Saturday, August 19, 2017

Isaiah post 3 - I See The Lord (Chapter 6)

My previous post focused on the first five chapters of Isaiah, which ended with a song to his Well-Beloved - YHVH - who is the creator of the vineyard in the song.

All of this leads up to Isaiah's famous vision in chapter 6.  It starts out like this:

In the year King Uzziah died 

King Uzziah died in 740 BC.  He was 16 when he became king and ruled for 52 years.  He started out well, but then he slipped toward the end.  He burned incense in the temple even though he was warned not to, and he ended up with leprosy for the rest of his life.   The lesson:  God is Holy.

I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.

The first thing that jumps out at me is that the word Lord is not capitalized, which means it is NOT the name YHVH here.  It is the Hebrew word Adonai, which means lord or master.  Who is Isaiah seeing?  John 12:40-41 connects this passage with Yeshua.  No one has ever seen God, who is Spirit.  But Yeshua is the physical manifestation of the spirit of God.

The passage continues:

Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  

This is the only place in the Word where seraphim is used as an angelic being.  Normally the word cherubim is used.  It is interesting to note that seraphim means burning ones, or snakes.  The devil had probably been one of the seraphim and then lost his wings when he rebelled against God.  Perhaps that is why he shows up as a slithering snake in the garden.

And one cried to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”

This time the word YHVH is used.  All through the Hebrew scriptures, if you see LORD in capital letters, you can know that it is the actual name of God being used there.  Yahweh, Jehovah, Yehovah... there are many pronunciations today because His Holy Name has been hidden for so long.

Also, the word holy, kadosh, is used three times.  When you see something in scripture repeated three times, it is the ultimate emphasis.

And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.

That's quite a vision.  Isaiah was cut to the core by it. 

So I said:
“Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”

Isaiah saw his own uncleanness and could not worship. He was horrified at himself and also his people, and was afraid because of the Lord’s absolute holiness.

Isaiah is representing a nation that is supposed to be holy and worship God, but they also are unclean, as we saw in chapters 1 through 5.

So what is the solution?  It is provided by the LORD Himself.

He sent one of the seraphim to Isaiah, who took away Isaiah's iniquity by fire; a live coal to the lips.

Verse 8 is simply amazing.  Following the removal of Isaiah's iniquity, the Lord posed this question.

“Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

Do you see how quickly one can be transformed by the Lord?  This is the power of the Gospel.  Isaiah went from "I am filthy" to "Pick me, pick me!"

Chapter 6 continues, and shows the assignment that Isaiah is given.  He will go to people who are hard of heart and who will not heed his message.  Isaiah then asks in verse 11,

Then I said, “Lord, how long?”

Isaiah sees the land desolate and the people scattered. The Lord replied to his question with a near/far prophecy that was fulfilled with the captivity to Babylon and also the future destruction by Rome. (It is interesting to note that Rome was being founded around this time of Isaiah starting his ministry.)

It is not all doom and gloom, however.  There will be a Holy seed, a stump left in the land. 

The stump symbolizes Israel. There has always been a remnant of Jews left in the land.

The stump is  also a picture of the Messiah, both His first and second comings. He is the seed of the woman foretold in Genesis 3:15. Israel is symbolized by the stump because it must sprout before Messiah returns.

It is noteworthy to mention that both Assyrians and Rome cut down the trees, which devastated the land. Both times though, there were many stumps left in the land. 

Time goes by. Stumps lay dormant, then they shoot out a branch.

The prophetic stump “sprouted” when the Jews returned from Babylon, the temple was rebuilt, and eventually the Messiah came for His first visit.  The scattering happened again in 70 AD, and the stump is "sprouting" again today, getting ready for His second visit.  The Jews are being regathered to the land, and there is much talk of rebuilding the temple, amidst much opposition.

The stump represents the Abrahamic covenant.  Throughout history, many have tried to uproot this stump but have been unsuccessful.  God made a promise to Abraham that is everlasting.  The covenant, found in Genesis 12, 15,and 17, includes the promise of the Land (Israel), the seed (Messiah) and the blessing (Salvation).

Stay tuned for some really cool prophecy in my next post!

Click here for the next post.

If you would like to start at the beginning of Isaiah, click here.

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