A vision of Glory!

Scripture reading for July 18th: Isaiah 5-8

In the presence of the Lord there is an awesome awareness of God’s holiness and glory and of our sinfulness and need of cleansing.  The stories of encounters with the Lord in Scripture have very humbling effects on those so blessed to experience a personal visitation.  It is always by God’s initiative that He reveals Himself to a man or woman.  We can’t command a visitation although we can ask humbly.  Job asked to have an audience with His maker and found himself unable to answer and repented in dust and ashes for words he had said.  (Job 42:2-6)   Isaiah had a visitation and saw the Lord in the year that King Uzziah died.  (about 740 B.C.)

The first thing Isaiah experienced when he saw the Lord was a vision of the throne room in Heaven.  He noticed the Lord on a throne and his robe filling the temple.  Above and around Him were heavenly being called seraphs, or “burning ones”.  They had six wings and used these to fly and cover their faces and feet.  They were calling to each other “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is full of His glory.”  (Isaiah 6:3)  When they spoke, their voices shook the doorposts and thresholds of the temple and smoke filled the house.  It wasn’t a fire-like smoke but was the glory of God Almighty!

The next thing that happened was that Isaiah himself began to cry out in terror of judgment in the presence of this Holy One and His burning angels!  He immediately knew his ruin and sin would bring judgment and death.  He understood that all people among whom he lived were also sinful and were in danger of judgment!  Seeing God’s great white throne would spell disaster!  (Revelation 20:11-14)  God saw his heart and repentance and heard his confession.  He sent one of the seraph’s with a burning coal from the altar.  The seraph took the coal and applied it to the prophet’s mouth and told him that his sin was taken away and atoned for.  All sin has a cost and must be paid for.  Death is the payment unless someone dies for us!

After cleansing, Isaiah heard the Lord asking a question.  “Whom shall I send?  And who will go for me?” Isaiah quickly responded with “Here am I, send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)  God told Isaiah that He was sending him to a people whose hearts were calloused and their ears were dull.  They had become hardened and would become harder from not listening to God’s prophet give them God’s Word!  (Isaiah 6:9-10)   Jesus quoted these verses as he spoke to the religious people of His day.  (Matthew 13:13-15)

In summary, the encounter Isaiah had with the Lord brought revelation of God’s glory.  This led to recognition of his sinfulness and confession.  Repentance and confession brought cleansing by God’s grace through fire from the altar. After cleansing he heard God’s call and willingly obeyed!  This is a pattern for all disciples of Jesus Christ!

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