The world was rocked on August 16, 1977. The King of Rock ‘n Roll had died. Millions of people mourned their loss and thousands gathered around Graceland. Elvis Presley was perhaps the first true American rock legend. Even kids today, who most likely have never even heard one of his songs, still know him as…”the King”.
If there had been newspapers in 700BC, perhaps the headlines would have been similar: King Uzziah Dead! The Southern Kingdom of Judah was rocked. This king died after reigning for 40 years, in which the kingdom of Judah experienced peace and prosperity. The nation had not known this type of peace since another famous king had ruled, King Solomon. The kingdom was thrown into turmoil, and uncertainty ruled the day.
A prophet named Isaiah lived at this time. He was saddled with the task of taking the Word of God to a people who were “deaf and blind”, meaning, that they were refusing to listen to the warning of impending doom brought upon them because of their sin. In the looming shadow of Assyria, this prophet and this nation, staggered with the reality that their king was gone.
It was then that Isaiah was given the vision that we read about in Isaiah 6. When he caught a glimpse of the LORD, everything changed. The beauty of the passage is that as we too catch a glimpse of the LORD, our lives can be altered forever as well.
A glimpse of God will change my view of God. (Isaiah 6:1-4)
No doubt the instability of the political scene weighed heavily on Isaiah’s heart when Uzziah died. When Isaiah caught a glimpse of God in his throne room, it radically changed his view of God. He came to realize that God, the true King of Israel, was still on the throne. He was in control. As he saw God seated on the throne he understood that God’s rule and power never wavers, even in times of uncertainty and instability for us. When we see God for who he is, it brings awe. We are moved by his holiness. We are comforted by his control.
A glimpse of God will change my view of myself. (Isaiah 6:5)
As Isaiah envisioned the absolute holiness of God, he immediately realized his absolute sinfulness. Several times leading up to Isaiah 6, Isaiah had uttered the “Woes…” to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Railing out against their sinfulness, he called them to repentance. When faced with absolute holiness, he realized his own need for repentance. Often we will be quick to pick out the sins of others. However, we should always live in light of God’s holiness and our need of repentance – even when life necessitates that we confront others due to their sin.
A glimpse of God will change the nature of my heart. (Isaiah 6:6-7)
When Isaiah responded with a repentant and sincere heart, he immediately experienced the forgiveness and healing that God brings. His lips were touched with a coal and he was told, “…your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” Repentance prepares us for forgiveness. When God forgives, he forgives completely.
A glimpse of God will change the course of my life. (Isaiah 6:8)
Here this prophet of God had his view of God radically changed, repented, realized his need for forgiveness, and now was prepared for further service. As we experience the life-changing view of God and repent of our sin, enjoying his forgiveness, we are then spurred on to service to share with others this message of grace and mercy.
If you have not recently spent time focusing on who God is, perhaps a study of Isaiah 6 is in order. Allow your glimpse of God to change the character and course of your life. Accept the incredible conviction that comes with viewing God for who he is. Repent of sin, experience forgiveness, and faithfully reach out to others with the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ.