What God shows people who want to see answers

Pastor Sam Sutter - 6/5/2023

This is a peak at one of the most disruptive stories in the Old Testament and we'll see what God showed to people who were fearful, worried and uncertain about the future. And you might be surprised to discover what God shows to people who are fearful with really good reasons to fear the future.

God’s Glory, Our Service-Isaiah 6:1-10

Isaiah 6:1–13 (NIV) Isaiah’s Commission

6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 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. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;

the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

“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.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

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!”


So why is it significant that Isaiah’s call occurs in the year King Uzziah dies? I believe it is because it is with Uzziah’s death that Judah’s truly hopeless situation emerges. The date is approximately 740 B.C. By this time the Assyrian emperor Tiglath-Pileser III has clearly established himself as a military conqueror to be feared. But it seems likely that for Judah, as long as the powerful Uzziah was on the throne (even with his son Jotham acting as the front man), the immediacy of the threat was blurred. But when Uzziah was removed from the scene, the danger could no longer be ignored. Jotham was no strong man, and possibly Jotham’s son Ahaz was already under the control of a pro-Assyrian party in the government. What could possibly be done? Isaiah’s vision, at least for him, was a reorienting of his moral compass. The king was dead? Who is the king in this world anyway? “My eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty!” (6:5). – John Oswold


Our problem is not the size or difficulty of the things we face. No, our problem is [being blind to God’s GLORY] and the havoc it wreaks on our daily living. [Not seeing how big God is] will cause you to fear things that you need to defeat. [It] will cause you to deny reality because you are afraid to face what is true. [Thinking that God is small] will cause you to fret over people and situations. [It] will cause you to attempt to control what you cannot control because you think it is out of control. Being blind to God’s glory will never lead you anywhere good. – Paul David Tripp



But note the surprising nature of the commission. Does God truly not want his people to be healed? Has he predestined them for destruction? That would surely be a misreading of the book as a whole. God clearly does want to heal his people and promises to do so. If nothing else, the promises of chapters 2 and 4 make that clear. But those promises are not alone. They are representative of many other promises throughout the book. So what could Isaiah 6:9–10 possibly mean? Perhaps the point is this: Suppose Isaiah had chosen to be among the false prophets; suppose he had preached a message of affirmation and encouragement that did not address the people’s sin directly. It is possible he could have gained a large number of followers, people who were “healed” and convinced that they ought to make more of a place for “God” in their lives. But would this superficial healing have any long-term effects on the destiny of the nation? Only detrimental ones! And we can be sure we would never have heard of that Isaiah. Rather, Isaiah is called upon to preach a message that, given the already-hardened hearts of his generation and several of the following, will only push them farther away from God. But some will turn, among them faithful followers of Isaiah, who will preserve his words until the day when the cauterizing fires of the Exile fall and there will finally be a generation willing to listen. Then real healing will result, and the stage will be set for the promised Messiah to come. So Isaiah’s calling is not to success as the world counts success, but to faithfulness. – John Oswold

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