Summary: All acceptable ministry to God is deeply rooted in worship that is worthy of God.
Isaiah was without doubt one of the purest prophets in the Old Testament.
Isaiah, the son of Amoz, was a member of the royal family. He made his first public appearance as God’s prophet in the year of Uzziah’s affliction with leprosy and he ministered for about 90 years during the reigns of King Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah.
Isaiah had seen the growth of the new Empire, Assyria and the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel. Judah alone remained and was the last bulwark of the true faith in one God.
All around people, even God’s people, were caught up with idolatry, which was taking hold of the land of Judah. Isaiah’s message was to call God’s people back to true faith in God.
This passage before us gives us Isaiah’s call to ministry. I believe it forms a pattern for us because the same things that were plaguing God’s people in Isaiah’s day are plaguing God’s people today.
The path to ministry for Isaiah is what I would like to consider because there are many things about this that that can apply to us today.
I want to talk about the path to ministry, but I need to make it clear that I am not talking about ministry as a vocation. Certainly, I believe in pastors, missionaries and teachers as people who devote their entire life to that. However, I am not thinking about that today.
What I am thinking about is the fact that every Christian needs to be on some path to ministry. Now, the question is, what is your ministry?
How do you define and/or describe your personal ministry for the Lord?
It would be terrible to live your whole life and never know what God wants you to do.
All acceptable ministry to God is deeply rooted in worship that is worthy of God.
In examining Isaiah’s call to ministry as outlined for us in this chapter, we will see things we can apply to our own life. We must remember, God never changes. God’s objectives in one generation do not change in another generation. We have bought into the idea that “New days call for new ways.”
The Bible clearly declares to us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. The issues in Isaiah’s day are issues in our day. Since that is the case, what God did for Isaiah and how God used him is exactly how God wants to use us.
Two things are important in Isaiah’s path to ministry.
I. Worship (1-4)
Isaiah was personally connected to the King who was suffering from leprosy and eventually died. I am sure this affected Isaiah deeply.
When a king died in those days, it was not always an easy transition to the next King. The death of a King represented an opportunity for somebody to gain control. During that time there would be lots of confusion and uncertainty.
A. Worship is an encounter with God.
The interesting thing here is simply this, in the year the King Uzziah died; Isaiah had an encounter with God that changed his life.
This is often how God works. In the middle of some catastrophe, God has a way of revealing Himself to the seeking heart.
One of the problems Isaiah dealt with at his time was the degradation of worship. God’s people had accommodated the pagan worship around them in their worship of Jehovah.
The northern kingdom of Israel had fallen into this rather soundly at this time. Idolatry was the rule of the day. Israel was suffering from the plague of idolatry.
What is idolatry?
Idolatry is simply giving to something else, whatever it may be, the worship that belongs solely to God. Israel at the time was not ruling God out, but was ruling paganism in to their worship. They were combining the elements of the world around them with their worship of God.
Music, entertainment, celebrity and politics are not elements of worship. We have lost in the church today a sense of sacredness. Nothing is sacred anymore. We are cultivating a spirit of casualness.
This is happening today, even among what used to be good solid Christian churches. Christianity in America is succumbing to the plague of idolatry. By that I mean, they are trying to pull into the church elements of the culture and sprinkling holy water on them and calling it worship.
The early apostles, especially the apostle Paul, would not recognize that which passes for worship today in many churches. We have degraded our worship of God and mixed it with idolatry so much that there is very little difference between the worldly celebration on a Saturday night and the so-called Christian celebration Sunday morning.
Worship is not an event. This is not being taught very much today.