Summary: This is about Isaiah’s God encounter.
What comes to mind when I say, “In the year 2001”? 2001 was a year that changed the way we look at security. The WTC attack rocked our world. It had been 60 years. OKC was domestic. WTC ’93 failed. We were hit at home. Life is not the same. Threat level codes. Air marshals. Dep. of Homeland Security. Long lines at airports. Life has changed. Our world was rocked.
King Uzziah reigned 52 years. There was stability, expansion, prosperity and an all around good feeling.
Read Isaiah 6:1-8.
“In the year King Uzziah died.” Saying that is like saying, “In the year the WTC was attacked.” It was a demarcation line. It was a time of transition when the future was unclear. Life would never again be the same.
The earthly king is dead, but Isaiah sees the Eternal King. This passage tells us three things about a God encounter.
· We see GOD in his HOLINESS.
Isaiah was blown away by this encounter. He wasn’t a religious novice. He was a regular churchman.
o God is HIGH and LIFTED UP.
Isaiah pictures God upon a high throne. It was standard for kings to have a high throne. The king’s power was derived from his position.
o God is MAJESTIC.
The kingly robes were so large that their trains filled the whole place.
o God is PRAISED.
The seraphim chanted that phrase, “Holy, holy, holy.” Holiness is the absolute essence of God. Frank Moore writes, “God is holy at the very core of His being.” Everything about God flows from his holiness.
Any God encounter we have must cause us to realize that God is holy. When we see God in his holiness…
· We see OURSELVES in our SIN.
Isaiah’s response to this scene was, “Oh no! I’m in big trouble.” It was thought that seeing God would cause a person to drop dead on the spot. Isaiah thought he would drop dead at any minute. The reality is that sin and holiness are mutually exclusive.
o It is PERSONAL.
Isaiah realized that despite all his religiosity, he was still a sinner. He saw himself in relation to God’s holiness and he didn’t measure up. Isaiah uses the lips as a symbol for sin. Jesus said, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Our mouth reveals the condition of our heart.
I once stood next to a 7’0” basketball player. At 5’9” I far from measured up.
When we truly look at God in his holiness, we realize we don’t measure up.
o It is COMMUNAL.
Sin is more than personal. It is communal. We are all wallowing in the same muck of sin. We see not only our personal sin, but also the sin in society. Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It is a universal problem.
We see the senseless tragedies. WTC. OKC. Hit-and-run accidents. Murders. Rapes. Corporate fraud. It is everywhere. We have to say with Isaiah, “We live in a messed up world.” There is good news though…
o It is CURABLE.
God has made a way for the sin problem to be taken care of. God’s holiness isn’t designed to separate us from him. It is so we can be drawn back to him. Our sins get deleted from the hard drive.
I once accidentally deleted a bunch of family reunion pictures. They were gone.
When our sins are forgiven, they are permanently deleted from God’s hard drive. They are purged, blotted out.
Once our sin problem is taken care of…
· We see the WORLD in its NEED.
We have to realize that we can only ask for the forgiveness of our own sins. We can’t ask for someone else’s sin to be forgiven. That means that we have to initiate this process with them. We have to tell them about God’s holiness and our sin. They then can be cured. Jesus said, “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest”? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” The world is in need right now. The time is now.
o God CALLS.
Isaiah’s also witnesses a question from God, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” God calls us to shine his light into our world.
When God calls…
o We ANSWER.
Like we mentioned last week with Gideon, we will answer. It will either be yes or no.
Isaiah’s God encounter is different from Moses’ and Gideon’s in that he doesn’t argue with God or make excuses. He simply says, “Here am I! Send me.” The interesting thing is that he doesn’t know exactly what he will be doing. The rest of chapter 6 gives his mission.