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Friday, November 18, 2011

11/19/11- Isaiah 6- Experiencing God in Worship

1 It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. 2 Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” 4 Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke. 5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.” 8 Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”I said, “Here I am. Send me.” 9 And he said, “Yes, go, and say to this people, ‘Listen carefully, but do not understand. Watch closely, but learn nothing.’
10 Harden the hearts of these people.  Plug their ears and shut their eyes.  That way, they will not see with their eyes, nor hear with their ears, nor understand with their hearts and turn to me for healing.”

(Isaiah seeing a vision of the Lord- St. Matthews German Lutheran Evangelical Church- Charleston, SC)

Thoughts: When and where did Isaiah see the Lord, and how did he respond?  It was in a year of upheaval- the good king was dead, his son Ahaz, was evil.  There had been a terrible earthquake, many of the buildings had been destroyed (Amos 1:1; Zech 14:5), and the people had little hope.  Isaiah was in the Temple (for God's robe-train filled the whole Temple). 
     As soon as Isaiah saw God, he sensed God's holiness and thought he was dead because of his sinfulness.  Isaiah was a holy man, but he became aware of his sinfulness in the presence of The Holy One.
    After he was given his life, Isaiah was willing to do anything in gratitude to God.  God said he needed someone to be a messenger, and Isaiah was willing to go- even if people didn't listen to his message.
     We can learn much from this passage.  In our day of transition and turmoil, we too should seek God in His place of worship.  It is when we worship that we may experience the full presence of God  We should also not take our own sin so lightly, and we should be ready to respond to God's request to serve Him even without the promise of a rewarding earthly experience.

Prayer: Here I am Lord.  When I come to worship you I am aware of my own shortcomings and failures. 

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