The Vision of Isaiah

Scripture Passage: 
Isaiah 6: 1-13

INTRODUCTION: Isaiah faced a crisis when his beloved sovereign, king Uzziah, died. But that same year God appeared to him in one of the most amazing visions in the Bible. Isaiah saw the Lord in His holiness and glory. But that made Isaiah realize his own weakness and wickedness. Then, through the cleansing of the Lord, Isaiah was made ready to accept the call to go tell the people of Israel the message of God.

  1. A VISION OF THE LORD (Isaiah 6:1-4)
    1. His Majesty (Isaiah 6:1)
      1. His timing
        1. In the year that king Uzziah died [also called Azariah]
          1. A reign of 52 years (2 Kings 15:1-2)
          2. Prospered early as he sought the Lord (2 Chronicles 26:5-11)
          3. In his prosperity, his heart was lifted up with pride and he entered the temple to burn incense there (2 Chronicles 26:16).
          4. As judgment for his sin, he spent the last 12 years of his reign in a several house as a leper (2 Chronicles 26:21).
          5. Note: The leprosy of Uzziah was the backdrop for the vision in this lesson. Upon viewing the glorious holiness of God, Isaiah cried out because of his uncleanness. This matches the plight of the leper as taught in scripture (Leviticus 13:45).
        2. A time of crisis: God often reveals Himself to us at the time of our greatest trials (Psalm 27:10).
      2. His throne
        1. The Lord sitting upon a throne (Psalm 103:19)
        2. The throne high and lifted up (Psalm 11:4; Isaiah 66:1; Matthew 5:34)
      3. His train
        1. The train is the portion of the robe that drags behind the garment.
        2. It symbolizes greatness and is a sign of royalty.
        3. The Lord’s train filled the temple like His glory fills the temple (1 Kings 8:10-11; Revelation 15:8).
    2. His Holiness and Glory (Isaiah 6:2-3)
      1. The nature of the seraphims (Isaiah 6:2)
        1. Two wings covering the face - as if not worthy to look upon God (Exodus 3:6; Jeremiah 51:51)
        2. Two wings covering the feet – demonstrating their humility
        3. Two wings with which to fly – demonstrating their willingness to serve
      2. The declaration of the seraphims (Isaiah 6:3)
        1. Of God’s holiness (Revelation 4:8)
        2. Of God’s glory (Numbers 14:21; Psalm 72:19; Habakkuk 2:14)
    3. The Effect of His Presence (Isaiah 6:4)
      1. The posts of the door moved by His voice (Psalm 29:3-9; Revelation 1:15)
      2. The house filled with smoke (Exodus 40:34-35; 1 Kings 8:10-12; Revelation 15:8), hiding His glory (Exodus 33:20; John 1:18; 1 Timothy 6:16)
  2. A VISION OF HIMSELF (Isaiah 6:5-7)
    1. Isaiah’s Wickedness (Isaiah 6:5)
      1. Wicked in his person
        1. His woe
          1. The phrase “woe is me” is used seven times in the Bible (Psalm 120:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 4:31; Jeremiah 10:19; Jeremiah 15:10; Jeremiah 45:3; Micah 7:1). Although the statement is negative, seven usually indicates something good. Perhaps it is because this realization usually leads to repentance and later to blessing.
          2. Isaiah saw how low he was because he had seen a vision of how holy God is. It is only in contrast to God that we can really see ourselves clearly. See also Job 42:5-6.
        2. He was undone.
          1. This word is found five times in scripture (Numbers 21:29; Joshua 11:15; Isaiah 6:5; Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42).
          2. To be undone in this passage (as also in Numbers 21:29) means to be ruined and disgraced.
      2. Wicked in his practice – a man of unclean lips
        1. A reference to leprosy (Leviticus 13:45), perhaps thinking of Uzziah
        2. In contrast to the holiness of God
      3. Wicked in his place
        1. Others had the same unclean lips (Isaiah 29:13).
        2. He dwelt in the midst of them.
        3. By implication, when judgment comes, he will be in the midst of that as well (see Lot for an example - Genesis 19:12-13).
      4. Wicked in his perspective
        1. He saw the Lord.
        2. This brought Him into judgment (Judges 13:22).
    2. Isaiah’s Cleansing (Isaiah 6:6-7)
      1. The taking of the live coal (Isaiah 6:6; Ezekiel 10:2)
        1. In the hand of one of the seraphims
        2. Taken with tongs from off the altar (Revelation 8:5)
      2. The application of the coal (Isaiah 6:7) - Laid on the mouth, touching the lips
      3. The cleansing of the coal (Isaiah 6:7; Ephesians 1:7)
        1. Taking away iniquity (Hosea 14:2)
        2. Purging sin (Psalm 79:9; Hebrews 1:3)
  3. A VISION OF OTHERS (Isaiah 6:8-13)
    1. Isaiah’s Call (Isaiah 6:8)
      1. The source of the call – the triune God – “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (see Genesis 1:26)
      2. The substance of the call – “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
      3. The acceptance of the call – “Here am I; send me.”
    2. Isaiah’s Commission (Isaiah 6:9-10)
      1. The work (Isaiah 6:9) – “Go, and tell this people.”
      2. The message (Isaiah 6:9; Matthew 13:14-15; Acts 28:26-27; Romans 11:8)
        1. “Hear ye indeed, but understand not.”
        2. “See ye indeed, but perceive not.”
      3. The response (Isaiah 6:10)
        1. Blind and cold to the message
        2. Not able to understand and be converted
    3. Isaiah’s Question (Isaiah 6:11-12)
      1. His question (Isaiah 6:11) – how long should he tell a people who will not hear the message?
      2. God’s answer (Isaiah 6:11-12)
        1. Until the land was empty (Isaiah 6:11)
        2. Until the men had been removed (Isaiah 6:12)
    4. Isaiah’s Encouragement (Isaiah 6:13)
      1. A tenth shall return – as a tithe (Ezekiel 20:37)
      2. The holy seed shall survive (Isaiah 1:9).

CONCLUSION: Isaiah saw a vision of the Lord in glory and holiness. This led him to see himself in all his weakness and wickedness. When God cleansed him, he was ready to see a vision of the needs of others and accept the call to tell them God’s message.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 18:12

Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.