Monday, July 3, 2017

Isaiah in the Temple Adult Sunday School Lesson

Uniform Adult Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday July 9, 2017

Purpose: To realize that unexpected circumstances can lead us into new opportunities to serve God

Bible Lesson: Isaiah 6:1-8

Background Scripture: Isaiah 6

Key Verse: 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.” (Isaiah 6:8)

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 doorframe 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.”

Some Thoughts by Burgess Walter

I learned a long time ago that you should be careful of what you complain about to God. If a problem has been brought to your attention and you complain, don’t be surprised if God ask you to fix it.

That is sort of the case with Isaiah, he was unhappy with the way people were acting and he realized he might be part of the problem.

When we compare ourselves to other mortals, it is easy to come to the wrong conclusion, that we might be better than most. God on the other hand does not compare us to other mortals. His standard is much higher. God’s holiness is so far above anything we can comprehend it is impossible for us to fathom.

Isaiah uses the most outrageous things he can, to come up with his description of a holy God.  The Hebrew language has no way to express a superlative except by repetition. To say “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord” is to declare that God is very, very, very holy.

The year of King Uzziah’s death is 742 B.C. The vision takes place in the temple in Jerusalem. Unlike the role of priest in the Jewish faith, there is no ordination for a prophet. Anyone can declare themselves a prophet, they are judged on their accuracy.

Politically the nation of Judah is headed down a slippery slope. In trying to save their kingdom, they had made alliances with Egypt and paid tribute to Assyria. They sought a political solution when God just wanted them to repent and serve Him only. Maybe it was because of Isaiah's preaching that Jerusalem was spared as long as it was. Only an intervention, by an angel of God, was Jerusalem saved in 701 B.C. (You can read that story in 2 Kings 19:35)

While our lesson focuses on the call of Isaiah, God’s act of salvation should not be overlooked. Isaiah’s cleansing comes as a divine initiative. Isaiah is made worthy to perform God’s work by the act of the “winged creature.” Isaiah was purified for service after he confessed his unclean lips were not worthy, along with rest of Judah.

God may not call you through an ordained office, He may just ask you to confess and go, God will always provide the purification if we confess. Whether it is called Salvation, Justification, or Sanctification it only happens when we confess our uncleanness and say, “I’m here; send me.”  Only when we compare ourselves to a Holy God do we see our own flaws.

My hymn for this week is “Holy, Holy, Holy.”

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