I SAW THE LORD
Holy, Holy, Holy
A gifted King has died, and the people of Judah are facing uncertainty. King Uzziah was gifted, and under his leadership, Judah flourished. However, the people are now faced with a transition, uncertainty, and doubt. The nation was stronger than it had been in a very long time, but Uzziah has spent his last days as a leper, separated from the people and the palace until he died because of his disobedience and pride. Isaiah receives a vision that would change him forever. Isaiah sees the Lord exalted on his throne. God alone is worthy of our praise, and so he is exalted above all things. The train of his robe filled the temple which was the place where God's presence dwelled among his people. Seraphim stood about the throne in the service of the king. These angelic creatures were flame-like, and the had six wings. One set of wings shielded their faces from the radiance of God's glory. Two wings covered their bodies, and they flew with the final pair. The antiphonal singing of the seraphim honored God for his holiness and his power. They sang of his glory filling the earth. The earth shook causing the foundations to quiver as God's glory was revealed. The house filled with smoke and Isaiah recognized with terror the holiness of God and his sinful condition. The terrified prophet called out in fear and agony. Isaiah's awareness of God's holiness gave him a better understanding of his dreadful condition, and he cries out confessing his sinfulness and the sinfulness of his people. Isaiah was not fit to speak because of his wretched condition. A seraph was sent, and it took a coal with tongs from the altar. The seraphim flew to Isaiah, and he touched his mouth announcing the good news that Isiah's guilt was removed and his sin was atoned for.
Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Who will go for us?” The plural points to our Trinitarian God. God is one in being or essence and three in subsistence. One God speaks, but the three distinct persons in the Godhead are involved. Isaiah does not say much, but he is quick to offer service to the Lord wherever the Lord would send him. Isaiah will preach a message that will not be heard, but they would not understand Isiah's message. Hearts were dull, and they would be blind and deaf to the truth of God's word. They would not hear, see, or understand and as a result, they would not be healed. The bleak forecast sparked a despairing question from the prophet. How long must he continue to preach a message which would cause his people to entrench themselves ever deeper in sin? God’s answer was that Isaiah would continue until devastation and deportation occurred and the land laid waste. The Lord was going to remove his people, but there is always the glimmer of hope. Some of the people would survive the judgment, but the persecution would continue. The remnant would be preserved, and Messiah would come from that group.
Things To Consider:
- Why are we so fearful during change and loss?
- Why do changes in government create a sense of fear?
- What does God's holiness mean for us?
- Why is God's holiness so dangerous?
- Is Isiah's response the correct one? Why or why not?
- Why must sin be atoned for if we are to enter into God's presence?
- Why would the people not understand?
- How do you serve under difficult circumstances?
- Why is Isaiah so despondent?
- What does the holy seed tell us about Jesus?