Isaiah 6:1-13 Honor The Lord

                                  HONOR THE LORD
                       Isaiah  6:1-13              March 8 2009

           In this figurative vision, the temple is thrown open to
view,
even to the most holy place. The prophet, standing outside the
temple, sees the Divine Presence seated on the mercy-seat, raised
over the ark of the covenant, between the cherubim and seraphim,
and the Divine glory filled the whole temple. See God upon his
throne. This vision is explained, (John 12:41), that Isaiah now saw
Christ’s glory, and spake of Him, which is a full proof that our
Saviour is God. In Christ Jesus, God is seated on a throne of grace;
and through him the way into the holiest is laid open. See God’s
temple, his church on earth, filled with his glory. His train, the
skirts of his robes, filled the temple, the whole world, for it is all
God’s temple. And yet he dwells in every contrite heart. See the
blessed attendants by whom his government is served. Above the
throne stood the holy angels, called seraphim, which means
"burners;" they burn in love to God, and zeal for his glory against
sin. The seraphim showing their faces veiled, declares that they
are ready to yield obedience to all God’s commands, though they
do not understand the secret reasons of his counsels, government,
or promises. All vain-glory, ambition, ignorance, and pride, would
be done away by one view of Christ in his glory. This awful vision
of the Divine Majesty overwhelmed the prophet with a sense of his
own vileness. We are undone if there is not a Mediator between us
and this holy God. A glimpse of heavenly glory is enough to convince
us that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Nor is there a
man that would dare to speak to the Lord, if he saw the justice,
holiness, and majesty of God, without discerning his glorious mercy
and grace in Jesus Christ. The live coal may denote the assurance
given to the prophet, of pardon, and acceptance in his work, through
the atonement of Christ. Nothing is powerful to cleanse and comfort
the soul, but what is taken from Christ’s satisfaction and
intercession. The taking away sin is necessary to our speaking with
confidence and comfort, either to God in prayer, or from God in
preaching; and those shall have their sin taken away who complain
of it as a burden, and see themselves in danger of being undone by
it. It is great comfort to those whom God sends, that they go for
God, and may therefore speak in his name, assured that he will
bear them out.

           1. A VERY AWFUL VISION WHICH ISAIAH SAW OF THE GLORY
           OF GOD (6:1-4)

Isa. 6:1   In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated
on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the
temple. 6:2   Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With
two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their
feet, and with two they were flying.  6:3   And they were calling
to one another: Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole
earth is full of his glory.” 6:4   At the sound of their voices the
doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with
smoke.

           The year that King Uzziah died . 740 B.C. Isaiah’s
commission
probably preceded his preaching ministry; the account was
postponed to serve as a climax to the opening series of oracles
and to provide warrant for the shocking announcements of
judgment they contain. The people had mocked the “Holy One of
Israel” (Isa .5:19), and now he has commissioned Isaiah to call
them to account. Uzziah reigned from 792 to 740 and was a godly
and powerful king. When he insisted on burning incense in the
temple, however, he was struck with leprosy and remained
leprous until his death (2 Chron. 26:16-21). He was also called
Azariah (2Kings 14:21; 2 Chron. 26:1). I SAW. Probably in a vision
in the temple. The Lord . The true King (Isa .6: 5). High exalted.
The same Hebrew words are applied to God in (Isa.57:15), and
similar terms are used of the suffering servant in (isa.52:13).
Train of His robe. A long, flowing garment. Cf. the robe of the
“son of man” in (Rev 1:13). Temple . Probably the heavenly temple,
with which the earthly temple was closely associated. John’s
vision of God on his throne is similar (Rev 4:1-8). Seraphs .
(Isa. 6: 6); angelic beings not mentioned elsewhere. The Hebrew
root underlying this word means “burn,” perhaps to indicate
their purity as God’s ministers. (It refers to venomous snakes
in Isa.14:29; 30:6; Num. 21:6.) They correspond to the “living
creatures” of (Rev 4:6-9), each of whom also had six wings.
Covered their faces . Apparently they could not gaze directly at
the glory of God. HOLY, HOLY, HOLY. The repetition underscores
God’s infinite holiness. Note the triple use of “the temple of
the LORD” in (Jer 7:4) to stress the people’s confidence in the
security of Jerusalem because of the presence of that sanctuary.
Full of His glory . In (Num. 14:21-22; Psalms 72:18-19) the
worldwide glory of God is linked with his miraculous signs.
Doorposts . . . shook . . . Filled with smoke . Similarly the power
of God’s voice terrified the Israelites at Mount Sinai, and the
mountain was covered with smoke ( Exodus 19:18-19; 20:18-19).

           2. The Terror It Put Him Into (6:5-8)

Isa. 6:5   “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.” Then one of the
seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had
taken with tongs from the altar. 6:7   With it he touched my
mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is
taken away and your sin atoned for.” 6:8   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!”

           Eyes have seen the King . Isaiah was dismayed because
anyone who saw God expected to die immediately (Gen. 16:13;
32:30 ; Exodus 33:20). Live coal Coals of fire were taken inside
the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:12), when
sacrifice was made to atone for sin. (isa. 1:25). Touched my
mouth . When God commissioned Jeremiah, his hand touched
the prophet’s mouth (Jer 1:9). (Isa. 6:8-10) Isaiah’s prophetic
commission will have the ironic but justly deserved effect of
hardening the callous hearts of rebellious Israel —and so
rendering the warnings of judgment sure (Isa,6:11-13).
(Jer 1:8,19; Eze 2:3-4 ; isa.6:8) For us . The heavenly King
speaks in the divine council. As a true prophet, Isaiah is made
privy to that council, as were Micaiah (1Kings 22:19-20) and
Jeremiah (23:18,22). (Gen. 1:26; 11:7; Am 3:7). Here am I .
(Gen. 22:1).

           3. By His Preaching To Harden The Impenitent In Sin And
           Ripen Them For Ruin (6:9-12)

Isa. 6:9   He said, “Go and tell this people:     “ ‘Be ever
hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never
perceiving.’  6:10   Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they
might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand
with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” 6:11   Then I said,
“For how long, O Lord?” And he answered: “Until the cities
lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left
deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, 6:12   until the
LORD has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly
forsaken.

           (Isa.6:9-10) Quoted by Jesus in the parable of the sower
(Matt 13:14-15; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10). ( Romans 11:7-10,25).
Heart . . . ears . . . eyes . . . eyes . . . ears. . . hearts . The ABC
/CBA inversion is called a “chiastic” arrangement, a common
literary device in the OT. Ears dull . . . Close their eyes .
Israel’s deafness and blindness are also mentioned in
( Isa. 29:9; 42:18; 43:8). One day, however, the nation will be
able to see and hear (isa.29:18; 35:5).  Faraway . (Isa.5:13).

           4. Yet With A Reservation Of Mercy For A Remnant, (6:13)

Isa. 6:13   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.”

            A tenth . A remnant —even it will be laid waste. HOLY
SEED.
The few that are faithful in Israel ( 1Kings 19:18; Isa ,1:9).
Stump . Out of which the nation will grow again. For a similar
use of this imagery (Isa.11:1).

                       Summary:

           God sends Isaiah to foretell the ruin of his people. Many
hear the sound of God’s word, but do not feel the power of it.
God sometimes, in righteous judgment, gives men up to
blindness of mind, because they will not receive the truth
in the love of it. But no humble inquirer after Christ, need
to fear this awful doom, which is a spiritual judgment on
those who will still hold fast their sins. Let every one pray
for the enlightening of the Holy Spirit, that he may perceive
how precious are the Divine mercies, by which alone we are
secured against this dreadful danger. Yet the Lord would
preserve a remnant, like the tenth, holy to him. And blessed
be God, he still preserves his church; however professors or
visible churches may be lopped off as unfruitful, the holy
seed will shoot forth, from whom all the numerous branches
of righteousness shall arise.

God Bless My Friend
Robert G O’Haver
deacon@ohaver.net