I Saw the Lord - May 12th 2013

    God interrupted Isaiah’s prayer on one of the days when he felt helpless. Our study will help us rediscover the way God meets us in crisis.

    1.    Our prayers rise from our circumstances. 
    1 In the year that King Uzziah died…probably around 739 B.C. For much of his life Uzziah had been a good king. Then he stumbled over his own pride (2 Chronicles 26:16). When Uzziah was corrected he reacted in a rage only to find the judgment of leprosy falling upon him. Isaiah watched helplessly as Uzziah’s sin destroyed him.
    Do you know the emotional torment of watching helplessly as sin destroys someone?
    Isaiah 1—5 reveals many of the effects of corruption infecting God’s people. Isaiah preached for repentance. Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness (Isaiah 5:20). Isaiah challenged the people. 13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!.. 16b stop doing wrong, 17 learn to do right! Seek justice… (Isaiah 1). The people wanted what they wanted more than they wanted what God wanted. They have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore the Lord’s anger burns against his people. (Isaiah 5:24, 25)

    2.    Our prayers seek more than we comprehend.
     1bI saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.
    When the lesser King Uzziah was removed from his throne, Isaiah saw the Greater King of Kings. So great was Isaiah’s sense of God’s presence that his description of God’s robe rose only to the hem.
    How do you see God when you pray? Do you see Him high and lifted up? Do you sense His holiness?
    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.   
    The fiery servants of God move with grace to serve our Lord.
    3 And they were calling to one another “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
    Holiness details God’s separation from all that is not God. At the same time, holiness refers to God’s ethical behavior.
    Be holy, because I, the Lord your God, am holy.           (Leviticus 19:2)
    Have you opened your senses to the glory of God in the world?    
    4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
    When God becomes real, everything in our world is shaken.

    3.    Our prayers encounter God’s conviction.
    5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined. For I am a man of unclean lips…
    Isaiah saw his own sin first. He cried, “I am ruined.” This can be translated “I am silent.” Was this a reference to his silence related to Uzziah’s wrongs? (2 Chronicles 26:16-22) Face to face with God, the prophet lost his voice. He saw the absence of God’s presence in his life. He recognized the presence of that which was not God’s will or God’s character in his life. He had accused the people of their arrogant self-sufficiency but now he saw the same sin resident in his life. In fact, now that he was in God’s presence he saw his own sins as greater than any other. We are reminded of Paul’s conclusion: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst (1 Timothy 1:15).
    Who are you blaming for your sin?  
    What is it going to take for you to take responsibility for yourself? 
    Isaiah was broken by his own sin.
    The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
    5 and I live among a people of unclean lips…
    Isaiah was saying, “I’m no better than the people to whom I am preaching.”
    5 and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
    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. 7With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
    God does not reveal Himself to destroy us but to redeem us.

    The Bible translation used is the New International Version