I recently had an opportunity to preach (and lead a seminar) at Cedar Grove Church in Surrey, British Columbia as part of their Missions Week emphasis. On Sunday morning, I delivered a message from Isaiah 6 and almost the entire sermon can be viewed here (an illustration at the end is removed for security reasons). Here is the simple outline.
Have You Seen? (Isaiah 6)
- Isaiah Saw His Lord.
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook, and the temple was filled with smoke.
How is it that Isaiah “saw” the Lord? Was it a vision? Was it Jesus? (John 12:37-41)
37 But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. 38 This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted: “Lord, who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?” 39 But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said, 40 “The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts—so that their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and have me heal them.” (Isa 6:10). 41 Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory.
What “exactly” did Isaiah “see?” Isaiah saw:
Jesus’ glory – high and exalted, seated on a throne
Jesus’ power – train of His robe filled the temple
Jesus’ purity – Holy, Holy, Holy
Have you “seen” your Lord? Isaiah did … and then, ….
- Isaiah Saw Himself.
5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
The older I get, the more I hate mirrors.
In the white-hot light of God’s holiness, Isaiah saw:
His sin – I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips
His forgiveness – your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for
His Savior – God’s work to remove his sin and guilt (grace)
Have you “seen” your condition? (1 John 1-8-9)
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to Jesus, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
Confess = to be of one mind … to see our sin the way Jesus sees it.
Have you seen? Isaiah did … and then ….
- Isaiah Saw His Purpose.
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!” 9 He said, “Go and tell this people: 10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull, close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” 11 Then I said, “For how long, Lord?” And he answered: “‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, 12 until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken. 13 And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”
Isaiah’s purpose was to carry the message that God had given him and to proclaim that message for as long and as far as God commanded.
The key to Isaiah’s obedience was in understanding for Whom he went.
He didn’t go for Himself. God asked, “Who will go for Us?”
He didn’t go for Israel. God asked, “Who will go for Us?”
Isaiah went for God and, therefore, he was sent by God.
Isaiah’s purpose was seen in his “going?” and so is yours, have you seen it? (Matthew 28:18-20)
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
The interesting thing about these verses is that we typically get the command all wrong. Most think that the command is to “go,” but it is actually to “make disciples.” Going is not the command, it is the expectation. Jesus expected His disciples to be “going,” and that expectation has not changed. The question before us this morning is not, “Are you going?” It is two-fold, “Have you gone as far as God wants you to go?” And, “are you willing to go for Him?”
The man, woman, or young person who goes for himself or herself, will never stand up to the challenges that God’s sending requires. Neither will the man, woman, or young person persevere who goes for the nations. The nations may not listen, and we don’t have it in us to stay the course. As we go, we must be going for Him and Him alone.
Have you seen your purpose? Isaiah did, but first he saw His Lord and His condition.
Have you seen?