Summary: Isaiah’s vision of God is pattern and motivation for our personal encounter with the Almighty
-- The nation of Judah was in a time of transition and uncertainty.
-- Uzziah, who had become king at age 16 and ruled 52 years, had died.
-- He had come to the throne at a difficult time and had won many battles against Judah’s enemies.
-- He strengthened the nation and it prospered as he sought the Lord.
-- He continued the spiritual renewal in the country that began under his grandfather Joash.
-- Yet at the end of his life, Uzziah strayed far from the Lord.
-- When he became strong, pride filled his heart and he went into the temple to burn incense to the Lord -- a duty to be performed only by the priests.
-- Because of his arrogance and stubbornness, God struck him with leprosy.
-- The nation of Israel saw their godly king rebel against God and reap God’s judgment as a consequence.
-- As the throne shifted from Uzziah to Jotham, the prophet Isaiah experienced a call and a commission from God.
-- The vision that Isaiah received was not, however, at the beginning of his ministry.
-- He had been preaching for approximately 18 years!
-- Yet because of the problems that Isaiah and the entire nation were facing, God revealed Himself anew to Isaiah.
-- This revelation prepared Isaiah for his future ministry by giving him a greater understanding of God, himself, and those to whom he was called to minister. I. VISION OF GOD (6:1) THEOLOGICAL
A personal revelation of God is indispensable not only to ministry but also to Christianity. You cannot minister to others from a "textbook" knowledge of God; you must have experienced Him for yourself. God is the very source of our being and our lives must be grounded in him to have meaning. Ministry must flow out of a relationship with Him to be effective because He is both the answer to people’s problems and the ultimate meaning that they are searching for.
1. God’s Sovereignty (6:1)
a. Since Judah had known no king like Uzziah since Solomon, they had focused their hopes and trust on this great king.
b. Isaiah’s vision reminded Judah that they were not protected and prospered by an earthly king, but by the Sovereign Lord of the universe.
c. His Lordship is over all time and space and is unfailing for all eternity.
d. How reassuring to both Judah then and the saints today to be reminded that whatever uncertainties and transitions we face, God is in control.
e. I am at a time of personal transition. My wife and I both graduate this year and we are seeking the Lord for direction for our future. Though many of you out there are not as close to this transition, it is in your future. It is comforting when God reveals to you that He has it all under control, even though you cannot see the exact details of His plan for you.
2. God’s Glory (6:3)
a. Words break down when one attempts to describe God Himself.
b. The experience is too awesome, too all-encompassing for words to penetrate it.
c. The experience is truly better "felt than telt".
d. Though the prophet describes the "train" of God’s glory, he cannot paint us a picture of what God Himself is like.
e. We must experience His glory on our own to truly know it.
f. If I attempt to tell you what it was to like to be saved or to be baptized in the Holy Spirit then it is hard for me to relate this "mystical" experience to you in terms that you can understand it, particularly if you have never had this wonderful experience or have never observed anyone experiencing this blessing. Similarly, Isaiah is trying to crouch the ultimate human experience, man encountering his Maker, in some human word which cannot fully depict the experience.
3. God’s Holiness (6:3)
a. God’s Holiness is described with the threefold acclamation which is the strongest superlative available in the Hebrew language.
b. God’s holiness refers to His absolute ethical perfection and His otherness/distinctness from all that He has created. II. VISION OF SELF (6:5) PSYCHOLOGICAL
1. His inadequacy (6:5)
a. Isaiah has been made aware of the awesome holiness of his Maker.
b. Now he is made aware of himself.
c. He who has pronounced woe on others now must pronounce woe upon himself.
d. When he is placed in the presence of the Infinite, Eternal, Self-Consistent, and Infallible God; he realizes that he is finite, mortal, incomplete, and fallible.
e. A danger of the educational experience is that we as ministers feel like we are competent for ministry. Somehow God must encounter us to cause us to realize that no matter how much knowledge, how many tools, how well-prepared we are to help people; we are totally inadequate without the power of His Spirit flowing through our lives. The paradox of ministry is that we must work to become ABLE, yet we are not able. We can only minister when we realize this and allow GOD’s ability to work through us. We must realize that we "can’t" in order that God "can" through us.