Summary: Sometimes our vision of God is obscured by the past.
April 15, 2007
Text: Isaiah 6:1-13
Subject: A Vision of God
Title: I See The Lord
Last summer I did a series called “Why we believe what we believe.” It focused on the sixteen fundamental doctrines that we adhere to. If you will remember, at that time I challenged you to study for yourself to se if these things were not so. The reason that I encourage you to see for yourself is that I never want you to get to the place in your “religion” that you say, “I don’t know where it’s at in the Bible but that’s what we believe.” I want you to see for yourself and be sure of what you believe. On the same note, I’m pretty sure that I have said some things from this pulpit that you aren’t too sure about – you’ve never heard it taught that way before. So what has your response to that been? Do you arbitrarily throw it out because it’s different than what the “old time preachers” used to teach, or do you search the scriptures, like the Bereans did with Paul’s preaching, to see if what I say is true? Do you hold on to your old traditions because that is what you have always been taught?
William Poteet wrote in The Pentecostal Minister how in 1903 the Russian Czar noticed a sentry posted for no apparent reason on the Kremlin grounds. Upon inquiry, he discovered that in 1776 Catherine the Great found there the first flower of spring. "Post a sentry here," she commanded, "so that no one tramples that flower under foot!" Some traditions die hard.
Leadership, Summer, 1989, p. 43.
The prophet Isaiah prophesied in the Southern Kingdom of Judah during the reigns of four different kings. He began in the reign of king Uzziah, a godly king who brought much religious reform to Israel. It is thought that Isaiah may have been related to the King. He probably was one of the court prophets. He likely had been used by God to speak His words to the king. But I think that Isaiah was a prophet in a traditional sense more than in experience. What I mean by that is that Isaiah was being used by God, but his incomplete understanding of who God is really kept him form being what God wanted him to be. But that is about to change.
Isaiah is about to
See God for who He really is,
Trust God for what He really wants,
Fear God for what He’ll really do.
God is calling us to the same place. Open your hearts to receive from the Lord this morning.
I. SEEING GOD FOR WHO HE REALLY IS. (1-4) 1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted… You know, I think that Isaiah was like many Christians are today. We are so thrilled that we have a “Professing Christian” in the White House that we somehow are convinced that he’ll make everything right. As I said before Isaiah was a prophet in the court of a godly king. Something happened to bring Isaiah to a new place in his relationship with the Lord. King Uzziah died… He died as a leper for a sin he committed. The tragic loss of this godly relative, friend, leader, would cause anyone to stop and do a reality check. What do we do now? Where is God in all this? And the answer to that question is the same as the answer for Christians when we don’t have a godly man in the White House. We go to prayer. And when you go to prayer, God responds. I saw the Lord high and exalted… So many times I fear that our “tradition” has placed God in a box so that we think that we know exactly who He is, what He wants, and how he will respond. When Isaiah began to seek God’s face he saw Him in different way than he ever had. He saw Him high and exalted. The two Hebrew words that are translated “high” and “exalted” literally mean the same thing. It refers to self-exaltation. Not that God exalts Himself in the sense that He is proud, but that by His very nature he is high and exalted above every other thing in the universe. He is the creator – everything else is created. So by nature He is revealed as high and exalted above all else. In answer to the question, “Where is God in all this?” Isaiah saw Him seated on a throne. That’s the way He should be seen since He is the king of all. …and the train of his robe filled the temple. Isaiah’s vision places God in the place where He said He would dwell – the temple. This vision was not a vision of the earthly temple, but of heaven. In Isaiah’s day the length of the train of a king’s robe was a declaration of his importance. “I’m important enough that I can have as many attendants as I need to follow along behind me and take care of my robe. I don’t have to worry about a thing.” The train of God’s robe filled the temple. All of a sudden Isaiah gets it. Even though things aren’t going the way I think they ought to go, God is still God. He’s still on the throne. He’s still high and exalted, and He’s still filling the temple with the train of His robe. Now, I want you to get a picture of what is taking place in the throne room. 2Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying..” 4At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. Has anyone here ever seen an angel? Have you heard the stories of people who have? These “seraphs” who are worshipping around the throne of God are angels that were chosen to do so. The word “seraph” means, “burning ones”. It may refer to purity. If that is the case then the picture is that only those who are pure can come before the throne of God. 3And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory… God is high and exalted; He is Holy; He is worthy of worship. Did you get that? Not only is the train of His robe filling up the temple in heaven, His glory is filling the earth. Look around! See God for who He really is, and worship Him! When we do that we can expect a mighty shaking like that in heaven.