in the English translation;
• But it is there in the Hebrew text.
• The Hebrew Old Testament contains many double words,
• Which are used to highlight the size, the magnitude of something.
• i.e. Genesis chapter 14 verse 10:
• Your English translation might say’s; ‘full of tar pits’ or “very, very big pits”;
• But the Hebrew text actually says; “Pit, pit”
• i.e. In 2nd Kings chapter 25 verse 15:
• Your English translation might say; ‘the purest gold’;
• But the Hebrew text actually says; “Gold, gold”
• TRANSITION: So magnitude is made by the doubling up of a word.
• But nowhere in the Hebrew Bible except here is any quality ever trebled!
• But it is here, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’.
There is no other characteristic of God that gets the emphasis that His holiness does.
• e.g. We are never told in scripture that God is wise, wise, wise,
• e.g. And we are never told that God is strong, strong, strong,
• e.g. And we are never told that God is powerful, powerful, powerful,
• e.g. We are not even told that God is love, love, love!
• Only one attribute of God is repeated again and again and again,
• That is his holiness!
• If you want holiness defined;
• Then R.C. Sproul gives us a simple way to remember the definition of holiness,
• He says; “The first prayer I learned as a child was the simple table grace:
• "God is great, God is good, and we thank Him for this food."
• The two virtues assigned to God in this prayer, greatness and goodness,