Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Mon, 07/12/2009 – 14:38
Bible Book: Isaiah / Jesaja
Verse: 1 – 8
Isaiah had this frightening vision of the Living, Holy God on his throne in the same year that Uzziah, the king of Judah died (verse 1).
Uzziah reigned over Judah for about 52 years. Economically speaking it was a prosperous time. Although king Uzziah initially “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD” (2 Kings 15:3 – RSV), unfortunately he did not continue on this path. “But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall. He sinned against the Lord his God by entering the sanctuary of the Lord’s Temple and personally burning incense on the incense altar.” (2 Chronicles 26:16 – NLT). As a result of this Uzziah was struck with leprosy and died a leper. Therefore the death of this king must have been a somber event.
There was good reason for Isaiah to be filled with awe and fear when he saw the real King of Judah, the Holy One, on his throne. Could Isaiah have been thinking of what had happened to Uzziah and feared the same fate? Or was the perception of God’s holiness enough to overwhelm him with an overwhelming awareness of his own sins?
Whatever Isaiah might have thought, for him there was only one sensible response – to confess his sinfulness, as well as that of his nation.
But Isaiah did not have to fear – his sins were cleansed.
The forgiveness of his sins was not the final outcome of God’s appearance to him. It was his preparation for his mission to the people of his nation.
Being forgiven resulted in his willingness to answer God’s calling, but it also meant that his words would be those of a forgiven man, himself as guilty as those to whom he would bring the Word of God. Although his message initially had a strong element of judgment, it always also carried the promise of God’s salvation (cf verse 13b). The unfolding of the story in the book of Isaiah tells us that God’s faithfulness to his people meant the He would ultimately restore them.
How fortunate are we, who have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, to live before the Holy God and to be sent by Him in this world with a message of Jesus the King.
To think about (or discuss): Do we as Christians remember God’s holiness in relation to our own lives, or do we only think of this when we look at other people’s lives?
Quote – “The king’s death prepares the way for the vision of God; the vision of God leads to self-despair, self-despair opens the door to cleansing; cleansing makes it possible to recognize the possibility of service; the total experience then leads to an offering of oneself” (JN Oswalt).
Author: N du Toit (Ds)