“LET’S TALK TO ISAIAH” – Isaiah 6:1-8
CWBC – 6/24/18
INTRO – (10 mins) – Good morning, everyone! I’m so glad we are here to worship the Lord Jesus together, aren’t you?
Does anybody here know what this is? (pics of Daddy’s can-crusher) Mama really didn’t know what Daddy did w/ the cans he crushed, but he sure liked to crush them.
Alan Redpath, British evangelist in mid-1900’s – “When God wants to do an impossible task, He takes an impossible man & He crushes him.”
Has God ever crushed you?
Open your Bibles or your Bible app to Isaiah 6:1-9a (page 571)
Isaiah 6 (ESV)
Isaiah’s Vision of the Lord
6 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he 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!”
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for 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!”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” 9 And he said, “Go…”
Isaiah – OT prophet who prophesied, or spoke for the Lord to the people, about 740-700 BC. He was the “prince of the prophets” – spokesman for God – spoke the finest Hebrew in the OT, using some 2,200 different Hebrew words in his writings. He wrote hymns, & wisdom poetry, & even poetry that resembles a love song in 5:1-7.
He ministered to the affluent people of the time. Stood before 4 different kings – Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, & Hezekiah. He stood strong as he proclaimed the words of God to the people who were “deaf & blind” (6:10), who turned a deaf ear to his warnings of God’s coming judgment on them, much like many people today, both inside & outside the Church. There was no equal to Isaiah among all the prophets.
- Jeremiah wept
- Jonah ran
- Habakkuk stood confused
- Elijah hid in a cave
- But Isaiah stood alone & preached the truths of God.
Former OT seminary prof, Kyle Yates (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1922-1942) – “The last 40 years of the 8th century BC produced great men, but the greatest of these was Isaiah…As a spiritual giant, Isaiah stands as the loftiest peak among the mountains…From the day of his vision in the temple, he possessed a spiritual depth that set him apart from his contemporaries.”
So, what made this temple experience so powerful, so significant & life-changing that it set him apart? It was there that God crushed him. Everything changed after this event!
APPLICATION POINT: GOD HAS TO CRUSH YOU TO USE YOU, BRO!
In our “Man Cave Conversations” this month, we’ve talked to:
- Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego – “Don’t bow down, bro!”
- Elijah – “Face your enemies, bro!”
- Joseph – “You better run, bro!”
And now, Isaiah – “God has to crush you to use you, bro!” My daddy may not have had any significant reason to crush cans, but our Heavenly Father definitely has some significant reasons to crush us.
- Alan Redpath – “When God wants to do an impossible task, he takes an impossible man & He crushes him.”
- All through Scripture we see that God’s school is a school of brokenness. Think of all those who were broken by God, then used by Him in a powerful way:
- God’s School of Brokenness (Swindoll): We try to run from it. We try to avoid it. We try to resist it. But only as He crushes us & removes all the crutches that we’ve learned to lean on in our times of trouble will we learn to lean on Him alone. He has to teach us to quit relying on the flesh & start relying on the Spirit. THEN He can use us.
Look at Isaiah’s experience in ch. 6:
THE VISION – v. 1 – Awestruck when he saw this vision of the glory of God. Amazing sight to behold! He saw the perfect holiness of God! He saw the brilliant glory of God! He saw the powerful majesty of God! There’s no way that his life would ever be the same after this vision!
THE VOICES OF ANGELS – v. 2-4 – Accompanying this vision was a thundering sound which overwhelmed him. These seraphim were fiery angelic beings that spend their time in the presence of God worshiping Him. Their 6 wings suggest that they were powerful beings. And even though they were in God’s presence, even these superhuman creatures could not gaze directly at the holiness of God.
Seeing these fiery angels must have been amazing! But even more amazing was the sound that they made as they thundered out their praise of God in antiphonal fashion, echoing each other w/ those powerful words:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” Back & forth, rocking the foundations of the temple! Let’s do this right now! (divide down the middle & repeat it back & forth)
THE VERDICT – v. 5-7 – All of this led to Isaiah experiencing a crushing conviction of the sin in his life. “Woe is me!” – DEEP sorrow! Utter despair! Luther – “I am dissolved!” Hebrew literally means, “I cease to exist!”
What was it that crushed him? When he saw the glory of God in all of His infinite holiness & perfection, & when he heard the thunderous cry of the thrice-repeated “Holy, holy, holy,” he knew he was done. Seeing & hearing & knowing how holy God is brought his sins to the forefront of his mind in dreadful clarity. He know that he had nothing to stand on, no excuse to make, no way of overcoming his impurities & his unholiness. He was totally at the mercy of God, totally dependent on the grace of God, totally broken over his sins. He knew that there was NOTHING that HE could do. And THAT’S when God broke through.
- v. 6-7 – God dispatched one of the seraphim to take a burning coal from the altar & touch Isaiah’s mouth w/ it. Why his mouth? B/c that was the area of uncleanness, the place where Isaiah had admitted & confessed his sin. And what happened? INSTANTANEOUS FORGIVENESS & CLEANSING! No delay! No trying harder! No attempting to do better so God will be happier with him! None of that! “Your guilt is taken away & your sin is atoned for!” AFTER the brokenness. AFTER the crushing of his heart. AFTER the touching of the burning, cleansing coal to his sin. NOW, YOU ARE FORGIVEN! And THEN, he heard…
THE VOICE OF GOD – v. 8-9a – AFTER the crushing of the Lord, Isaiah heard God speak. And his response to God? “Here am I! Send me.” And God simply, but powerfully said, “Go!” This one word is the most wonderful evidence of God’s grace in this passage!
- “Send me!” ——– “GO!”
CONCLUSION – Application point again: “God has to crush you to use you, bro!” Do you want to be used by God? Are you willing to let Him crush you?
Spurgeon: “We are but men, frail, feeble, & apt to faint.”
Hudson Taylor: “All God’s giants have been weak men.”
- Every pastor you know is a weak man.
- Every church staff member you know is a weak man or woman.
- Every deacon you know is a weak man.
- Every Life Group leader you know is a weak man or woman.
And we must face up to those things in our lives which cause us to be weak. God will crush us to rid us of those things. It’s not an easy experience, but it’s a necessary experience in order for God to use us greatly in His work.
So what is it that you need to face today? What is it that is bringing the crushing conviction of God today? Whatever it is, you must face it today. If you don’t, you’ll never be the man or woman of God that you could be.
- You’ll never have the prayer life that you could have.
- You’ll never be the husband that you could be, or the wife that you could be.
- You’ll never hear the voice of God like you could hear it.
- You’ll never be the leader you could be.
- You’ll never be the witness that you could be.
- You’ll never be the servant that you could be.
What is it? What’s sitting there in your heart, needing to be purged, cleansed w/ the cleansing fire of God? What is it that causes you to say as Isaiah said, “Woe is me! I’m in trouble! I’m done! I’m unclean & unholy! Woe is me!”
God wants to use you, brother! God wants to use you, sister! And He must crush you to bring you to a place of brokenness to cleanse you so He can use you! And He WILL use you!