3/13/2015

I Saw The Lord (Isaiah 6)

Isaiah 6:1-13; 8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isa 6:8, NIV)
  1. Despite Your Failures, Let's Meet and Talk (Isaiah 1).
  2. The Ideal and The Reality (Isaiah 2-4).
  3. A Worthless Vineyard (Isaiah 5).
Hearing the voice of God calling you. Isaiah 6 towers like a majestic peak over the surrounding terrain and is clearly of central importance for the message of Isaiah. The theme and the topic of Isaiah 6 is the call of Isaiah. It was his encounter with the Lord that Isaiah's understanding of both God and his own mission was crystallized. It is intimately related to what precedes and what follows.
The Holy One of Israel is the title that is used 25 times throughout Isaiah, as compared with 7 in the rest of the OT. Isaiah 6 stands as a microcosm of the whole book:
  • The Holy One as the ground of condemnation (3,5) is the theme of chap. 1-37 (12x): God is the righteous Judge.
  • The revelation of the Holy One as the Savior (6-7) finds its fulfillment in the servant in chap. 38-55 (11x): God is the suffering Servant.
  • The Holy One as King (1,5) becomes the theme of chap. 56-66 (2x): God is the conquering King.
Consider Isaiah 6 as follows:
  1. Confronting a vision of God (1-4).
    • What Isaiah saw (1-2).
      • (740-739 B.C. is the year King Uzziah died. Isaiah's ministry spanned 50 years).
      • The glorious majesty of God on his throne ruling the world in that dark time (1b; 5:30).
    • What Isaiah heard [and saw] (3-4).
      • The threefold recital of 'holy' indicates the absolute holiness of Him who sits on the throne.
      • Smoke may be part of the "Shekinah" or "glory-cloud," which was often a manifestation of the presence of God.
  2. Conviction and Confession (5).
    • What Isaiah felt (5).
      • Ruined. Despair (5a; Eze 1:28; Dan 10:5-10; Rev 1:17).
      • Guilt (5b).
      • The reason is because his eyes saw God (5c; Ex 33:20).
  3. Cleansing (6-7).
    • A life coal from the altar (6). Approached by a seraphim.
    • Isaiah's guilt is taken away and sin atoned for (7). Purged on his sin. He could now offer acceptable service (Ps 51:12-15).
  4. Call, Commissioning and Consecration (8-13).
    • God calls and Isaiah responds (8).
      • "Us" may represent the triune nature of God (Gen 1:26; Jn 1:1; 12:39-41).
      • Free from guilt, Isaiah has no fear in serving the Lord.
    • His mission described (9-10).
      • What to say and what effect it would have on people (Mt 13:13-15).
    • Isaiah is told how long he must prophesy (11-13).
      • Preach until the day of judgment has come and passed. In Isaiah's day, until cities are destroyed and people taken captive.
      • The stump shall contain the holy seed (the faithful remnant) - cf. Ro 11:5.
References:
  1. Do You See God (Isa 6:1-7). Preached at West Loop in 2012. There are at least 6 glimpses of God in Isa 6:1-3:
    1. God is alive.
    2. God is ruling.
    3. God is majestic.
    4. God is revered.
    5. God is holy.
    6. God is glorious.
  2. Motyer, J. Alec. Isaiah. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. IVP. Downer's Grove, IL, USA. 1999. The individual, atonement and commission (6:1-13).
  3. Webb, Barry G. The Message of Isaiah. The Bible Speaks Today. IVP. Downer's Grove, IL, USA. 1997. I saw the Lord (6:1-13)
    1. Vision of God (1-4).
    2. Confession (5).
    3. Cleansing (6-7).
    4. Commissioning (8-13).
  4. Isaiah 6 - Isaiah's Conviction, Cleansing and Call.
    1. Conviction (1-5)
      • What Isaiah saw (1-2).
      • What Isaiah heard (3-4).
      • What Isaiah felt (5).
    2. Cleansing (6-7)
      • A life coal from the altar (6).
      • Isaiah's guilt is taken away and sin atoned for (7).
    3. Commission (8-13)
      • God calls and Isaiah responds (8).
      • His mission described (9-10).
      • Isaiah is told how long he must prophesy (11-13).