Great Old Testament Questions #3 - Whom Shall I Send, and Who Will Go For Us
Text: Isa. 6:8
Thesis: To note that evangelism is the natural reaction to encountering God and experiencing His forgiveness.
(1) How many times have you heard sermons on personal evangelism that stress the necessity of it?
(2) Today, let us approach this topic from a different angle by noting that a person who has truly encountered God and experienced His forgiveness will naturally be involved in personal evangelism.
I. The Story:
A. “In chapters 1-5 Isaiah has been convicting the people of sin and their need of cleansing – in this chapter he humbly confesses his own need and his identification with the nation. He does this by rehearsing his initial meeting with God” (J. McGuiggan 87).
B. In the year of King Uzziah’s death (ca. 740 B.C.), Isaiah had a vision in which he saw the Lord sitting on His throne.
1. According to John 12:37-41, Isaiah saw the Preincarnate Christ.
2. The ‘train’ (v. 1) was “literally ‘his skirts,’ i.e., the long, flowing material of the royal robe” (C. Woods 31).
3. Above Him was the ‘seraphim,’ i.e., the “fiery beings, a special class of angels” (H. Hailey 75).
a. From verse 2, “this threefold disposition of the creatures’ wings apparently signified, respectively, their reverence, their humility, and their readiness to serve” (C. Woods 32).
b. They cry out and declare the Lord’s holiness (v. 3) [Note: “The number three seems to be employed primarily for the sake of emphasis” (E. Young 1:244)].
4. Then, the posts of the door shook and the house was filled with smoke.
C. As a reaction to this, Isaiah confessed his own unworthiness and sins (v. 5).
D. Then, one of the seraphim touched Isaiah’s mouth to purge his sins (vv. 6-7).
- “In a symbolic sense fire is regarded as having purifying power. The application of fire to the lips, therefore, symbolized the facts that those lips were cleansed. This cleansing, however, is not the work of fire, but of the Lord; it rests upon the fact, as is brought out in the next verse, that a sacrifice for sin has been offered” (E. Young 1:250).
E. After experiencing God’s forgiveness, Isaiah volunteered to be God’s representative/prophet to Israel (v. 8).
F. Beginning with verse 9, God explained that Isaiah would encounter many people who would not listen; however, there would be a remnant that will hear and be saved.
II. The Application:
A. The Lord is still sitting on His throne today ruling over the everlasting kingdom.
B. When a person comes into the Lord’s presence, that person experiences the Lord’s majesty.
C. As a result of such an experience, the person is moved to see his/her own unworthiness and sinful state.
D. If the person is willing, he/she may then experience God’s forgiveness.
E. In reaction to the whole encounter, the person is moved to be a willing volunteer to carry the good news to others.
(1) In other words, a person who isn’t involved in evangelism doesn’t know God and/or appreciate forgiveness.
(2) Today, will you experience God and His forgiveness?