Family Bible Study lesson for Sept. 12: Responding to God's Holiness : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004
August 20 2004 by Phyllis Elvington

Family Bible Study lesson for Sept. 12: Responding to God's Holiness : Friday, Aug. 20, 2004
Friday, Aug. 20, 2004

Family Bible Study lesson for Sept. 12: Responding to God's Holiness

By Phyllis Elvington
Focal Passage: Isaiah 6:1-13

Perhaps no passage in the Bible has more to say about God's holiness than this encounter in which God revealed His holy nature to Isaiah.

This generation has lost its sense of awe at God's holiness. For example, we used to wear only our "Sunday best" to church. Today, you may see anything from tank tops to flip-flops. When I was growing up, you did not run, shout or eat inside the church. Today, the activities inside the church often resemble a three-ring circus more than the act of worshiping the One True God inside the holy temple.

Our society shows little respect for God's holiness. Television programs and movies are filled with violence and sexual acts. The music and advertisement industries are consumed with using sex to promote and sell their products. Prayers and other references to God are becoming increasingly rare in our culture.

I think we'll respond to God's holiness when we finally get a vision of the Lord like Isaiah did in Isaiah 6. I think we'll respond to God's holiness when we see Jesus "descend from heaven with a cry of command" (1 Thess. 4:16a). And I think we'll respond to God's holiness when we see Almighty God in all His glory in "the Holy City, the New Jerusalem" (Rev. 21:2a).

Realize God's holiness

Isaiah 6:1-3

"I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple" (v.1).

Listen - really listen - to the words of the prophet Isaiah:

  • "I saw the Lord ..."
  • "Seated on a throne ..."
  • "High and exalted ..."
  • "And the train of His robe filled the temple."
  • How different we would be if every morning we woke up with that picture of Holy God in our hearts, and the reminder that the Holy God rules.

    Isaiah looked up and saw a vision of Holy God. We, too, must look up if we are to realize how holy God is. We will never see Isaiah's vision if we focus our eyes on the things of this world.

    Confess your sinfulness

    Isaiah 6:4-7

    Our natural reaction, after looking up, is to look back down. Isaiah's immediate response to the vision of God's holiness was the realization of how sinful he was.

    We may look fairly good when we compare ourselves to others around us who are living outside of God's will. But everything changes when we picture ourselves beside the One who has never sinned.

    God is holy. Man is sinful. We would be in a hopeless situation without Jesus to stand between us as our mediator, advocate and Savior.

    However, because of the blood Jesus shed at Calvary, God promises us that "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

    Determine to serve God

    Isaiah 6:8-13

    God's purpose in appearing to Isaiah was not just to impress him with a vision of His majesty. God had a job for Isaiah, a calling to perform.

    "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!'" (v.9). Like young Samuel, when Isaiah recognized that God was calling him, he said "Here I am."

    The call to serve God is not just a call for full-time pastors and missionaries, or even for Sunday School teachers and deacons. Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8 are meant for every believer. We all are called to worship and serve the Lord.

    God still needs faithful servants like Isaiah. Are you willing to hear His voice? Are you willing to serve Him regardless of the cost? Are you willing to say "Here I am"?

    8/20/2004 12:00:00 AM by Phyllis Elvington | with 0 comments

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