Lesson 2
Isaiah 6:1-8

Henry Mahan

Isaiah was a prophet of God who lived about 700 years before Christ came to earth in the flesh. He lived about 120 years and preached about 85 of those years. He was a prophet in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah-kings of Judah.

(Vs. 1) "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord. " Is there some connection between the death of King Uzziah and Isaiah's vision of God's holiness? Perhaps! Uzziah was a great and successful king whom Isaiah probably admired (II Chron. 26:22). He did many great and notable things, but he became proud and presumptuous. His pride led him to the temple to offer incense to God, not through God's priest but by his own hand. This is a denial of the holiness of God and the work of Christ, our great High Priest (II Chron. 26:16-20). Christ is God's priest (typified by the Old Testament priesthood), and not even a king can come to God except through Him (John 14:6). God judged Uzziah and he died a leper. When Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord.

(Vs. 2) Around the throne Isaiah saw the seraphims, Who are these seraphims? There are many odinions, such as heavenly creatures, or angels, or perhaps (in figurative language) the true ministers of Christ.

(vs. 3-4) What is their cry? "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts." The chief attribute of God is His holiness. God is love, God is just, God is merciful; but "holy and reverend is His name." All that God is and does must be in agreement with His holiness. Nowhere is the holiness of God revealed more than at Calvary, when His holiness demanded and carried out the death of His Son to redeem a people (Rom. 3:25-26). The whole earth is His; all that is in it and all creation shall serve His glory (Rev. 4:11).

(Vs. 5) What was Isaiah's response to this revelation of God's presence and holiness?

The two-fold cry of the word, of the gospel, of those who have seen the Lord is, (a) "All flesh is grass" and (b) "Behold your God" (Isa. 40:6-9). The sinfulness of sin, the inability of the flesh, and the need of sovereign mercy are only dicovered in the light of God's holiness. Job experienced this (Job 42:5-6) and so shall all whom God is pleased to bring to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus.

(Vs. 6-7) God revealed to Isaiah, the sinner, His mercy and grace. When he saw the holiness of God, realized his corruption and evil, and confessed his sinfulness and inability, there follows the application of mercv and grace in Christ. Self-judgment always precedes forgiveness (I John-1:8-10). Grace is only for the guilty; Christ died only for the ungodly (I Tim. 1:15; Rom. 5:6-8).

(Vs. 8) "Who will go with the message of substitution and satisfaction through the person and work of Christ?" only the man whose lips have been touched by experience with that fire from the altar. "Here am I, send me." I know, have experienced, and love that gospel.

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.