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ISAIAH 6:1-7

"And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts."

 

Worship, Even Among The Angels!

 

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

 

"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, 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 mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged."

 

LESSON 1, VERSE 1:

It's one of the best-known Passages in all the Old Testament. Isaiah is one of the "major" Prophets anyway.

The Text begins: "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple." Isaiah 6:1

Really I had already decided to preach Isaiah 6:1-7, before remembering precisely how it began. Indeed, the first thing it mentions is the death of someone. Someone dear to the Prophet.

The name "Uzziah" means "Jehovah is my strength." The name "Norma" means "a pattern or model," one of a proper and orderly nature.

The deaths of such people, fundamentally significant in one's life, can be earth-shaking.

Isaiah even dates current events from such a time! So do I. It's been three weeks today since it happened, since my Darling left to go to Heaven. I suppose my whole way of looking at time has changed.

Some events one never gets over, not completely.

Apparently Isaiah and Uzziah were quite compatible. Friends, you might even call them. Of the same spirit. So were Sister Norma and I, best of friends.

Here's how Scripture describes Uzziah's death, from 2nd Chronicles 26:23. "So Uzziah slept with his fathers."

And here's how Scripture describes Sister Norma's death: "Them also which sleep in Jesus." Her spirit has gone to Heaven, her soul too. Her body "rests" in the grave. 1st Thessalonians 4:14

How can one "handle" such an event?

With Whom does one replace the friend he held so dearly?

How do you "fill" that great big hole in your heart?

Isaiah has the answer!

The only answer!

"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord." Get the wording here, Isaiah 6:1.

Isaiah saw the "Lord." It's "Adonay" in Hebrew, a strengthened form of "Adon," meaning "master, commander, superintendent, strong one, firm one, owner," all from a root verb meaning "to rule!"

Isaiah saw the One ruling his life, every area of it!

The only Being Who can supplant my loss is the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father, the precious Holy Spirit!

I don't need grief counseling.

Nor do I seek some psychiatrist's couch.

No pills, either.

I just need Jesus, the one who is "touched" with the deep feelings in my heart. The One Who knows loneliness; "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me," far better than I do.

I just need the Father, the One Who knows how to give to His children. "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?" God makes no mistakes!

I just need the Holy Spirit. The One Who is so often called the "Comforter!" Gentle and kind to the hurting. Like our Lord, "A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench."

Uzziah gone, the Lord in view!

My wife gone, the Lord is my Help.

Sister Norma was my "help meet." I learned that term back in Genesis 2:18, at the Adam/Eve creation event. Now read Psalm 30:10, "Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper." The word "helper" is "ezer," same as "help meet!"

Now, the Lord is my "Help Meet!"

Notice that Isaiah never completely got his eyes, his thoughts, his love, his respect off King Uzziah. The Text says that "he saw also the Lord!"

Never forget those loved ones!

Honor their memory!

Especially the godly ones!

Of course the preeminence belongs to the Lord!

He must increase!

He, after all, is God.

And what a great God He is!

Three facts to prove such, all from Isaiah 6:1.

God is "sitting on a throne." Isaiah is having a vision of Heaven! A foretaste of Glory! As did Paul! As did John! As did Daniel.

The verb "sitting" exudes "peace, tranquility, harmony," meaning "to dwell, remain, abide," translating "yashab" in Hebrew.

All is well ... in Heaven!

So ... all can be well in my heart!

The Lord is next "high and lifted up." Two often-occurring Hebrew terms, "rum" and "nasa," synonyms doubled for emphasis! God can not be elevated too highly in our hearts and minds and spirits. After all, He is already there in Heaven, supremely exalted!

"Let us exalt his name together." Psalm 34:3

Now here's really lifting Him up. "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." Revelation 5:12, Amen!

In ancient days, the length of a King's robes, his "train" or the "hangings down" of his garments, was a sure indication of his dignity and power and honor!

So, of the Lord, "And his train filled the temple." Isaiah 6:1, our Text, again. This "hints" at a correlation between the Temple and the Honor and Glory of the Lord. Truly, the Tabernacle/Temple were overflowing with truths that gloriously pointed to the Lord!

As much as any subject in all the Bible! So much so that Exodus gives multiple chapters, over a dozen, to the construction of God's earthly dwelling place!

At Church too, we should see God! In Spirit and in Truth, as His precious Word is preached!

Am I getting too long today?

"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple." By now we are concentrating less on death and more on God! Less on sorrow and more on awe! Less on history and more on the future!

A sure future ... to those who know the Lord!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 2:

We are actually going to get to see and hear some angels worship the Lord God Almighty! Through the auspices of God's Word.

"Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly." The Prophet Isaiah is an eyewitness to this event, Isaiah 6:2.

The "it" of our verse is God's Throne, I think, rather than the Temple itself.

In case you're wondering how they can "stand" and still have their feet "covered" as well, anyone can do that!

Feet can both stand and be covered simultaneously. Yours were all day if you stand on your job, also wearing shoes I presume! The shoes "cover" one's feet.

"Seraphims" are certain kinds of angels. Then there is an archangel, Michael by name, and other angels called "cherubim," and a countless host of "ordinary" angels.

But, specifically, what are "seraphims?"

The word means "burning one," really "brightly shining" I have been told. Such "burning" might also indicate great purity and holiness, the dross having been eradicated by the intense flames!

Note this. No one will ever approach Almighty God apart from having a pure heart. You can't cuss all day Saturday and meet God in any powerful sense on Sunday morning. These angels are pure.

The word is spelled "seraph," but when plural it becomes "seraphiym." The King James translators made it plural again, for emphasis. Doubly plural, and praising God!

That's the kind of "pluralism" I like!

"Six" is generally considered to be the Bible number of mankind, usually lost mankind, without God. Anti-Christ takes that number, triples it, and makes it his insignia.

But maybe the six wings, surely some even number was required, are meant to show us, once hell-bound sinners, how to better worship the Living God. In Hebrew, "six" is "shesh."

Now here's a lesson in contextuality. The noun for "wings" is "kanaph," translated several different ways in the Bible. It is rendered "skirts" 14 times! Also "borders," and "corners" and "ends." But it can and often does mean "wings," too.

Therefore to establish meaning here the Lord led the King James translators to use the logical choice. The word the "sense" of the Passage demands. Angels don't wear "skirts," as far as we know anyway! Or "borders" or "corners" either!

But angels do have "wings!" Thus, the definition is selected, grammatically and hermeneutically so.

The word "face" is "paniym," plural again! The angel's "faces?" They can wear the face of "judgment," the face of "compassion," the face of "warfare," and so many more.

Their faces are "covered" though. "Kasah" means "to hide." Surely this reveals an attitude of humility in worship. No fleshly showing of oneself here. Heads bowed, please.

So are their "feet" covered. "Regel" is the noun, "ragal" the verb from which it comes. "To go on foot, to spy out, even "to backbite and slander" a time or two! Such dirty activity must be diminished, extinguished really! Angelic feet submitting to Jesus the Lord!

Subdued by the Presence of God Himself!

But two wings are left!

"And with twain he did fly."

Wow!

Mobility!

Ready to go!

Swiftly!

On standby!

Completely alert!

Such amazing creatures would likely be eye-catching. There before the very throne of God like they are!

It wouldn't surprise me, not at all, if Sister Norma has not yet moved from the very place Isaiah saw these great vistas! That young lady just did not get in a hurry anyway! And there's certainly no need to rush now!

If she is soaking it all in, the Throne and God on it, the rainbow too, all the way around the Throne! An emerald green rainbow, on top of that! The living creatures, now known to be angels, the six-winged kind, worshipping the God Who so loved us that "He gave His only begotten Son!" Why, she's having a good time!

Plus, she now can bend and bow and fall prostrate before the One she loved. And sing, oh how she loved singing, she's "in" on that great Hymn by now! "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." Revelation 5:12

Humility, purity and obedience!

What gifts to lay at Jesus' Feet!

I'm suspecting this is the right way to worship!

We shall all be there some day, all who are really saved.

It wouldn't hurt to prepare a little in advance.

"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly."

Heaven, and what's happening there right now!

Thank you Lord, peace is coming to my soul.

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSE 3:

Isaiah 6:3 is our verse today. I'm beginning to think that I have probably misread it for years now! Well, perhaps just read it too quickly, or too casually.

It says something I've never realized.

"And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." Isaiah 6:3

Numerous angels, "seraphim" by name, are worshipping the Lord God. This no doubt continues in Heaven this very minute. My sweet wife, a new resident there, has heard the chorus no doubt. She may have even been allowed to join the choir, singing again with that sweet voice the Lord gave her.

But here's the unique thing. I always thought their words were directed "to" the Lord. I know the adoration they're giving is certainly "about" the Lord.

But, if you are talking "about" Him, that does not necessarily mean that you are talking "to" Him.

Watch the words I emphasize. "And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory."

Wow!

The Hebrew says, "this one cried to that one."

"Cried," spelled "qara," means, among other things, "to utter a loud sound!" In the King James Version of Scripture "qara" is translated several different ways. Here they are in descending order of appearance: "call, cry, read, proclaim, name, invite, give, bid, preach!"

I honestly used to think that there were three angels here. Where did I get that? From the three "Holy" descriptors?

It says "seraphims," that's all.

Their number is plural.

Two or more.

Probably more.

Lots more?

Heaven, really the God of Heaven, seems to do things on a big scale! Why not this too?

One could say we have a great worship service in progress here. And he would be right.

But, precisely, I think it's a "testimony" meeting too!

Talking to each other, a bunch of angels, about the Holiness of Almighty God! "And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts."

Now, notice this.

What are they saying about our Lord?

"Holy, holy, holy!"

The old-timers called Him, the "thrice" Holy God!

One Preacher believes that's a "Holy" for God the Father, one for God the Son, and a third for God the Holy Spirit!

Triune worship!

"Qodesh" means "set apart, sanctified, separated, hallowed," even "tabooed" says one grammar textbook.

God is sinless!

But more, He is "different!"

None like Him!

So much so that He is "awesome," actually "dangerous" to the careless disrespectful fool! That's where the "taboo" idea gets involved.

I believe holiness is God's central character trait! The very substance of his Being! The elixir of His Essence!

He is Holy!

Yes, I know God is said to have other traits, attributes they are called, in Scripture.

God is love.

God is light.

God is life.

And others.

But, no where can I find a verse that says "Light, light light, is Almighty God!" Or, "Love, love, love" either!

Or as many today would like to wrongly believe, "Compromising, compromising, compromising is the Lord of Hosts!"

No!

His Holiness is foremost!

His Special-ness, his Unique-ness, His Different-ness, His One-Of-A-Kind-ness, His very Separate-ness from Sin is paramount here! "Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts."

Amen!

Then the specific Name they are using, "Lord of Hosts." It means the "God of the armies!" The armies of Heaven one assumes. Truthfully, as this world is going to see one day, He's the God of all their armies too! Like He called the fishes to the right side of the boat, He is going to call the fighting forces of the nations of earth to a battlefield in Israel one of these days. To Armageddon! For their utter destruction as they vent their wrath against that little Nation.

He is the Lord of the armies!

But also, this specific Name seems to be used a lot when the Lord's people have grown cold and indifferent. As Israel had in the days of Isaiah! It's a wake-up call to the redeemed!

We're in a battle!

War is on!

Get right with God.

Be combat ready!

And, naturally, a God this great, this overwhelming, will impact earth. Both figuratively or spiritually, and literally!

"The whole earth is full of his glory."

In a way it is now. My heart this morning is bubbling with it, His Honor and Glory and Praise!

So are the hearts of thousands upon thousands of others!

Round the world, round the clock, at every sunrise (which is a constant phenomenon somewhere every second) and at every sunset. "From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised." Psalm 113:3

But, this Glory will be even more evident when Jesus comes again! Here's an example. "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day." 2nd Thessalonians 1:7-10

That brilliant fire, His Glory!

That glorious Power too, cause for saintly admiration!

Glory, when He comes again!

And we Christians even call Heaven ... "Glory!"

My Wife has truly gone to Glory!

"Glory," spelled "kabod," is defined literally as "heaviness, weightiness," suggesting the gravity and somberness and seriousness with which we are to treat the dear Lord.

Tell Him what He's worth to you!

Ascribe to Him His proper value, His "weight," His importance, in your life!

That's Glory, as defined here.

Of course, He "glows" with it too, another concept of Glory.

He radiates Light, "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him." All because of His resplendent Glory! Revelation 1:7, John is an eyewitness!

Our whole Verse now. "And one (the seraphim) cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." Isaiah 6:3

One more thing.

Guess what Sister Norma's and my favorite verse has been. Our forty-four years and five months "theme" verse! The "life" verse of our marriage! Our statement of purpose!

"O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together." Psalm 34:3

Don't you see it?

We have been doing what those angels in Heaven are doing, just not as long as they have.

"O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together."

We've said for years, one to another, God is great!

God is kind!

God is Saviour!

God is love!

But, most of all, God is holy!

That verse, more of Sister Norma's choosing than mine, way back in the Summer of 1964, speaks volumes to my heart today.

Sweetie, you're in Heaven now. I'm still down here on earth. But you being there and me being here in no way limits us from obeying Psalm 34:3. In fact, let's do it now more than ever!

Like the angels do!

"O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together."

I love you dearly.

                                                                                          --- Mike

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 4:

The Verse is nearly cryptic, at least on the surface. Or is Isaiah merely relating what he saw and heard, all meaning laid aside? "And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke." Isaiah 6:4

As the Lord in Heaven is being worshipped, certain physical manifestations occur! It may be that physical anomalies exist everywhere true Deity comes or goes.

When you really think about it, Jesus proves this point. Miracle after miracle, the lame walking and the deaf hearing and the blind seeing! Plus so much more!

Can it be that such phenomena can't be stopped?

Think of God at Sinai!

Then again, at the Transfiguration!

And Mount Calvary too!

Plus, the Mount of Olives on that yet future day when "His feet shall touch" one more time!

Lightnings, thunderings, earthquakes, dead men walking, suns darkening, curtains ripping of their own accord, mountains splitting, new rivers appearing!

Wow!

Meanwhile, back to Heaven and Isaiah and the Lord. "And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke." Isaiah 6:4

As holy, intense worship continues ... things begin to happen that are, surely, emblematic.

Let's do some word study.

Also, let's keep in mind some traditional Bible meanings for "doors" and "smoke," letting Scripture interpret Scripture.

The verb "moved" is "nua" in Hebrew, "to quiver, shake, totter, tremble, waver, stagger." This word is also the first word in the whole Verse, in Hebrew, giving it great importance, preeminence nearly.

The verb "filled" is "male," meaning "replenished," even to the point of "overflowing."

Both verbs are "imperfects," a grammatical term meaning their "action" remained incomplete. Perhaps the doors shook and the smoke billowed for centuries in Heaven. And no doubt the worship is still occurring!

Now let's analyze the doorposts. The word is "ammah," called "posts" here for logic's sake. Of the 245 times it occurs in the King James Version of Scripture, it is translated "cubit" 242 times! And, even more strangely, "ammah" is a descendent of the basic Hebrew word "em," meaning a "mother!"

These "posts" indicate some kind of plentifulness, 18 inches worth, and the birth process too!

Now add to our vocabulary list the noun "door," spelled "saph." Only appearing 32 times in the Bible, it's "door" 12 times and "threshold" 8 times and "posts," the regular word for doorposts, 3 times and then "gates" 2 more times, a total of only 25. But what about the other 7 times?

Well, then our word "door" becomes "bason" 4 times and "bowls" 2 times and "cup" 1 time.

Putting "posts" and "door" together, simply using the Hebrew definitions, we end up with "bowls" for carrying some kind of liquid, something "pourable." Lots of it! And this Substance gives life, too! Mother-like!

Now, don't leave me yet!

Quickly let's go to the "smoke." A rendering of "ashan" in Hebrew, it's only translated "smoke" or "smoking" in all its Bible appearances, all 25 of them. However, it is built on the root word "ashan," the only difference being in the way that second "a" letter is marked. Pronounced. That closely related!

And the second "ashan" means "anger!"

As in Deuteronomy 29:20, with our word underlined. "The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven."

The context is anger!

Listen to David in 2nd Samuel 22:7-9, talking about God. "In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it." And this paragraph is repeated in Psalm 18, all over again!

Smoke linked to anger, time after time!

Psalm 37:20 too. "But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away."

Maybe clearest of all, Psalm 74:1. "O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?"

Now here it is directly. "O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?" Psalm 80:4, where our word "smoke," "ashan," is translated "be angry!"

Putting it all together, symbolically, there's something about God's Presence that demands a full measuring cup of some substance, likely a liquid, that will requite God's Holy Anger!

Something, we can tell by the next verse, that offers forgiveness of sin to the potential worshipper of God!

And what is that precious Commodity?

I believe it's Blood!

The Blood of the Lamb of God!

When God is approached, Blood is necessary!

Without it, buildings shake and smoke boils!

Without it Anger threatens!

God can only be appeased, propitiated, by that precious Flow!

And Isaiah is about to learn personally this lesson!

Overtly and covertly, patently and latently, it's the Blood that makes Heaven what it is today!

A place of fellowship!

I am so thrilled that Sister Norma believed in the Blood of Jesus.

She resides today in that City, God's Holy City, where the Blood is quite at home too!

She and I shall live this Verse as a testimony for all eternity. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1st John 1:7

We will just have to change the tense of that one verb, "cleanseth," from present to past!

Sin all gone!

Blood yet present!

Yes, it's still the Blood, even in Glory!

And there's still fellowship, one with another, in that celestial Land!

The Place where, at least in Isaiah's day, doors shook and smoke billowed, showing the divine imperative, the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only thing known to Almighty God that both placates His Wrath and generates Life Eternal!

Amen!

God has devised a means of saving old sinners!

Praise His Good Name!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, VERSE 5:

Today's Verse illustrates several Bible principles in action. Let me eventually be more particular.

"Then said I, 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 mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." Isaiah 6:5

If the last Verse we studied, Verse 5, did "hint" at the Blood of Jesus and the Holiness of God and the New Birth, evangelistic themes all, today's Verse is all the more contextual.

The "woe" is an interjection, showing emotion. It's also onomatopoeic, "sounding" like its meaning. In Hebrew, it's spelled "oy" and pronounced "o-e." Almost "woe-ee!" It's a passionate cry of grief or despair!

Back in Isaiah chapter five, Isaiah had himself pronounced five "woes" on the Israelites, deservedly so. In fact, preachers, this is a good outline!

"Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth." Isaiah 5:8, greedy real estate policies!

"Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!" Isaiah 5:11, partying all day long!

"Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope. That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!"  Isaiah 5:18-19, heaping sin upon sin, challenging Almighty God too!

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" Isaiah 5:20, think Congress and Supreme Court!

"Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" Isaiah 5:21, pride, Satan's first sin too!

"Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!" Isaiah 5:22-23, advancing in the depths of sin, hurting others along the way!

Sorry, it was just too good to omit!

Back to Isaiah 6:5. "Then said I, 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 mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

The word "undone" is "dama," something like "finished, cut off, ceased, destroyed, brought to silence."

"Man" is "iysh, not "adam." This means a human being who is not female, but still emphasizes his ultimate frailty and mortality and weakness.

"Unclean" means "defiled or polluted," spelled "tame." It's often used in religious and ethical situations, but certainly can be physical too.

"Lips" can at times include one's language too, "saphah." More literally the word means the "edge" or the "border" of one's mouth.

"To dwell" is "to sit or to remain or to abide" in a place. It's "yashab" in Hebrew, found nearly eleven hundred times in the Bible.

The noun "midst" is "tavek," meaning "among or within or between," coming from a root verb that means "to sever!" Isaiah lived exclusively among his own people! No globalism here!

The adjective/noun couplet "unclean lips," those of the people, use the same vocabulary words we just discussed concerning Isaiah's own lips. He talked like his people talked!

Not in a filthy manner, but colloquially and dialectically. Same language and same mannerisms. One's culture does influence him or her!

What brought all this "woe" business to the forefront? Isaiah said, "For mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

Wow!

The word for "eyes" is "ayin" and can even mean "color and face and presence" too! What one sees reflected in another person's eyes! For example, "the apple of one's eye," literally, the "little man" in one's eye! The reflection!

Hebrew is a picturesque language, beautifully so.

"Have seen" is "raah," meaning "to perceive, to inspect, to consider," careful deliberation being implied. "To gaze upon, to regard" even!

The word "king" is "melek," from a root verb meaning "to reign." Also "to rule, to be consulted."

Who is this King?

"The LORD of Hosts" is Jehovah God, "Yehovah." It's "center" is "hayah," the Hebrew verb "to be." God is, by definition, the One Who is! He eternally is! Always He is! Past, present, future! Never is He not existent!

And "hosts" is "tzsaba," in Hebrew, an "army" or group of "soldiers." Those engaged in "warfare." God here is the Head, the Commander of all Heaven's armed forces!

The old-timers used to preach that this Name for God is most often utilized when Israel was about half-backslidden. When the nation was nearing apostasy and had become idolatrous.

Now, quickly, to those "principles" I promised you.

When a man gets around God, real close, this will happen, "Woe is me!" Humiliation! Abjection! Self-loathing! Gone is this "high and mighty" stuff! That "holier than thou" attitude of Isaiah 65:5.

Remember what precipitated this whole vision of God, the "death" of a loved one. The King had passed away. And, instead of getting bitter or overly remorse, Isaiah concentrated on the Lord! Turn "death" into a growing experience, not a stumbling-block!

The more one emphasizes God's Holiness, His very Core Attribute, the Trait the Seraphim angels were praising over and over, the more one realizes his or her own carnality and impurity.

And, lastly, we here have a classic example of repentance in the God-ordained scheme of Revival. I'll go this far: "No repentance, no Revival, ever!" Oh, America, woe are we!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell 

 

 

LESSON 6, VERSE 6:

The Seraphim not only worshipped God, they served Him too. Maybe both actions are identical. "Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar." Isaiah 6:6

The altar involved was the altar of sacrifice, the brazen altar of Old Testament fame. There an innocent animal, most likely a lamb but perhaps a dove or bullock or ox had been slain. The life offered there was emblematic of Jesus dying on the Cross, the Son of God offering Himself for sinners.

And this "coal," this "fire" alone could cleanse Isaiah of his sins!

Immediately we see that "worship" demands "holiness" of life. Or is it that holiness is a side-effect or by-produce of true worship?

One or the other.

The end result is the same.

In Verse 5 Isaiah confessed his iniquity. "Then said I, 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 mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." We studied that yesterday, Isaiah 6:5.

And 1st John 1:9 tells us that if we "confess," God "forgives!" Look. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

God just did so, kept His promise!

Isaiah confessed.

God forgave.

Notice too that the angels who most want to worship God ... also pine to keep God's children clean and pure!

These Seraphim are theologians in their own right!

They comprehend both theology, the study of God, and hamartiology, the study of sin.

Remember that the word Seraphim means "burning ones." Now here such an angel ministers via live burning coals! By the way, Isaiah 6 is the only chapter in all the Bible where these Seraphim are mentioned by this name.

And Isaiah the Prophet certainly has a strong sense of etymology. He knows what these words mean. Blazing angels handle burning coals to purge away sins!

Our Verse also affords further proof that angels can fly! The most thrilling aspect of angel flight to me right now is found in Luke 16. "And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom." A big "Amen" to Luke 16:22 here. A flight to Heaven, non-stop no doubt!

Today's Verse once more: "Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar." Isaiah 6:6

If we take this literally, in Heaven right now is an altar with hot coals! If we however assume that the earthly Temple is involved, still, Seraphim have flown to earth!

Either way, astounding spiritual principles apply.

A functioning Temple in Heaven?

Angels in our worship services?

There are just some things about the Bible we will not fully understand until we reach Glory.

Whichever interpretation one adopts, worship is potentially life-changing!

Later in Isaiah, God Himself seems to be pictured as "Burning Holiness." Read it. "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil. He shall dwell on high." Isaiah 33:13-16

The Prophet Malachi also. "But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness." Malachi 3:2-3

God's holy, burning Wrath fell on Jesus as He died on the Cross, Wrath we deserved because of our own sins! Jesus suffered in our stead, paid our sin-debt in full! Jesus, the willing Victim of such Fire! No wonder He cried, "I thirst." John 19:28

The word for "tongs" colloquially means something like "a picker-upper." It's from the verb "laqach," meaning "to fetch, seize, take hold of." An angel with a priest's instrument in his hand!

The Lord willing, tomorrow we shall see what the angel does with this hot, burning coal. Isaiah will never be the same again.

Incidentally, notice this. Only one of the angels was allowed to participate in this "purging" exercise. Yet none of the others "complained."

If a group worships together, doing so rightly, the likelihood of dissension and complaining is greatly diminished!

Let us remember that too!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, VERSE 7:

The ultra hot "fire" of God's awesome Holiness and the marvelous "cleansing" power Of Jesus' Blood are combined in today's Verse!

One of the worshipping "Seraphims," angels of God, having admired our Lord around His Throne, has now flown to the fiery brass altar, procured a live hot coal, and come to Isaiah, a man of unclean lips! Admittedly so.

The Prophet testifies. "And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged." Isaiah 6:7

"To lay" is the verb "naga," meaning not only "to touch," but "to strike, to smite, to beat" even! This is a deliberate act! One knows when such a "touch" occurs!

This move is God's response to Isaiah's earlier lament, "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." Isaiah 6:5

Since "unclean" lips, spelled "tame" in Hebrew, meaning "polluted or defiled," dirty in every imaginable way, demand cleansing from God, such a process is underway! And since one's "lips" encircle one's "mouth," that noun is used, "peh," more literally, the "hole" in one's face! Too often "open" on some folks, I might add!

The verbs "laid" and "hath touched" are the same, "naga" again. There's sensation with this "touching" business.

One's "lips" constitute the "border" around his or her mouth, "saphah" in Hebrew.

Now we next come to a critical word, "iniquity."

"And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged." Again, Isaiah 6:7.

"Iniquity" to Isaiah was spelled "avon," that which would have been "perverse, depraved, distorted!" It comes from a base verb that means "to bend or twist" something, out of its original or intended shape.

"Taken away" equals "turned aside, made to depart, removed," even "eschewed" a few times. It's "sur" in Hebrew.

Then "sin" is "chattah," that which "misses" the way or path we should have followed! Thus, it makes one "lost!" To "err" from God's path!

"Purged" is the traditional verb "kaphar," basically meaning "to cover" something unpleasant. But then, "to atone, to cleanse, to appease, to pacify, to pardon, to pitch (as in covering something with a protective substance), to reconcile!"

We're nearly talking "Calvary" language here!

And what was this "cleansing" agent?

A red-hot coal!

From the bloody altar of judgment!

A sure symbol of Jesus' Death on the Cross, His sacrificial shed Blood, its forgiving and propitiating Power!

Isaiah the Prophet, always the evangelist, has proved so again!

This time, personally!

Forgiveness, probably 1st John 1:9 style, has become a reality!

It always does when one truly worships Almighty God!

After a real Worship Service, always give an invitation!

We are here as close to the Gospel of Grace in the Old Testament as we're going to get!

"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Then said I, 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 mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged." Isaiah 6:1, 5-7

Thank the Lord!

Now, the Lord willing, one more Lesson is this Series, tomorrow morning. That's when we shall return to those worshipping angels, who deliberately, or maybe even involuntarily, cried to each other, "Holy Holy Holy is the Lord of Hosts!" Oh, the importance of exalting Jesus "one to another!" Such cannot be overestimated!

What a great God we serve!

And all the Lord's people said, "_________!"

You know what goes in the blank space.

"Amen!"

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, CONCLUSION:

The most alluring feature of our Text, Isaiah 6:1-7, has been, at least to me, the conduct of those angels, the Seraphim.

Particularly this, watch the capitalized words: "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." Isaiah 6:1-3

Not only is God on His Throne.

Not only is He exalted supremely.

Not only is He infinitely holy, thrice holy.

Not only is He the Commander of all Heaven's hosts, armies literally.

Not only is His Glory, to some degree, omnipresent.

But, also, such Truth is so great, so overwhelming, so thrilling, that these creatures speak ONE TO ANOTHER, loudly, of this great God!

I thought when I worshipped, the adoration must of necessity be directed to God Himself. And that is a pretty good idea! For example: "O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty." Psalm 104:1

But here, the praise overflows everything, angels' hearts and minds and divine throne-rooms and even Heaven itself! So profusely and so abundantly does it radiate that one to another God's Seraphim "brag" reverently on their Wonderful Creator!

Next time you're in Church, or under a Gospel tent, or in a Revival Meeting, and God is being praised profusely, as He should be, tell someone near you how Good your Lord has been!

How kind and loving!

How wise and generous!

Or even how stern and righteous!

One to another, uplift the dear Lord!

Now, we all know about the "one-to-another" commands of Scripture.

"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another." Romans 12:10

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32

"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." Ephesians 5:21

"Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds." Colossians 3:9

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16

"Use hospitality one to another without grudging." 1st Peter 4:9

There are more, of course.

But to these we can add, Isaiah-style, worship God, praising Him and exalting Him and uplifting Him "one to another!"

No telling what might happen when we do!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Wow!

Now that would solve a lot of church "gossip," wouldn't it?

"Hello, friend, I just called on the phone to tell you how great God is! Let's praise Him 'one to another' for a while!"

Well, for once, you are probably about to get into a "slander-free, non-gossiping, and likely very "brief" phone conversation!

"One to another!"

Hey, everybody, our God is Holy and Supreme and Righteous and Just and Loving and Eternal and All Powerful and All Knowing and Unchanging and All Truthful and Omnipresent too!

Tell such things everywhere you go today!

One to another.

 

 

What a great God we serve!

 

 

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