Formations lesson for Jan. 20: The Presence of God
January 5 2002 by Steve Zimmerman , Isaiah 6

Formations lesson for Jan. 20: The Presence of God | Saturday, Jan. 5, 2002

Saturday, Jan. 5, 2002

Formations lesson for Jan. 20: The Presence of God

By Steve Zimmerman Isaiah 6 It has been over four months now. Yet it seems just like yesterday. You can remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news from New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania. Terrorists had attacked our nation!

At times it still seems like a nightmare that has no conclusion. The world we once knew is no longer. Faith and trust in what we held dear is now in question. A new age has come with its share of uncertainty and fear.

Where is God in all of this turmoil?

In this week's scripture passage we find the prophet Isaiah going through a national crisis as well. His beloved King Uzziah had died and the nation of Israel was faced with a monarch transition. Under Uzziah the nation had flourished. The signs of prosperity were prevalent. But at his death, Isaiah felt as if his own world was coming apart. You could almost hear him say, "What do I do now?"

Welcomed by God (Isaiah 6:1-4) As the chapter begins Isaiah finds himself in a vision at the temple. What is noticed in his worship is that God initiates the encounter. His nature all along has been to seek out His children so that He can have fellowship with them. Ever since creation God has found ways to share His love to His children.

Another aspect of Isaiah's worship is that the seraphs reminded him that the Lord is a holy God and is in charge of the world.

When we worship we need to be brought back to the realization that the God we come to is holy and to be praised. Even in the midst of turmoil we can find comfort just like the prophet to know that whatever happens in our lives God is still holding our world in His hand.

Changed by God (Isaiah 6:5-7) Isaiah realized that in the presence of God he is a sinner. He puts the blame of his condition only on one person - himself. He even identifies with the people of Israel as having the same problem.

As we come to worship the Lord, we must realize that in order to experience God we have to see our inadequacies due to our sinful nature. Spiritual renewal cannot take place until that happens in every individual.

The wonderful nature of God comes through in these verses. He desires for us to be clean and pure. He wants us to live a holy life.

Again the Lord takes the lead and takes Isaiah's sins away.

God shows us that we cannot do anything about our sins until we come into an encounter with the Lord and allow Him to transform us. No amount of work on our behalf will take away this spiritual dilemma.

Sent by God (Isaiah 6:8-13) The first few verses in this section are some of the most quoted from the Old Testament. Many people who enter the ministry can relate directly to Isaiah's commission. Here we find the Lord asking the simple question of who will go. He does not force Isaiah into service. He asks.

God does not force His will on us either. We chose to follow or not to follow.

The next section of Isaiah 6 is one of the least quoted from the Bible. Isaiah receives a divine call from the Lord. You would think that such a glorious encounter with God would put him on the fast track for a great ministry. Ideas of ministerial grandeur would soon be buried when he heard the Lord's message that he was to deliver to his fellowman.

However, the prophet did carry out his role faithfully to his people. Just as the Lord predicted, the people did not heed the news from Isaiah. But he paved a beautiful trail for the coming Messiah. Without his service to the heavenly kingdom, we would not have had a wonderful prelude to Christ's coming.

As the Lord sends us, we need to be faithful and not necessarily always successful. Our reward may be years in coming, too.

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1/5/2002 12:00:00 AM by Steve Zimmerman , Isaiah 6 | with 0 comments
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