In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. (Isaiah 6:1)
My eyesight is terrible. Unless I had my glasses on, you would not want to ride down the road with me! Thankfully, my vision can be corrected. Spiritually speaking, our vision often becomes foggy–we fail to see things as God sees them for our eyes are focused on the things of the world. We need the Word of God to be a lens where we can see things from God’s perspective. It is what happened to Isaiah in chapter six of his prophecy.
There was AN UPWARD VISION OF DEITY (v.1-4). The first look must be upward! Then we will see God’s sovereignty. At this time, the throne in Jerusalem was empty. King Uzziah was dead. The monarch had been a tower of strength–and until slipping near the end of his reign had been a good and godly leader. Now that he is dead, the prophet is concerned–his vision of the future clouded with uncertainty and anxiety. God directs him to look behind the human ruler to the heavenly One. The ever-changing events around us might lead us to fear, unless we see clearly the unchanging God above us–and that leads to faith. Isaiah not only saw God’s sovereignty, but His purity. The angelic seraphim cry out His chief attribute: “Holy, holy, holy…!” Even these majestic creatures are in awe of God’s glory, covering their faces with two of their six wings! The very sanctuary is shaken, and so is Isaiah! Too many see God as a kindly grandfather–irreverently referring to Him as, “the Man upstairs.” No! He is the almighty, infinitely holy God! We need to recover the proper perspective of God.
This vision of Deity leads to AN INWARD VISION OF DEPRAVITY (v.5-7). Seeing God for who He is enables us to see ourselves as we really are. This brings conviction. We tend to compare ourselves with other people–and we can always find someone more wicked than we are. When we compare ourselves to God, however, we see the utter depravity in our hearts! Conviction then leads to confession. Isaiah confesses his tongue trouble–for our speech reveals what is in our hearts! Confession then brings cleansing. My old preacher grandfather used to say about this text, “God burned the devil out of Isaiah.” He did–and He will cleanse us too!
Now we are prepared for AN OUTWARD VISION OF DESTINY (v.8). The man of God looks into a wide world full of God’s glory! It is his destiny to embrace the opportunity to bring others out of the darkness of sin and into the light of glory! Hear God’s request, “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” The Lord is still looking for laborers today. The fields are ripe and ready for harvest–sadly, the laborers are few. See man’s response, “Here am I! Send me.” Jesus looked out on the masses, meandering through life as lost sheep without a shepherd, and He was profoundly stirred in His soul. He would give His life to save them! Now, He asks us to join Him in that work. Let us eagerly embrace the task! This is the church’s destiny. Let us give ourselves to it wholeheartedly! God help us to see clearly!
Dennis Thurman has pastored churches in Western North Carolina for 36 years. Currently, he is Senior Pastor of Pole Creek Baptist Church where he has served for almost 20 years. Married to Marilyn for 40 years, they have 5 children and 11 grandchildren.
This article was originally posted on Dennis’ blog, Mountain Top Musings