23(Isaiah 06,01-08)The Greater Glory
Pearl Harbor, 12/7/1941. Dallas, TX 11/22/1963. A place and a date in history.
Year King Uzziah died was such a time. They were coming out of a time of great prosperity- the king who provided it has died of leprosy. What’s coming next?
I. The Great Glory (6:1-4)
A. No parallel in Israel’s experience.
1. They know what a temple is – they know what a throne is.
2. What are the two doing together? Where could that be?
3. God has lifted the veil and given them a glimpse of heaven.
B. They are to see that God is still on His throne despite their pending troubles on earth.
C. But more – they are supposed to see the holiness of God.
1. Something they do not really want to see.
2. Here God is high and lifted up – untouched by the imperfections of this world.
3. He is wholly other – that which taints us does not touch Him – he is Holy.
4. Even the angels shield themselves from His radiance – too intense, too great.
D. God’s Holiness is overwhelming.
1. The sound of the seraphs voices are thundering – the doorposts shake.
2. Temple filled with smoke – from the altar.
3. Sacrifice required – God’s holiness reqires so much sacrifice that the smoke of it fills the temple.
4. Heaven can’t contain it – the earth is overwhelmed.
E. Isaiah’s response: (what does he see? Can you see it?) (6:5)
1. In the illuminating radiance of the holiness of God I see myself and I can’t live with myself.
2. Isaiah: “when I see in the light of the burning holiness of God, I cannot utter a sound: I cannot sing with the angels, my lips are unclean. My very being stains what I would say.”
F. When we look into the light of His holiness we are confronted by not only our sins but of others.
1. How can we say, as 75% of us do, that people are basically good?
2. There is only one answer:
3. We have not truly perceived the holiness of God.
4. If we did, we would have no question about our sin for the horror it is.
5. We would see the distance.
II. The Greater Glory (6:5-8)
A. The angel takes a coal and touches the unclean lips of the prophet.
B. Here is the infinite God who has become intimate.
C. That altar was waiting for the true sacrifice, it had to burn and burn daily as the priests worked day and night to satisfy the holiness of God. – Cannot until quenched by His own Son.
D. That holiness then comes near to us. It touches our lips, it purges our sins. It separates us from the sin life and sets us apart.
E. It calls us to holiness. To service.
F. Now we can sing with the angels: “holy, holy, holy” – because He has made us able.
G. We know our sin if we know His holiness.
But if we know His grace, we know more. We can then sing with the angels.
H. It is never enough in our ministry to convict of sin – must also convince of grace.