SING 34 At your feet we fall
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. 2 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.
3 And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
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.’
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 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.’ 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!’
A. W. Tozer “The true Christian ideal is not to be happy but to be holy.”
Oswald Chambers. “The destined end of man is not happiness, nor health, but holiness. God’s one aim is the production of saints. He is not an eternal blessing machine for men; he did not come to save men out of pity; he came to save men because he had created them to be holy.”
What does holiness mean? The root of the Hebrew word qados is “apartness”: to be separated or cut off. When we say God is holy we mean He is apart from us, different from us, transcendent. Pure and righteous and untainted by sin. And for human beings to be holy it means we are set apart from the world, consecrated – set apart for God, dedicated to God, sold out for God. Being dedicated to God is not some optional extra for Christians. It is simply obedience to the First and Greatest Commandment: Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. (Mark 12:30)
Isaiah’s life was shaped by the encounter he had with the Living God which we read about in Isaiah chapter 6. His personal holiness, dedicating his life to God’s service and his ministry as arguably the most important Old Testament prophet of God, all came from this one event where he met with God in all his glorious majesty, sovereignty and holiness. If we really want to meet with God the invitation is there. It is up to each one of us how holy we are. Every Christian is as holy as he or she wants to be. We may not be as holy as we would like to be, or as we pretend to be to other people or even to ourselves. None of us is as holy as God longs for us to become. But every Christian is as holy as he or she wants to be. My relationship with God and my own holiness are my personal responsibility! If I don’t make time to read the Bible, that’s down to me. It takes time to be holy! If I don’t make time to pray, that’s down to me! Robert Murray McCheyne wrote, “What a man is on his knees before God, that he is, and nothing more.”
So we need to meet with God. If we are serious about becoming more holy, we need to spend time with God. Our personal holiness is the power behind all effective Christian service. And our holiness is our witness to the world. 4th century St John Chrysostom (C. 347–407) wrote, “If only ten among us be righteous, the ten will become twenty, the twenty fifty, the fifty a hu,ndred, the hundred a thousand, and the thousand will become the entire city. As when ten lamps are kindled, a whole house may easily be filled with light; so it is with the progress of spiritual things. If but ten among us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city.”
This encounter with God changed Isaiah’s life. Let’s spend some minutes meditating on this passage verse by verse and opening our lives to God, asking Him to change us too.
SING 249 I see the Lord
Seeing God as he really is
God is Sovereign
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.
Isaiah 66:1 This is what the LORD says:“Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?
2 Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD.
God is Holy
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. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
Isaiah 57 15 For this is what the high and lofty One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place,
Exodus 15 11 “Who among the gods is like you, O LORD?
Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?
SING 772 Holy Holy, Holy Holy
Seeing ourselves as we really are – Sinners
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.”
5 times Isaiah 5 pronounces woe on sinners. That is why Isaiah says, “Woe is me!”
Isaiah 5:8 Woe to those who are greedy and woe to those who spend all day drinking, who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks. 18 Woe to those who are doomed, who are unable to break free from their sins. 20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight. 22 Woe to those who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent
SING 316 Just as I am without one plea
Recognising that we are forgiven v 6-7
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 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.”
SING 1015 Thank you for saving me
Responding to God’s call v 8
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!”
A TIME OF PRAYER
SING 519 Take my life and let it be