Summary: It is only when we have a vision of God that we can have a vision of ourselves and our calling
ISAIAH 6 January 2, 2005
KNOWING GOD IN THE NEW YEAR
You may feel a little shaken up coming into 2005. With the huge natural disaster that has happened in Asia, with other events on the world stage like Ukraine, Iraq, Israel in the midst of human disaster or on the brink of it. You may feel shaken. Or you may have experienced some of your own tragedies over the Christmas season. Then again, some of you may be excited to enter 2005 the world may be your oyster and the future looks bright.
For some people, as they enter a new year, they see it as time to take stoke, to ask themselves who they are & who they are becoming, what are they supposed to be doing. I believe that Isaiah 6 teach us that the get that vision of ourselves, and a vision of our calling, we need a vision of God.
"In the year that King Uzziah Died"
It may seem like he is just telling us when he saw the vision - like, "Back in 2001...", but the death of Uzziah meant allot more to Isaiah and Judah than we might think. Under Uzziah’s reign Judah prospered greatly, they triumphed over their enemies, their land was expanded, the saw great prosperity and peace not seen since Solomon.
But now things were looking quite ominous, Assyria was on the rise again, a new king had come to power, and nothing was sure anymore.
As Isaiah stood at the edge of a new and uncertain era, God gave him this vision, and as we stand at the edge of a new and uncertain year, I believe we also need a similar vision.
Isaiah was given a vision of God
-God as King vs. 1
It was as if God was saying, "you mourn for the loss of your king, and wonder about the new king, but I am the true King!"
Majesty – the train of his robe filled the temple
Glory, - smoke & shaking
Holy - most important -Isaiah’s favorite name for God - "The Holy One Of Israel"
-X3! Holy, Holier, Holiest!
Not an ounce of sin - pure radiant light.
Pastor and author Tony Evans says this about God: “Holiness is the centerpiece of God’s attributes. Of all the things God is, at the center of His being, God is holy. Never in the Bible is God called, ‘love, love, love,’ or ‘eternal, eternal, eternal,’ or ‘truth, truth, truth.’ On this aspect of His character, God has laid the most stress.”
For the Hebrews, the number three was a perfect number – so to repeat an attribute three times was a way to express perfection in that attribute – “you are perfect in your holiness” is what they are saying
So holy that even the seraphs - the sinless angels - did not feel worthy of his presence. - covered their face & feet.
Often times we forget the holiness of God, we and forget that he is so pure that if we were to see him the sight would likely kill us.
This led to a vision of himself and his people.
Isaiah stands there in awe of this fantastic sight until his thoughts moved toward himself, and he cries out in agony at the sin in his life and his people’s lives.
"Woe is me" - "I’m a dead man"
- he didn’t start to bargain with God, saying, "But Lord, I’ve been as good as I could, in fact I’m your most faithful prophet..."
No, he dealt with the truth, - even if he only had a little sin in him, it was enough to kill him in the presence of this awesome and holy God.
In fact he picked the most holy part about himself and called it unclean - he was a prophet - out of his lips came the words of God, and yet he says "I am a man of unclean lips"
Once, I took the kids up to the cabin without Pam. The cabin is a rustic place with no running water, no electricity, but plenty of space for the kids to run and play. On the day that we were to come back home, I got them dressed in the morning, packed up the van, and loaded them in. I took a look at them as I was getting them in the van, and thought they look pretty good – a little grubby, but clean enough. They all slept as I drove until we pulled into a McDonalds to get lunch – I looked back at them, and they were disgusting! What looked clean at the cabin, now in the light of civilization looked disgusting!
Isaiah had the same experience – he looked pretty good – good enough to walk into the temple, but in the gleaming light of the presence of a holy God in whom there is no shadow or turning, he was dirty enough to die! “I’m going to die!” he says. He is a prophet of the most high, out of his mouth come the very words of God – and he says “I am a man of unclean lips, and I come from a people of unclean lips.