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Think about it. The most important question a person will ask in their lifetime is, “Who are you going to trust?”
Are you going to trust human potential? Some items of human potential and self-sufficiency are:
— Personal skill, work ethic, and ability
— Governmental and business leadership
— Personal physical health and strength
— Wise counselors
— Scientific thought
— Personal wealth, bank account, property, and investments
All of the above items are valuable, but should we not place our ultimate trust in God? Should we not rely on God and his direction first of all?
Stripping Away Security
King Uzziah was a good ruler in Isaiah’s day. It was natural to rely on his good government. Something happened that upended Isaiah’s world.
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple” (Isaiah 6.1).
People in my age category will vividly remember where they were when they heard that President John Kennedy was assassinated. The same is true for another generation who remembers the 9/11 attacks on our nation.
Both experiences were unsettling, in part, because they revealed the vulnerabilities of something we had trusted to be secure.
King Uzziah’s death shook Isaiah. The good king was dead. Even more, a worthless king was placed on the throne and Assyria, a super-power country, threatened the nation.
When our everyday security is stripped away, it allows us to see the Source of all security, the Lord.
Isaiah’s experience was peculiar to him, but God wants all of us in various ways to have an encounter similar to his.
If Isaiah had previously placed his trust in human potential, the vision revealed to him who was actually worthy of trust.
He saw the Lord in an exalted position. Human potential, no matter how significant, is never worthy to be placed in a higher place than God. God alone is worthy of our trust.
Isaiah knew that he was in the presence of God. God was so magnificent in his glory that Isaiah could lift his eyes no higher than the hem of God’s robe.
God’s Exalted Nature
A genuine experience with God will always emphasize God’s glory, majesty, holiness, and righteousness as essential aspects of his nature.
Mysterious “fiery” beings, attested to God’s holy character.
2 Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.
3 And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah 6.2-3)
God is God and there is nothing in the entire universe that is his equal. The word “holy” describes this fact.
The seraphim declare that God is three times holy. God is absolutely holy and there is no match for his character.
God’s laws are derived from his character. He is Supreme and all-powerful. However, he is also righteous and just.
When he encounters people, they are changed into holy humans. He stated, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus 19.2).
God’s Holiness in Action
God calls his people to demonstrate his just and righteous character.
To fail to do so is to reflect poorly on his reputation.
To oppress the poor and vulnerable is a denial of our holy relationship with him.
“Then you turned around and profaned my name when each of you took back your male and female slaves, whom you had set free according to their desire, and you brought them again into subjection to be your slaves. (Jeremiah 34:16).
We fail to put God’s holy nature on display when we use our power to exploit the poor or engage in sexual sin.
They who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth,
and push the afflicted out of the way;
father and son go in to the same girl,
so that my holy name is profaned. (Amos 2.7)
An Encounter with the Holy
The powerful voices of the seraphim shook the temple. God’s glory was visible in the form of smoke.
4 The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke.
Isaiah’s reaction was one of dread, awe, and fear.
5 And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6.4-5)
Isaiah knew that both he and the nation were unclean. They had trusted the human abilities of their leaders rather than God. They had engaged in behavior that was neither just nor righteous.
Isaiah knew that our lips speak what is the actual state of our inside condition.
Jesus made this quite clear: “The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks” (Luke 6.45).
Praise God that he does not reveal himself to destroy us. He encounters us, so that he may transform us.
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.
7 The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” (Isaiah 6.6-7)
It is quite possible that Isaiah, like others in his nation, had trusted the good government of Uzziah. With varying levels of human arrogance, they had trusted human potential instead of God.
Isaiah didn’t ask for God’s forgiveness but was granted all the same. At this “holy ground” moment, God was free to speak.
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!” (Isaiah 6.8)
Who are you going to trust?
Think back on the time when you encountered Jesus in a real and personal way. God intended that experience to be life-changing.
He met you to change you into a just and righteous person.
He has a mission that only you can fulfill. The “Whom shall I send” message is for all of us, not just missionaries and preachers. What is your mission in life?
God showed himself to you so that you would fully rely on him and not put your ultimate trust in human potential.
The question for us all today is, “Who are we going to trust?”
About This Blog
Rudy Ross is an excellent student of Isaiah. Rudy and I have a video you can see on the Bob Spradling YouTube Chanel.
Rudy will bring a different dimension to Isaiah than what is in my blog. I hope you will check out and enjoy my interviews with him.
I am indebted to a book by Dr. John Oswalt on Isaiah for his insights into this powerful book.
If you have a prayer request, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood Baptist prayer team will pray for you.