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Lesson Passage: Isaiah 6:1-11
Introduction: This passage introduces some of the most vivid themes of the Prophecy of Isaiah. In addition to the pointed, extended analogy of the vineyard (Chapter Five), the text draws us into the very throne room of God (Chapter Six). There, through Isaiah’s eyes, we gain a glimpse into the glory of God as he sits enthroned in regal glory. We should approach this study with great expectation and humility.
I. The Analogy of an Unprofitable Vineyard (5:1-7)
beloved (v.1a): The prophet used very familiar language to refer to God, but
affection and reverence are twin graces.
Isaiah took exception to the unfruitfulness of
husbandman’s preparation and care for the vineyard (vv.1b-2): No one could
fault the husbandman for failing in his careful concern for the vineyard. He dug it, cleared it of stones, planted it
with the best grape vines, constructed a watchtower, and hewed out a winepress.
The Lord of the winery gave all diligence to building a productive vineyard.
Lord’s judgment in the case against
stated the obvious and undeniable fact that
2. God’s plans for the unfruitful vineyard (vv. 5-7): It will be unprotected, devoured, trampled laid waste, and unattended. The Lord pledged to withhold the rains. The useless vineyard cried out for justice.
Six “Woes” Pronounced on
First “Woe” (vv. 8-10): Judgment on Greed.
The land came to
B. The Second “Woe” (vv. 11-17): Judgment on Drunkenness: The sottish people lived to drink. They pursued strong drink from morning until evening. Their corruption was further evidenced by the seeking of entertainment and amusement (v. 12). God promised to show himself in righteousness and holiness; thus, he brought the people to death and destruction (vv. 14-15).
Third “Woe” (vv. 18-19): The Mockery of God and his Judgment: The people of
D. The Fourth “Woe” (v. 20): The Failure of Moral Uprightness and Discernment: The verse makes it difficult to tell if these people have stumbled to such depths as they deliberately call “evil” things “good”; or, perhaps, they have lost all moral discernment and can no longer tell good from evil.
E. The Fifth “Woe” (v. 21): Self-deception and Arrogance: These people believed themselves quite insightful and wise. They mistook shrewdness for wisdom.
Sixth “Woe” (vv. 22-23): Injustice: The writer continued the theme of the
ravages of drunkenness on a society. In
this case, he emphasized the complete collapse of the system of justice in
God’s Current and Impending Judgment on
wrath like a consuming fire (vv. 24-25):
Isaiah compared God’s judgment to a wildfire that might sweep through a
field of dry grass. The inferno blazes
through the field quickly because of the heat of the terrific heat of the fire
and because the stubble and dry grass are ready fuel.
sovereignty over the nations (vv. 26-30):
The great powers of the
IV. Isaiah’s Vision of Jehovah (6:1-13)
approximate date of this vision (v. 1a): Isaiah identifies this event with the
death of Uzziah, probably around 739 B.C.
B. Isaiah’s description of God (v. 1b): The prophet, according to his claim, saw the Lord sitting upon a throne; however, we find no reference to the appearance of God’s likeness. Perhaps Isaiah could find no words to describe the glory he beheld. Of course, God does not have a corporal body like men, but the Lord did manifest himself to Isaiah in some physical appearance.
C. The appearance of the Lord’s throne room (v. 2-4)
1. “sitting upon a throne”: the text emphasizes the royal prerogative and authority of God. Isaiah saw God in his regal splendor, glorious sovereign of the universe.
2. “the train of his robe”: Isaiah’s description of God gets no
higher than the hem of the Lord’s garment.
The train of his robe filled the
3. “Above him stood the seraphim”: These six-winged, angelic beings stood poised above the seated Monarch. With two wings they covered their faces, indicating the radiant glory of the Lord. The seraphs employed two wings to cover their feet, perhaps as a mark of humility, and with two wings they flew. The scene must have flooded Isaiah’s senses as the majestic cry of “Holy, Holy, Holy: coupled with the stately image of the enthroned Sovereign.
4. “the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him
who called”: The cries of the seraphim rocked the very foundations of the
response to the wondrous vision (v. 5): The magnificent scene in the
is me”: Isaiah perceived his utter sinfulness before this majestic scene. He
realized that he was ruined, just as the people of
am lost”: Isaiah realized that he had no place in the
3. “I am a man of unclean lips”: The chorus of the seraphim seemed so magnificent that Isaiah realized his sinful lips could not add to the worship. His defiled mouth could not utter the name of the Lord of Hosts with the purity of the seraphs.
dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips”: Isaiah identified himself with
the sinful people of
E. God’s grace toward Isaiah (vv. 6-7): Note that Isaiah seemed overwhelmed by his unworthiness, and the text gives no indication that he sought cleansing. Perhaps he felt his case hopeless. From the midst of the smoke a seraph emerged with a burning coal from the altar. The angel touched the prophet’s lips with the coal pronounced the poor sinner clean from his sin.
F. Isaiah’s commission (vv. 8-13): Finally, God spoke from his throne. He asked, “Who will go for us?” Immediately, Isaiah volunteered to go where God would send him. Then, the Lord revealed to Isaiah the difficulty of his calling.
1. “make the heart of this people dull” (vv. 9-10): Isaiah’s
task was a judicial act. God sent him to
long, O Lord” (vv. 11-12): Isaiah recoiled a bit from the difficulty of the
assignment. God told him that the
prophet’s message must continue until God had completed his acts of judgment on
3. “though a tenth remain” (v. 13): God’s judgment will
Questions for Discussion: