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The King and I

Good Morning. Today we look at Isaiah, and his "opportunity" to come before God's Throne in Isaiah 6, when he thought the evil thrones on earth had taken power.

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There are certain life and history events that stick out, just by mentioning a year. It’s Memorial day, so if I say 1941, I would think about half of you would know the DATE that will live in infamy, December 7 - the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

I don’t do this often, but let me impress my boys. For fun, can I  have a show of hands of those who know exactly where you wore a little over 60 years ago, on November 22nd, 1963. If you don’t know, that’s when President John F. Kennedy was shot. Half?

Nick was 9 months old on 9/11/2001, but even more of us can recall what happened on that day.

The prophet Isaiah had a memorable date like that in his life. He called it “the year that King Uzziah died.” (740) It was the most memorable day of his life. Our first lesson began, In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.

Uzziah was a pretty good king overall, a sinner like us, a little arrogant, but he supported God’s prophets, and the worship of the temple. And when he died, Isaiah worried that an evil man would sit on the throne and be in control. Uzziah had some bad relatives.

Then, Isaiah was blessed with an incredible vision. He saw God in all His glory! It was beautiful and it was terrifying. Mouth agape, Isaiah watched the scene in stunned silence.

The Lord entered his temple, and sat on his throne, encircled by the awesome sight of flaming angels who cried aloud to one another, Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts. Holy meaning not just something set apart and sacred, but Someone worthy of complete devotion, Someone of perfect goodness and righteousness.

Did you know that God is called “Holy” more than every other adjective in all the Old Testament combined. The chief attribute of God is not his power or wisdom. The angels were not shouting, “All Knowing, or All Powerful is the Lord of hosts,” but HOLY.

It is repeated three times since Hebrew lacks what we in English call superlatives, like good, better and best. Saying it three times means God is Holiest.

Notice also only God’s holiness is treated to such heights of honor. As big as God’s heart is, the Bible never says that He is “love, love, love.” As wonderful as God’s mercy is, the Bible never says that He is “grace, grace grace.” But he is “holy, holy, holy.”

This vision was to let Isaiah know that in all things, the Lord is in control. The throne that Uzziah held for five decades sat without a godly leader. But God was showing Isaiah that the throne in heaven was still occupied, and even more important.

All kinds of thrones here on earth are filled with evil people. We have China threatening Tiawan, Russia threatening everyone. We have a very anti-Christian culture which wants to tell us that…

We are being discriminatory if we tell people what the Bible says about what is good, and what is perversion and evil.

We have problems with health, problems with jobs, but no matter what we face in life, our holy God has already measured its impact, has already restrained it from being more than we can bear, and has already transformed it into a testimony to his holiness. And He still sits on His throne.

And seeing God’s power and holiness up close and personal terrified Isaiah. And almost before he knew what he was saying he burst out with the words,

“Woe is me, for I am lost! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”

When Isaiah saw the Lord in his holiness, he realized the depth of his sinfulness, and who he really was. If you were to have asked people on the street what they thought of Isaiah, they’d have told you he was a man of integrity. If you were to have asked Isaiah (before this encounter, at least) what he thought of himself, he’d have probably shifted his feet a little, ducked his head in customary humility, and told you . . . well . . . he wasn’t perfect by any means, but he figured he was a pretty good guy. But just one glance at the holiness of God, Isaiah realized the depth of his impurities, and that depth helps us see better what God does in redeeming us.

100 years ago, The Times of London ran a series of “Letters to the Editor” on the subject, “What is wrong with the world?” As you can imagine, this topic stimulated great interest for a long period of time, generating opinions from readers all over the world as to what makes the world a difficult place in which to live.

One day a letter arrived from a rather famous Christian writer. His entry was brief and to the point:

To the Editor, The Times of London. Dear Sir, You ask what is wrong with the world. I am. sincerely, G.K Chesterton

The problem is our sin. GOOD NEWS, God has an answer.

one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.

As a model for all time, God has supplied a remedy freely and by Grace. It is painful to have the hot coals of God’s holiness singe away the tough exterior of our pride, but it will result in the incomparable gift of a new, redeemed, forgiven heart.

Now some Application for Isaiah and us. This is not just a let God heal you from your sins message.

God’s loving, merciful desire is in making us His family, and building us up into His church, so He can equip us to carry out his Great Commission to the World.

The point of the confession is to bring us to cleansing,

but the cleansing is to bring us to the calling.

I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send,

And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

“Here am I.” Not “there he is, send him. “Not “here am I, but send the pastor. “here am I, and I’ll pray for the missionary. “

“Not even, like Moses, “here am I, but send anyone else.”

Isaiah said it the only way someone can honestly say it when they’ve seen God’s holiness and been sickened at their own sinfulness, but then been redeemed: “Here am I, Lord. Send me.” Send me, because by your grace, I know the pain and ugliness of my sin, the wonderfulness of your redemption of my soul, and I want to share it with others, so Here I am, Send ME.

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