Summary: The four-fold vision the Prophet Isaiah had "in the year that King Uzziah died".
READ: Isaiah 6:1-13
Not too long ago I watched part of a documentary on ABC Television which traced the history of the Royal Family - the House of Windsor. In that program they recounted the passing away of King George VI. In 1952 the sad word went forth from London . . . “THE KING IS DEAD”. King George VI had died in his sleep at the age of 56. He was somewhat of a private man, in comparison with others who’ve held the throne, but he was greatly respected and admired. His reign had carried him through the rigours of World War 2, the election of a socialist government, and the dissolution of much of the British Empire. His tired heart gave way. All across Britain, people flocked to churches to worship, to pray, and to seek comfort and hope.
In 1963, another shocking word was sent out across the world: “The President is dead”. It was unbelievable. JOHN F. KENNEDY, young, vibrant and dynamic, was cut down by an assassin’s bullet - a nation was plunged into grief. People flocked into churches in the greatest numbers since the announcement of the end of World War 2. Ministers changed their sermon texts and preached messages of healing and hope to the people of America.
About 700 years before Christ was born in Bethlehem, the sad announcement was made, “THE KING IS DEAD”. King Uzziah, the eleventh King of Judah, had died. Crowned at the age of 16, he had reigned 52 years. Despite his failings, he was the greatest king since David.
The heart of Isaiah, the prophet, was broken. Uzziah was not only his king, he was also his friend. In his heartbreak, Isaiah made his way to the Temple to worship and to seek comfort and renewed faith.
Friends, when sorrow comes, when life presses you in, the best place to be found is in the House of the Lord. (We ought to ALWAYS be found in the House of the Lord! But especially when we’re facing the difficult seasons of life - there is an answer in god, there is hope in Him, if we will quickly turn to Him.)
When Isaiah went up to the House of the Lord, he learned that the king was dead . . . BUT THAT GOD WAS NOT DEAD! He was still upon His throne. Isaiah had lost his earthly king, whom he loved, but he caught a fresh glimpse of the King of Kings. He met with God in an encounter that radically changed his life.
Would you note with me, tonight, that Isaiah saw four things that I want to draw to your attention:
1. ISAIAH SAW THE LORD.
Here is the greatest vision that anyone can ever have. To see the Lord! Let’s read about it together. [READ vv1-4.]
Isaiah saw something of God’s nature and character - he caught a glimpse “through the curtain”, as it were. He saw something of the Lord as Moses described Him in Exodus 15:11 - glorious in holiness, fearful in praises (or awesome in His glory - NIV).
The vision was of God high and lifted up upon His throne. He saw God as the central object of all praise, surrounded by heavenly courtiers - angelic beings - the seraphim.
What a vision! Oh, that we would all have such times of encounter with God. BUT, would you note with me, it seems that it was ONLY ISAIAH who saw the glorious vision. If others were seated around him there in the Temple, THEY had no such revelation. He doesn’t write “WE saw the Lord”, he says, “I saw the Lord”.
There is a sense in which our corporate worship is still very much made up of INDIVIDUALS who are worshipping. (Hopefully we are not “individualistic” in our worship, in the sense that we ignore or disregard others around us. We must be mindful of one another, and offer Him corporate adoration - BUT WE ARE STILL INDIVIDUALS as we do so!)
It IS possible for one person to be moved to tears, whilst the person beside them - on the same row of chairs - is UNMOVED. One repents, whilst another trusts in his own self-righteousness. One responds willingly - with a soft heart - to the claims of Christ, whilst another is desperately resisting the persuasion of the Holy Spirit.
Which one are you tonight? Are you sat here, going through the motions of a cold, formal religion, satisfying your conscience that you’ve come? Or are you meeting with God here? Are you opening up to the Lord as He knocks at the door of your heart?
Isaiah met with God, he had a revelation of the greatness of the Lord, and it changed his life forever. The same living Lord is here tonight to meet with WHOEVER will call upon His name. EARTHLY kings may come and go - but the King of Kings is alive forever more, and just as powerful as ever He has been, and just as willing to reveal Himself to men.