August 28, 2019

August 28, 2019

August 28, 2019
Isaiah 6:1-8
by Pam Sutherland
Co-Pastor of Wabash Circuit
New River District

In today’s passage from Isaiah chapter 6, Isaiah has a vision of the LORD seated on the throne in heaven.  Isaiah’s description of the LORD invokes a picture of majesty, authority, and power.  Attending the LORD are strange, other-worldly creatures who cry out “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts.  The whole earth is full of His glory.”  As these creatures speak the temple shakes and is filled with smoke.

As I read this passage, the words of that beautiful song I learned so long ago came to mind: “Majesty, worship His Majesty, unto Jesus, be all glory, honor, and praise.  Majesty, worship His Majesty flow from His throne, unto His own, His anthem raise. So exalt, lift up on high the name of Jesus. Magnify, come glorify Christ Jesus the King…”

In our culture today, I fear we have adopted a dumbed-down idea of God.  Cartoons, television, and movies depict God as nothing more than an old, bearded man similar in nature to Santa Claus who might give us what we desire if we are good little boys and girls; or zap us with a lightning bolt if we’re bad.  Many times have I heard people say, “I think God is…..” and go on to describe a god they are comfortable with, a god of their own imagination.

Even in the Church, it often seems as if we are more comfortable with a god made in our image rather than the One True God who sits on the throne. The One Isaiah describes as “lofty and exalted”.  The One whose train fills the temple and whose glory fills the earth.  And because we have imagined a God of our liking, one who is there to bless us and save us without requiring much in return, we are quick to justify our own sin and our unwillingness to answer when God asks, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”

Isaiah saw the Living God enthroned in Heaven and immediately recognized the enormity of his own sin. He understood that in comparison to God’s holiness and righteousness, he was unclean, totally unrighteous.  Only when we see God for who God is – high and lifted up, holy and majestic – will we understand the depth of our own sin and rebellion against God’s love and kindness towards us.

As soon as Isaiah confessed his sin, his utter inability to stand before God in his own righteousness, God cleansed him and forgave him.  And having seen God for who God is, having experience the grace and mercy of God in removing and forgiving his sin, Isaiah responded by saying, “Here I am.  Send me.”

When we have truly “seen” the majesty and holiness of God and recognized our own sinful nature and utter inability to save ourselves; when we have truly experienced God’s grace and mercy in forgiving and  removing our sin by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the only possible response to God’s call, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” is to say, “Here I am. Send me.”

Almighty and Holy God, forgive us for wanting you to be a god of our own imagination. Help us to see you for who you truly are. Convict us of all the ways we disregard and rebel against your great love for us.  Cleanse us by the blood of Jesus and empower us by your Holy Spirit to go into the world and tell others the Good News of Jesus Christ. Amen.