Connect Group notes for 2-8th of July. If you’re not in a Connect Group yet, get connected.
Questions to ponder before you attend connect group:
- As Uzziah sinned before the Lord, in whose presence did leprosy break out on his forehead? (2 Chronicles 26:19)
- What did God say to Isaiah after his sins were forgiven? (Isaiah 6:8)
Uzziah ruled over Judea wisely, even though he was only 16 when he followed the rule of his father Amaziah. However, toward the end of this rule, he becoming arrogant and proud and began to take part in sacrificial services which could only be done by the priests. Uzziah’s attempt to burn incense on the altar angered God, and Uzziah was afflicted with leprosy, bringing his life to a tragic end.
The people of Judea, having lost their wise king were much like lost sheep without a shepherd. For Isaiah, the helplessness of the Judean people became his anguish and pain. Without leadership or direction, the people’s anxiety and confusion ate away at the kingdom’s stability and enemy nations began eyeing Judea, searching for an opportunity to attack.
1. Isaiah’s Vision
Isaiah saw a vision of God who has absolute authority over all things. It is written in Isaiah 6:1, “I saw the LORD seated on a throne, high and exalted.” This verse tells us God is the absolute authority over this entire universe. Also, “the whole earth is full of his glory,” also shows the expanse of His glory.
2. Isaiah’s Repented
As Isaiah looked upon the glory of God, he received a tremendous shock:
“Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen King, the LORD Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:5)
Before he met God, he failed to recognise his sin. But when he stood facing the LORD, he looked upon himself first. The moment he viewed himself, he realised his sin and repented to God. As Isaiah repented, a live coal touched his lips and God said:
“Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah6:7)
When we believe in God and confess that Jesus Christ is our Savoir, we first become conscious of our guilt. As we stand in front of our holy God, we see how miserable and filthy we really are. We have no choice but to repent, driven by our guilty conscience.
Peter’s first words after experiencing the great miracle of Jesus Christ were, “Go away from the Lord, I am a sinful man” (Luke 5:8). Christ Himself and John the Baptist said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” A man is permitted into heaven only through repentance.
Like Isaiah and Peter, when we truly repent of our sins, God forgives us and shows us His mercy and grace.
3. Isaiah Received God’s Calling
When a person stands before God and realises his sin, repents of his sin, God then calls him. As Isaiah repented to God, God called him.
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8)
Isaiah quickly answered, “Here am I Lord. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). Before believing in Christ, we lived exactly as we liked. Without knowing where we came from why we live, and where we headed, we lived without direction. However, when we repent, Jesus Christ calls us and shows us a new path to follow. Following Christ will give us a new duty, a new mission in life.
Those of us who have received new life and a new path in life have a duty to those who still live meaningless lives. We have a duty to witness to them about God’s judgement and about the glorious kingdom of heaven. This we must do continually.
If we do not shine the light of life to them, they will wander through this dark world of death and despair, ending up with meaningless lives.
It is written in Romans 10:13:
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Without a messenger, however, they cannot hear the message, and without hearing the message they cannot believe. If they do not believe, how can they call out to Jesus? Just as Isaiah delivered the message from God to the people living in such dark times, we must also become messengers of the Word of Life.