International Sunday School Lesson for June 2, 2013
Scripture Text: Isaiah 6:1-8
Purpose: To seek a sense of God's presence that will sustain ministry in difficult times
Isaiah 6: 1-8 (CEB)
1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a high and exalted throne, the edges of his robe filling the temple. 2 Winged creatures were stationed around him. Each had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew about. 3 They shouted to each other, saying:
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of heavenly forces!
All the earth is filled with God’s glory!"
4 The door frame shook at the sound of their shouting, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 I said, "Mourn for me; I’m ruined! I’m a man with unclean lips, and I live among a people with unclean lips. Yet I’ve seen the king, the Lord of heavenly forces!"
6 Then one of the winged creatures flew to me, holding a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips. Your guilt has departed, and your sin is removed."
8 Then I heard the Lord’s voice saying, "Whom should I send, and who will go for us?"
I said, "I’m here; send me."
My Thoughts by Burgess Walter
We learn from Isaiah 1 the time of Isaiah prophecies, (1)“The vision about Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah, Amoz’s son, saw in the days of Judah’s kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.” Now according to scripture King Uzziah (also called Azariah) ruled from age 16 till he was 68 for a total of 52 years. His death brought about a decline in Holy worship and his son Jotham “did evil in the sight of God.” (2 Kings 15:1-4)
Neither Uzziah nor Jotham had removed the “high places” where Baal and other gods were worshipped . The citizens of Judah had been worshiping other gods since the time of David and Solomon. They preferred to worship gods made by their own hands, with laws that they themselves wrote and practices that were an abomination to a holy God. They practiced everything from sexual promiscuity, to sacrificing of infants. That is the scene when Isaiah prepares himself for worship in the temple. As far as man goes Isaiah was prepared to enter into worship, because he had done all of the purification rights called for by a good Jew, prior to entering the place of worship. Isaiah's words remind me of when I was a young lad and after working all day in a wind blown muck field, I would take my bath and I think I had gotten all of the muck from my body. But when it came time for an inspection by my mother, prior to us going into town on a Saturday night, she always found a place I had missed, usually behind my ears. Isaiah thought he was clean until a Holy God came calling and inspecting.
Our goodness and holiness is usually compared to our peers and at times we can feel pretty good, but when we compare our goodness and holiness to God, if we are honest with ourselves, we realize how unworthy and unholy we really are. That was the case with Isaiah. He could only confess his shortcomings and unclean lips.
When we enter into worship, if we are honest, we more often than not are not prepared to enter into the presence of a Holy God. We greet, joke, make small talk, but are we ready to enter into Gods presence?
Isaiah experienced God in a way he had never done before. He saw a God that was worshiped by heavenly beings and those beings proclaimed God's Holiness. Those heavenly creatures could not even look on God, they covered their eyes and their private parts because they were humbled by God's glory and holiness. The sight and sounds of their worship shook the very foundations of the temple, it was unlike anything Isaiah had ever experienced.
As amazing as all of this was, it became a time of repentance and forgiveness. The same should take place in our worship today. Isaiah was reminded of how unworthy he was and God offered an avenue of forgiveness. Isaiah offers himself as a venue for God to use, and God proclaims him worthy to share God's holy word, through lips that have been sanctified and anointed for that very purpose.
There are many forms of worship outlined from (*Deuteronomy to Psalms) today's lesson is just one form of worship from which we can all learn.
*Deuteronomy 16:12-20, Numbers 28, Exodus 29:38-46, Leviticus 23:1-23, Deuteronomy 12:5-18, Psalm 100