STUDY/DISCUSSION GUIDE For the week of January 2-8. Isaiah 6:1-8. THEME: Here I Am, Send Me! INTRODUCTION. I. A Renewed Vision of God (v.

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1 STUDY/DISCUSSION GUIDE For the week of January 2-8 Isaiah 6:1-8 THEME: Here I Am, Send Me! INTRODUCTION This study of Isaiah s renewed preparation and call by God will be a rich resource for us as we look ahead to the new year before us. Just as Isaiah heard the question posed by God, Whom shall I send and who will go for us, so we hear it today. Humanity s rebellion against the rule of God has left us under the rule of darkness (Eph. 2:1-3). It is into this world that lives in darkness that we are called to bring the light of Christ. May each one of us see, in Isaiah s renewed call, our own call to be sent as a prophetic voice within our sphere of influence and beyond. I. A Renewed Vision of God (v. 1-4) Even though Isaiah had been an effective prophet of God, he still needed a deeper renewed call from God. Isaiah s renewed call as a prophetic voice to a dark world required that he first be given a clear vision of God. The histories of men and women who have responded to God s call have one thing in common. They have all encountered a personal transforming vision of God. For some it was like Isaiah, Moses, or Paul, who were given literal visions of God. For others it was a vision that was the result of spiritual insight and revelation of who God is through His word and Spirit. We see this referred to in 2 Corinthians 3:18, where it declares we are those beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image. Ephesians 1:17-18 and 3:18-19 refer to seeing God through revelation and spiritual understanding that is given by God deep within our spirit. In Isaiah s vision of God: Lord adonai (Gk.) a reference to God s supreme authority and a clear reference to Christ. Sitting on a Throne This refers to seeing God as one in ultimate sovereign rule over all things. The LORD has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all (Ps. 103:19). See also 1 Kings 22:19, Ezra 43:7, and Jeremiah 17:12. High and Lifted Up This is another way to emphasize God s supreme authority over all thrones, demonic or human. God is able to override anything or anyone to bring about His own purposes. Page 1 of 5

2 Above Stood Seraphim The root word for Seraphim is burning. These angelic beings were an area of golden light over the throne of God. They were in constant awe of God and ready to serve God s bidding. They each had six wings, two wings covered their faces in awe and reverence, two wings covered their feet in humility, and two wings were ready to go and act upon the call of God. Isaiah then hears the song of these angels. Holy, holy, holy is cried out by these angels. This word holy conveys the idea of God being totally other than all things in His perfections. It is said three times to express intensity and as a reference to God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Lord of Hosts, a term that refers to a ruler, Lord, who has His army, hosts, ready to enforce His will. The whole earth is full of His glory God s perfections are revealed in His creation and its order in the midst of creation s unfathomable complexity and beauty. It is humanity, being made originally in God s image, that has marred the glory of God more than any other created thing. House was filled with smoke This refers to a cloud or mist that at times appeared in connection with God s manifested presence (see 1 Kings 8:10, 2 Chron. 5:13, Ezra 10:4). 1. What reasons can you give for the need to have a genuine spiritual grasp of who God is before you can effectively fulfill His call upon your life? 2. Based upon Isaiah s description of this vision of God, what do you believe would be the primary results upon Isaiah s life? 3. What do you believe may be an area of your life that needs a renewed call and commission from God? NO CHILDREN: 1. Describe signs of a marriage where a renewed call to marriage would be needed. 2. What change of heart would be required in your life to be able to receive a fresh vision of God that would result in you being able to fulfill your call to your family? WITH CHILDREN/GRANDCHILDREN: 1. Describe signs of a marriage where a renewed call to marriage would be needed. 2. Describe signs that can be seen in the life of your children that point to a need for you to seek a renewed call as their parent. 3. What change of heart would be required in your life to be able to receive a fresh vision of God that would result in you being able to fulfill your call to your family? Page 2 of 5

3 II. A Renewed Vision of Ourselves (v. 5-7) 1. Isaiah s renewed call to be a prophetic voice for God required a much deeper sense of humility and consecration to whatever God would call him to do and to say. Woe is me - In light of God's perfect glory, Isaiah senses his own fallen state as a prophet of God. He sees that his lips could never convey the glory of God as he now sees it. The apostle Peter had a similar revelation about himself recorded in Luke 5:8. Spiritual pride is the most deceptive sin of all. This pride poisons our words and creates its own agenda and then calls it ministry. Like Isaiah, this must be faced if we are to be of any real usefulness to God s own purposes. It becomes paramount for us to sincerely come to the end of the rule of self. Instead we must embrace the call of Christ, deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and then follow Him (Matt. 16:24). 2. Isaiah s renewed call also required a genuine identification with the sins of those he was called to serve. I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. Isaiah fully identified with the sins of those he would soon be sent to as God s servant. Both he and they had unclean lips. This genuine identification with the sins of those we are called to serve is vital. Without this genuine sense of identification with those we serve for Christ we will be of little value. Nehemiah is an example (Neh. 1:1). Even Jesus, who was perfect, was touched with the feelings of our temptations and weaknesses (Heb. 4:15-16). 3. Confession of the depths of sin s corruption in our lives opens the way for complete cleansing. a live coal - This live coal was taken from the altar of burnt offerings in the court outside the temple. The fire of this altar was first started by God Himself (Lev. 6:12-13). purged - This is from the Hebrew word kaphar, which means to cover or make atonement for sin. The altar this coal was taken from was the same altar used to sacrifice animals as a substitute for the death every sinner will experience as a result of his sin. Thus, this coal represented the forgiveness God provides through a substitutionary death. This points to the ultimate sacrifice for all sins through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. The preparation of our inner life must include this deep soul searching that only a vision of God given by the Holy Spirit can give. Even a great prophet like Isaiah who had been used powerfully in his prophetic declarations in the first five chapters of Isaiah needed this further preparation. 1. How would you describe a person who feels called by God but has not gone through this process of a revelation of God and of their own sinful life, followed by deep and gracious cleansing from God? 2. Why is it indispensable for us to genuinely identify with the sins of those we are trying to bring to repentance and faith in God? Page 3 of 5

4 1. Describe the benefits you have seen when you genuinely empathize with the struggles and sin of your spouse or children. 2. What are the results within a family when each member of the family does not honestly face their own responsibility for the problems within that family? 3. What are the results in a family when there is little empathy for those who have failed in their call as a spouse, parent, or child? III. A Renewed Call and Commission (v. 8) 1. God presents this renewed call to Isaiah as a question, not a command. Isaiah hears God ask if there is anyone who is willing on behalf of us to be sent. Us, of course, being a clear reference to the New Testament revelation of God as triune Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This question points to the obvious conclusion that there may not have been anyone ready or willing to be sent on such a difficult calling as the one that awaited Isaiah. He would be sent to speak to those who would not heed his words. The fact is, many who call themselves Christians will suffer for money, fame, or other self-serving pursuits, but would never do so for God. Thus they are neither ready nor willing to serve God in being sent on His behalf to anything that may cost them. Neither will God send an angel, for God has decreed that it will be by the foolishness of the message preached that humanity is saved (1 Cor. 1:21). It is vital that we take notice of the fact that God does not command or force Isaiah to take on God s call upon his life. Instead He asks. This points to the fact that God is seeking willing hearts who sincerely seek to share in God s heart for people. Tragically, this has resulted at times when He finds no one is willing to respond to the desperate call to bring God s kingdom into the lives of others. This question God posed that was overheard by Isaiah continues to be given to this very hour. God is still seeking those who will go where He sends them, from the rest homes of our city unto the most remote regions of our world. 2. The response of one transformed by a vision of God and of themselves. Having seen the reality of God s glory there was nothing that could hinder Isaiah from offering to God a completely abandoned life to Him. Seeing God s glory will make the most selfless acts of servanthood on God s behalf as a true joy. Page 4 of 5

5 Isaiah fully yielded to God s call in the place he already was. Like many of us, Isaiah didn t need to be sent to a new place, but simply re-sent to the place God had already given him as a prophet of Israel. This is repeated countless times. God shakes us to the core with a revelation of His greatness, not to send us anywhere new, but to be re-sent to where we already are. It s a mother or father being re-sent to be fully faithful to the prophetic role as a parent. It s an employee or employer re-sent into the work place to be first and foremost a voice in word and deed for God. It s the same for everyone who calls themselves a Christian! Have you seen His face? Have you heard His call? Listen! Be prepared. Seek His face, face your self-idolatry. Be purged and be sent, re-commissioned. Make Isaiah s prayer your own: Here am I send me! 1. If you are unable to abandon yourself to God s call, what steps do you need to take to get past that? 2. Describe why it is possible for the deepest joy in life to come from a truly selfless, loving obedience to be sent as God s servant no matter where or what it may be. 1. What advice would you give to a husband or wife whose spouse is not willing to accept God s call upon them for their role in the marriage or as a parent? 2. How does a renewed vision of God have the power to renew your call to your marriage or to parenting your children? CONCLUSION This call Isaiah responded to is perfectly seen in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He too was sent into this world to seek and to save that which was lost. He left the glories of heaven and emptied Himself of His divine prerogatives to become one of us. A man, yet still God, who brought the light of the Kingdom of God to our dark world. God have mercy upon us and may great grace be with us so we too will respond to God s call and be sent to our own generation and world. Page 5 of 5

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