Let’s turn now in our Bibles to Isaiah, chapter five, as we continue our study through the bible. In chapter five we have a parable, it begins with a parable. The parable of the vineyard.
Now I will sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: He fenced it, he gathered out the stones, and planted it with the choicest vine, and he built a tower in the midst of it, and also he made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? Now; I’ll tell you what I’m going to do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it will be eaten up; I will break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: I will lay it wast: and it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: and I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. [Then the interpretation of the parable.] For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the man of Judah are his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold there was oppression; he looked for righteousness, and there was just a cry because of the injustice (5:1-7).
So God is speaking against the nation of Judah. God planted them in the land that He had promised to their father Abraham. God nourished them there. God blessed them. He did everything for them that He could to establish a strong and powerful nation. In fact, God finally says, “Tell me, what more could I have done than what I did? Just, you know, I did all that was possible for you. I blessed you. What more could I have done? Why is it that when I was seeking for fruit from the vineyard, that all it brought forth was wild grapes?” In Matthew’s gospel, chapter twenty one, Jesus gave also the parable of a vineyard. Beginning with verse thirty three, Jesus said, “Hear another parable. There was a certain householder (landowner) who planted a vineyard. He hedged it round about, and he dug a winepress in it, he built a tower, and he let it out to husbandmen, and he went to a far country.” So, here again, a parable of a vineyard, and much the same thing. It was planted, and it was prepared. There was the walls to protect it, there were the towers in it. There were, was the winepress. The whole idea of a vineyard is, is to bring forth fruit, pleasant fruit, delectable fruit.
So here, the husbandman let it out. Or he, the householder, the owner, let it out to the husbandman, the vinedressers. “And when the time of the fruit drew near”, that is the time of harvest when he should be collecting the fruit, “he sent his servants to the husbandmen that they might receive the fruit of the vineyard, and the husbandman took his servants, and they beat one, and they killed another, and they stoned another. So he sent other servants, more than the first time, and they did the same to them. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will surely reverence my son. But when the husbandman saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir. Come let’s kill him, and let us seize upon his inheritance. And so they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and they slew him. When the Lord therefore of the vineyard comes, what will he do unto those husbandmen. They said unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and he will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen which will render him the fruit in their season. And Jesus said, Have you never read in the scriptures the stone which the builders rejected? The same has become the head of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing it is marvelous in our eyes. Therefore I say unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. Whosoever shall fall upon this stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. When the chief priests and Pharisees had heard this parable, they perceived correctly that He was speaking about them. And so they sought to lay hands on him, but they were fearing the people.”
In the parable that Jesus gave, the same idea is presented in a little different form, and that is the failure of the nation of Israel to bring forth the desired fruits that God was seeking. In the parable that Jesus gave, it’s very obvious that the husbandmen were the religious leaders, the priesthood that Jesus had placed over the vineyard, who were to take care of it, to nourish it, to till it, to bring forth the fruit. But they failed in their job. When time came to gather fruit, he said to his servants, the various prophets came, some of the prophets they stoned, others they killed, others they beat. So God said, “I’ll send my own Son! For He is the householder.” The Lord, in this parable. “Surely they will reverence Him!”, but instead they plotted to put Him to death, which indeed they did.
So Jesus is predicting that God is going to take His grace, His mercy, His truth to another nation, really to the Gentiles. And, thus the gospel has come unto us, that God might receive fruit. In the fifteenth chapter of John, Jesus again uses the parable of the vine, and the branches. “I am the vine, ye are the branches”, He said. “And every branch in me that bringeth forth fruit, he washes it that it might bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean through the word, which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and let my word abide in you, that you might bring forth much fruit. And therein is my Father glorified.”
But the whole idea, all the way through, what God is looking for, is the fruit of righteousness in our lives. You see my relationship to God, and those things that God has done for me, having done so much for me. The purpose for God doing these things for me is that He might receive fruit from my life. That my life might bear fruit that is pleasing, and pleasant unto Him, that I might bring forth love to Him, praises to Him, fellowship with Him. God is looking for my life to bring forth fruit that demonstrates really, my relationship with Him. But also it demonstrates my appreciation to Him for all that He has done for me. All of His benefits to me. So God is looking for fruit in your life. That love which is manifested in joy and peace, and longsuffering, and patience, and gentleness, and goodness, and meekness, and temperance.
So here in Isaiah, the parable of the vineyard. In here the idea is that God again did everything for them. He planted them in the land, He defended them, He built a wall around them, their cities were built, He watched over them, He helped them develop the land, and the whole purpose was that they might be a people who would live in a loving fellowship with God. That He might enjoy the fruit of this relationship with them. But instead of bringing forth real fruit, it was just wild grapes.
So the Lord said, “What will I do? What more could I have done? I’ve done all I can and, and they just don’t bring forth good fruit. There’s nothing more that I could’ve done, that I didn’t do. And so, this is what I’m going to do. I’m just going to let em go. If they want to bring forth wild grapes, I’ll just let it go wild. I will remove their defenses, and just let them be run over by their enemy. I’ll not give them any more rain.” And thus, the nation went into captivity.
Now beginning with verse eight, He pronounces six woes upon Israel.
Woe to them that join house to house, [Sounds like our subdivisions!] that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth (5:8)!
Or urbanization is what he is saying. Southern California, here we are. No place to really get out you know, among nature. Everything is getting so filled with houses, and commercial interests and all. You know, David said, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the earth shows His handiwork. And day unto day they utter their speech, and night unto night their voice goeth forth.” In other words, God speaks to man through nature. God communicates to us through nature. But when the beauty of the earth gets covered with man’s work, where you can’t really get out and, and, and hear the voice of God in nature. You don’t see the handiwork of God anymore. You see the handiwork of man. The freeways, and the exhaust and the whole thing. It’s tragic really, it’s sad because you miss out so much in the consciousness of God, and of His greatness, of His vastness, of His power.
That is why it’s good for the young people to get away to the summer camp. At least for a week, they can be up there in the mountains removed from all of this man made stuff down here. Get up there and just actually see the stars at night. They can actually see the blue skies, and realize they’re still blue. There, God has a chance to speak to them, not only through nature, but through His word. Tremendous experience for them.
That’s why we are undertaking to build a camp for our young people. Our present facility is great for adults, the kids leave it in shambles. So we need rock cabins, or log cabins. So they’ll either be made out of concrete block or logs. Where the kids can you know, vent their energies, and run up against the wall if they want. But they won’t break through the wall board. But they’ll bounce off of the logs you know. But we feel it is necessary to provide such a place for the young people so for awhile they can get to where they can see the handiwork of God in nature. They can walk through the forest, they can breathe the clear air, and just have a real experience there, studying the word of God, and being made conscious of the glory and the power and the majesty of God in creation.
So God pronounces a woe upon urbanization.
In my ears said the Lord of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, [They were building all of these houses in Judah, but God said they’re gonna be desolate, empty.] even great and fair houses, are going to be without inhabitant. Yes, ten acres of vineyard will yield only eight gallons of juice, [That’s not much for ten acres of ground.] and eighty six gallons of seed will only yield one bushel of grain. [In other words, “Your harvest will be less than the seed that you planted.”] Woe unto them [The second woe.] who rise up early in the morning (5:9-11),
Now here’s where it’s dangerous to take a scripture out of context! You see, you can prove that a person should sleep in. “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning,”] that they may follow strong drink (5:11);
A person who of course starts drinking in the morning, has true signs of an alcoholic. You know if you get up in the morning, and the first thing you look for is the drink, then 99.9 percent sure that you’re an alcoholic already.
that continue till night, and till the wine inflames them! And the harp, the viol, the tabret, and the pipe, [Which is a little flute type of instrument.] and wine, are in their feasts: [They want, you know, the banqueting with the music and so forth.] but they regard not the work of the Lord (5:11-12),
They, they look for skillful musicians. They are wanting to be entertained by skillful musicians. They’re all enthralled with the talents of men, the handiwork of men. But they do not regard the work of the Lord.
neither do they consider the operation of his hands (5:12).
They give glory to man, to man’s creation, to man’s abilities, but they don’t really give glory to God, who it is who gave to man these abilities, and these capacities.
Now I find certain things in nature extremely fascinating, and one is instincts in animals. The instincts in a golden plover. I find it just absolutely fantastic how God can build into a golden plover a tremendous navigational device. They are not very, well they’re pretty smart really! I was gonna say, they’re not very dumb, they’re pretty smart because they spend their winters in Hawaii. That’s pretty smart! But they do their nesting and mating in the Aleutian Islands. So they, in the springtime, take off from Hawaii, and fly two thousand miles over the ocean to the Aleutian Islands, so that they can nest, and mate, and bear their young. As the fall season comes, then they take off from the Aleutians, and fly back to Hawaii to winter in Hawaii.
Now how in the world they can navigate over two thousand miles of ocean, how they can fly non-stop, is an amazing thing to me! And, how they can find the Hawaiian islands! And, and they don’t have all of the navigational devices that we have in our modern airlines, and yet they’re able to do it. You say, “Well, they’ve been there before so they just know their way back.” No. I can’t buy that. Because the parents take off for Hawaii two weeks before their little fledglings are able to fly that distance. The parents just take off and leave their kids in the Aleutians. They are smart birds, but not smart, not smarter than their kids, cause two weeks later, their little kids take off and fly to Hawaii, and they’ve never been there! So somehow God has built into those little bird brains! A navigational system, that having never been to Hawaii, yet they can take off and fly directly to Hawaii! Now that, that’s just one of those marvels of God’s creatures. That’s the work of God in creation, and it’s marvelous!
God skills certain people with innate abilities. I believe that musicians are born, not made. They tried to make a musician out of me. Doesn’t work! They’re born! There’s just people who are born with innate musical abilities. They don’t have to just sit down and practice! It’s just there! It’s something within them, it’s a part of the whole complex makeup. When you hear a person that has that kind of ability, pick up a violin, and begin to play the violin, you just are enraptured by the music! You think, “Oh I want to practice the violin so I can play like that!” Well, forget it! It’s not gonna happen. You know, you’re born with that innate ability.
But men have the tendency to glorify the man with the ability, not recognizing that it was God who gave the ability. So here’s what the prophet is complaining about. They praise really, the person, as they are drinking their wine and all, they praise the musicians for their tremendous skills. But they do not regard the work of the Lord, nor consider the operation of His hands. God’s skills, God’s abilities. And because of this…
Therefore [Because of this] my people are gone into captivity, because of their ignorance: and their honourable men are famished, and the multitude are dried up with thirst. Therefore [Because of this] hell has enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoices, shall descend into it (5:13-14).
A tremendous slaughter of the people. And, captivity await them.
And the plain man shall be brought down, and the mighty [Big, strong] man will be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty [The proud] will be humbled: But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted (5:15- 16),
God will bring down the pride of man, the glory of man. And the Lord of hosts will be the one that will be exalted.
and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness (5:16).
And so we, should glory in the Lord, and in His works. “He that humbleth himself shall be exalted, but he that exalteth himself shall be abased.” So important that we give glory to God, exalt the Lord. He will be exalted in judgment. That is, when the judgment comes, God will be exalted through that judgment, and He will be declared righteous, in the works of judgment that He brings.
And then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones the strangers shall eat. [Third woe.] Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope (5:17-18):
That is, a rope to pull the carts. Those who seek after iniquity, draw, are drawn, the idea is those who are drawn to iniquity. There are some people who just seem to be drawn towards evil. It just seems to be the vent of their character. They’re drawn towards evil things. “Woe unto them!” They’re pulled, easily pulled. Actually look after evil, who, who look for the evil.
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 (5:19)!
You know, “If God is there, let Him show Himself.” You know, “Let”, they sort of defy God. They live iniquitous lives, and then defy God.
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil (5:20);
Boy are we living in that age today, and it happened I guess in Israel also, and Judah, where there was such a twisted value that it’s good to be liberal and have a very liberal attitude towards all kinds of evil. You know, you shouldn’t condemn it, you shouldn’t judge. “You know you should learn to tolerate all kinds of evil, and it’s bad to be strongly opinionated against evil. You should live and let live.” And so they call the good evil, because you stand up for righteousness, say, “Oh that’s, that’s terrible!” And a person who’s living a wicked life, they say, “Oh that guy’s really liberated isn’t he? Isn’t that great? You know, he doesn’t have any qualms, or guilt feelings!”
who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; and they put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter (5:20)!
The next woes are to those that are wise in their own eyes. You think your so smart, you think you’re so clever, you think you know so much, you’re wise in your own eyes. As Shakespeare said, “Man, poor man, so ignorant in that which he knows best.” What’s your best subject? Which subject are you most conversant in? In which field of science do you excel? Or, which field of knowledge do you excel? In that field of knowledge that you know best, how much do you know about all that can be known in that field of science? I would have to say that my field of understanding and knowledge is best in the Bible. I’ve made a lifetime study of it. But I will frankly confess to you, I am very ignorant concerning all that is to be known about the word of God. “Man, poor man, so ignorant in that which he knows best.” So…
Woe to those who think they know it all, those who are wise in their own eyes, and they are prudent in their own sight (5:21).
“Oh I’m so smart!”, you know.
Then another woe upon drinking. We had the second one that was addressed to this, the alcoholic, but again…
Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, men of strength who mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward (5:22-23),
So he’s talking really about the judicial system. Taking bribes, they’ll justify the wicked man for a bribe.
and they take away the righteousness of the righteous man from him! [Injustices within the judicial system.] Therefore as the fire devours the stubble, and the flame consumes the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and they have despised the [whole, the] word of the Holy One of Israel (5:23-24).
Boy I’ll tell ya, if that doesn’t fit our judicial system in the United States today, I’ve never read anything that does! Judges who drink, who receive bribes, who condemn the righteous, the whole system is so twisted! “They’ve cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and they despised the word of God.” They, they have ruled against the reading of the word of God in the public schools. “Despising the word of the Holy One of Israel.”
Therefore [Because of this] the anger of the Lord is kindled against his people, and he has stretched forth his hand against them, and he has smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (5:25).
Now God’s judgment began to fall. Isaiah’s declaring, “The judgment of God is beginning to fall”, but even though it has begun to fall, they still persist in their evil. They haven’t turned, they haven’t changed. There, there’s no repentance yet. The idea is, what does it take to bring a man to his knees in repentance? What will it take to bring the United States to its knees in repentance?
Our schools are presently gearing up for the celebration of Halloween, which will take place in a couple of weeks. The school system spends more time, and more preparation and all, and makes a bigger deal out of the celebration of Halloween than they do all of the other religious celebrations in the year combined. In fact, they can’t have Christmas carols. They call it now, Easter, or they call it, “Spring Break”, instead of “Easter Vacation”. “Winter Break”, instead of “Christmas Vacation”. But yet, all of this to do over Halloween. Halloween parties in the classrooms, prizes for the children with the best witches costume, or ghosts, or goblins, or whatever.
In reality, Halloween is a religious celebration. It’s a celebration of the witches, it originates in witchcraft, and the celebration of the witches. So it’s a religious holiday. But do the courts condemn it? Do they rule that you cannot talk about Halloween in the schools? No! They condone it! Isn’t it interesting that the Satanists have a holiday that is promoted and sponsored and all by the school system, who cannot really talk much about the other Christian holidays.
“Woe!” God said unto them, and He began His judgment. And in the judgment, He stretched out His hand to smite them, earthquakes, the hills did tremble! Many of them were killed in the streets, but for all of this, they did not turn, and His hand is stretched out still!
And so he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly (5:26):
In other words, because they did not heed the, the warnings of God, so to speak. They, they did not repent when God brought His judgments in the land, when God cut off the rain, and they went through a period of drought. When they began to have earthquakes, and destruction, and they still just persisted in their evil ways, then God said, “Okay, I am, I’m bringing a nation from afar. I’m, I’m making them really detestable to this nation that’s way off, and they will come with speed.” He’ll use this nation which is the nation of Babylon. He’s gonna use them as His tool of judgment against His own people. So God describes the coming of Babylon against them. “They shall come with speed swiftly.”
None shall be weary nor stumble among the ranks; none will slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latch out of their shoes be broken: Their arrows are sharp, and all of their bows are bent, [The arrows are ready to fly.] their horse’s hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind. And their roaring shall be as a lion (5:27-29),
You remember in the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had, and he was, or, Daniel, the vision that Daniel had, there was the lion that was destroyed by the bear, that was destroyed by the leopard, that was destroyed by this indescribable beast. Babylon was the lion.
and they shall roar like young lions: and yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, they will carry it away safe, and none will deliver it (5:29).
Judah will be carried into captivity. They will fall to Babylon, and thus it happened, after Isaiah’s lifetime, but it happened. The word of God was fulfilled, and Judah fell to Babylon.
And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if one look unto the land, behold there is darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof (5:30).
So a dark day, and tragic day in the history of Judah, when Babylon came and destroyed the nation.
Now Isaiah declares that…
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his glory filled the temple (6:1).
As we pointed out this morning, Uzziah was a very powerful and popular king. He was sixteen years old when he began to reign in Judah, and he reigned for fifty two years. During his reign the threat of the Philistines was neutralized. He took the city of Gath, and broke down the walls, making it defenseless. He put Israeli settlements around the major Philistine city of Ashdod, neutralizing its effectiveness. So they were prosperous from a military standpoint. They conquered the surrounding nations, and made them tributaries. They, they Ammonites paid tribute to Uzziah. His fame spread abroad throughout all the land, even unto the entrance into Egypt. Twice it speaks about the name of Uzziah being spread all over. Everybody was talking about Uzziah. He was popular. Under his reign, they felt very secure and very safe. People just didn’t worry. He was a smart man, he was a good leader, and he brought the nation to a period of great prosperity and might.
During the latter part of his years, he intruded into the temple of God, seeking to offer incense, was rebuked by the high priest, and subsequently there in the temple of God, when he began to respond to the high priest in anger, leprosy broke out on his body. He was driven by the high priest, and the other priests out of the temple, and he had to live the rest of his life in a leprosarium.
Thus his son, Jotham began to sit on the throne in Jerusalem, but Jotham was not his father’s equal in any way. In fact Jotham was a very weak and evil king. Thus, when Uzziah finally died and the reins of government were turned over completely to Jotham, it was a tragic and sad day in Judah, and people were feeling that sort of desperation, and that feeling of near panic of, “What are we going to do? Uzziah is dead!” He had been such a strong and powerful leader, people had come to just trust and rely upon his leadership, and they felt secure and safe when he was there. But now that he’s dead, there’s this uncertainty and this fear that is gripping them. “The throne is empty, our great king has vacated the throne.”
But God gave a vision to show them that the throne was not empty. “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne high and lifted up, and His glory filled the temple.” God removed Isaiah’s idol, in order that Isaiah might see the Lord. Many times we get our eyes upon men, and because our eyes are upon men, we fail to see God. We begin to trust in man, and we fail to trust fully in God. So God removes our idols many times, in order that we might realize that it is God that is upon the throne. It is God that is working. It is not the work of man.
Now man is always ready to attribute the work to man. They don’t like to acknowledge the work of God. They’re always looking to the secret for success in some man. So they say some charismatic kind of a character, or characteristics in the man you know. “He’s a powerful leader”, and they’re looking for man as the secret for success. But it is the Lord, and that is the secret of success.
That’s where people so often get confused when they come around here. Because they can’t understand the success of the place. God has deliberately done it that way. God has chosen the foolish things to confound the wise. So they come around with all of their wisdom and all, trying to figure out the reason for success. And they just can’t figure it out! Raul Rees says, “Well it’s the Lord!”, and they say, “Yeah, yeah, but tell us really what is it?” He said, “Look God gave you one mouth and two ears, that ought to tell you something! Listen now what I’m telling you!” Says, “Keep your mouth shut and listen! It’s the Lord!” They go away mad at him. Course he has that, you know, you either go away loving him, or go away mad at him.
But God was more or less saying, “Isaiah, I’m in control. I’m on the throne.” He’s revealing that to him. There are times in our lives when God needs to reveal that to us. Because we have a tendency of forgetting that God is on the throne. When things start going bad, when we’re confused, when things that we’ve been trusting in are suddenly taken away, and we begin to feel that uncertainty and that sort of inner panic of, “Oh what am I gonna do?!” So important to know that God is on the throne.
“I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, He was high, exalted. His glory filled the temple.” Then he describes a little bit the throne of God. John gives us a description of it in Revelation, chapter four. Ezekiel gives us a description of it in chapters one and ten, of Ezekiel. I do recommend you reading these descriptions of the throne of God in heaven. In Ezekiel, one and ten, in Revelation, chapter four, and of course here you get a bit of a description here. I think it would be well to familiarize yourself with these things, because one day you’re gonna be standing there looking at the throne of God. And, you don’t want to look like some hick out of the country! Say, “Whoa, ooh, wow!”, you know. Cause people will say, “Boy he didn’t do his homework did he?” You know read about it. It’s fascinating.
Now another place to get insight interestingly enough, is in the book of Exodus when God gave to Moses the design of the tabernacle. Because the tabernacle in reality, was a model of the heavenly throne of God. So the tabernacle gives to you a good idea of what the throne of God is like, because it was a model. These things were all examples, or models of the heavenly things. So he tells us about the throne of God. The Seraph, which are no doubt an angelic form. They could be the same as cherubim, or they could be different from cherubim. They could be a little different order from the cherubim.
Ezekiel describes the cherubim that are about the throne of God. The “im”, in Hebrew is plural, so singular would be “seraph”, and the singular would be “cherub”. Now not the kind of cherub that you see in the Roman ark, these little naked babies with you know arrows, and, and all. But they are a powerful angel, tremendously powerful angel that are about the throne of God, that are declaring the glory of God, the holiness of God, the awesomeness of God. Here…
The seraphim, [he describes them as] having wings, six wings. With two of their wings they cover their face. [That is, God is so awesome that even the angels are not worthy to look at hi, so they cover their face.] and with two they cover their feet, and with two they fly (6:2).
So these are certainly interesting created beings of God, intelligent beings. I’m sort of curious waiting to see these seraphim, and also the cherubims. You remember in the, in the tabernacle how he was to carve these two cherubim above the little ark of the covenant and all? Because the ark the covenant represents really the dwelling, the holy of holies was the dwelling place of God, the throne of God, and there was that ark of the covenant. There were the cherubim, the two cherubim that were there. That’s all representative of what’s in heaven.
And the seraphim are saying, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: and the whole earth is full of his glory (6:3).
In the book of Revelation, chapter four, the cherubim are again speaking of the holiness of God, as they cry, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which is, which was, and which is to come!” So the heavenly scene. And, Isaiah, the vision of God sitting upon His throne, he sees the seraphim about the throne of God, he hears their worship of God, and as they are worshiping God, the, the power no doubt of the praise, and the voices just sort of shakes the places. The doors…
The posts of the doors [The door posts sort of,] moved [Like when an organ hits one of those deep bass notes, and it just sort of reverberates through the whole place, or shakes, the power of that, and so, the place sort of shakes.] the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke (6:4).
Probably as the smoke of incense. Because we do know that there’s an altar there with, with burning coals on it, and in the temple, they would take and put the incense on the burning coals, and the incense rising was representative of the prayers of God’s saints that arise to the Lord. So the house being filled with smoke, was probably the smoke of the incense that was placed upon the altar, and the prayers that filled the dwelling place of God.
Then I said, [“Seeing this, I said…”] Woe is me! for I am undone (6:5);
That word undone is a difficult Hebrew word to translate into English. Trying to think of a, unglued would be somewhat of a translation. Better would be, “I’ve had it.” That’s the idea of it. When, when he saw the, the God and the throne of God and all, he said, “Wow I’ve had it!”, you know. Ha, ha! “This is…”, because he became conscious of his own guilt, he became conscious of his sin and all. So seeing this awesome glory of God he said, “Oh I’ve had it!” “You know, I’m undone, I’m wiped out!”
because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell amongst a people of unclean lips (6:5):
The thing that he became conscious of was his improper language. Oh how we need to watch our language! David said, “Put a guard over my mouth O Lord.” James said, “If a man seems to be religious, and yet if he doesn’t bridle his own tongue, his religion is vain.”
I’ve heard Christians use expressions that I feel are inappropriate for a child of God. My wife says, “I hate bathroom talk.” And, I thank God that she does, and I have always. Lord let my speech be coming of you. As a Christian, watch your language. Don’t pick up the idioms of the world. I even have difficulty with slang. When I was growing up, I went through that period where I started to use slang. My mother took me aside and said, “Son, those are just substitute words.” When you go around saying, “Heck!”, that’s just a substitute word for, “Hell”. When you go around saying, “Darn it!”, that’s a substitute word for, “Damn it!” When you say, “Oh Gosh”, that’s a substitute word for, “God”. You say, “Gee whiz!”, that’s just a substitute word for, “Jesus”. So I quit using slang. I want, as David said, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight. O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” It is interesting that Isaiah became very aware of his, of his words. Of his, “I’m a man of unclean lips. I’ve been using bad language, improper language. Because I dwell in the midst of a people, I hear it all around me. I’m exposed to it all day long.” And oh my, I’m sure that any of you working out in the world can say, “Man I dwell amongst a people of unclean lips.” I mean, it’s terrible the way people talk.
Our whole movie industry has done a lot to contribute to the filthy language. Oh how subtle and all is Satan. The new ratings that they have for films, is only a way to bypass x-ratings, so that the normal type of theater can now bring in x-rated films, without being an x-rated movie. But that’s the only reason by putting this new M-17, whatever it is, whatever other initial, seventeen, it, it’s just so that the theaters that used to not show x-rated movies can now show them, because they have a different rating. It’s a whole subtle scheme of, of you know, it used to be that the pornography theaters were in the seedy part of town, and everybody going up there to see one of those films you knew that you’re going into an x-rated movie. Now they’ve changed the ratings so that they can put the x-rated movies in your neighborhood theaters.
Well, if you still go to theaters, I sort of feel sorry for the mind pollution that you’ve been experiencing. I, you know that I don’t get on this much, but I think that it’s time that we need to ask the Lord not only to put a guard over our mouths, but put a guard over our ears, and be careful of what we’re listening to.
It’s tragic what’s happening to TV. You know it isn’t now just going it and seeing it in a theater, but it’s bringing it right into your home, as the major networks are deciding to go to more explicit film. I think that it’s a tragic day and age in which we live when our children can come home, and turn on TV, and be exposed to all kinds of filth.
The cry of the cherubim was, “Holy, holy, holy!” You realize how holy God is. Our God is a holy God, absolutely pure, and there, seeing God and hearing the angels declare the holiness, the purity of God, he became suddenly aware of his lips. “My I’ve been saying things that are not proper! I’m a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people with unclean lips.”
for my eyes have seen the King, [“Uzziah’s dead, but I’ve seen the true King!”] the Lord of hosts (6:5).
Now with his confession of sin, there comes that instant cleansing of sin, and that’s the wonderful thing. The bible says, “If we confess our sins, He’s faithful and just to forgive us.” “If you seek to cover your sin”, the bible says, “you won’t prosper. But if you will confess your sin, you will be forgiven.” So upon the confession of his sin…
One of the seraphim took tongs, and he took one of these glowing coals from the altar, and he flew down to Isaiah, having this glowing coal in his hand, and he laid upon Isaiah’s mouth. And he said, Lo, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is cleansed (6:6-7).
Upon confession, there is that immediate forgiveness, and cleansing. “Lord, I’m a sinner. Be merciful.” The immediate forgiveness and cleansing.
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I; send me (6:8).
He is now ready to go. Having experienced the grace of God, he can now teach the grace of God. Having experienced the forgiveness, he can now share the forgiveness. Sharing what God has done in his own life, he is now a personal witness of the grace, and the mercy of God. “Here am I, send me.”
And so the Lord said, Go, and tell this people (6:9),
Now he’s commissioned, but boy he’s given a tough commission! I like the honesty that the Lord has. When the Lord called Paul to preach the gospel, the Lord there showed Paul all of the things that he was gonna suffer for his preaching of the gospel. The Lord didn’t’ say, “Well Paul, it’s gonna be nice, you know, you’re gonna have your own jet. You can just fly around, you know you’ll have people waiting at the airport, and they’ll pick you up in the limo, and they’ll take you over. It’ll just really be comfortable Paul. I want my servants to have the best you know! So just think positive and make your confessions Paul, and you’ll have no problems.” No. The Lord said, “Paul, they’re gonna throw you in prison, you’re gonna be stoned, you’re gonna be shipwrecked.” The Lord told him what he was gonna face in the ministry! “It’s not gonna be easy Paul. It’s gonna be tough. The Jews are gonna turn against you. They’re gonna hate you, they’re gonna try and kill you, they’re gonna beat you.” And in, in spite of all of the warnings, Paul went ahead and accepted the calling, and the commission.
Now the same is so with Isaiah. God is saying, “Hey, it’s not gonna be easy Isaiah. They’re not gonna really pay any attention. Your ministry is not gonna be successful.” “Go and tell this people”…
You hear indeed, but you don’t understand; indeed you see, but you don’t really see (6:9)
“You hear, but you don’t understand what is being said. You see, but you don’t really comprehend what you are seeing.” I think that today, we don’t really understand what we’re seeing in the world, the things that are transpiring in the world. There’s a lot of deception. So the Lord said…
You will make the heart of the people fat, and their ears will become heavy (6:10),
God is telling him the condition. He’s not saying for Isaiah to make them, He’s just declaring the condition. “The heart of the people are fat, and their ears are heavy.”
they have shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and be healed (6:10).
They’ve turned their back, they won’t listen, they won’t see! Their hearts are covered with fat, can’t get through to them. Their ears are heavy. They won’t listen to what I am saying. They’ve closed their eyes.” And boy talk about, again the condition of the United States today! As a nation we’ve closed our ears to God. We’ve closed our eyes to the things that are happening. We won’t listen to God. We won’t take the warnings from God. In order that God might heal our nation. That we might turn back again to God. It seems like we’re just getting worse all the time, rather than seeing any omen, or sign for change, and a revival, a real returning to God. Evil days are waxing worse and worse. When the Lord told him this, he said…
Lord how long? And he answered, Until the cities are wasted and without inhabitant, until the houses are without man, and the land is utterly desolate, And the Lord has removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. It shall be that only a tenth part of the people will remain, and even they won’t repent, it will be as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they have cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof (6:11-13).
Now at the end there is a promise, and God says, “Hey dark, dark, dark days, but yet, there will be a remnant. There’s gonna be a survival of it. There will be those that will come through.” Like an oak tree in the winter. All of the leaves are gone, it’s bare, it looks dead. The winter cold has just taken the sap out of the branches, and the leaves just drop off and it looks dead. Yet, in the spring it’s gonna come back to life. There’s still that, that is there, and there is that remnant, and there will be that again blossoming forth, out of the, out of what appears to be dead, and hopeless.
So God is promising that the nation will be scattered, the cities will be wasted, it’ll be without inhabitant. They’ll be carried away captive, and yet they will, there will be that remnant that God will bring back. That small remnant, and there will be again, like the oak tree, the budding forth, the new leaf, the new growth, the new work of God amongst the people.
So, we have today the promise, the glorious new day that is going to come. The day of the Lord. When He establishes God’s kingdom upon the earth, and we’ve been praying for that day, we’ve been praying, “Lord, thy kingdom come, thy will be done…”, and we look at the things today, and God says, “Hey testify and bear witness, and warn them.” We say, “Lord, how long?”, the Lord said, “Keep warning till it’s all gone, until there’s no one left, until the place is just utterly desolate. And let them know, the faithful, that I’ll bring them through, I’ll start over again. The root of those that are rooted in me, they’ll come forth.”
We’ll come forth into a new day, and a new age, the coming of the Lord. Oh how I would encourage you to a greater commitment in the Lord, in these days, than you’ve ever had before. As the iniquity of the world abounds, and the love of many is waxing cold. May our commitment to the Lord only be increased.
Father, we thank You again for Your word, the opportunity of studying Your word. We thank You Lord, that You’ve laid for us the history of Your people in the past, their failure, Your judgment, your righteousness in judgment. But yet Lord, Your faithfulness and love, in mercy, in grace, and in your restoring. So Lord tonight, help us that we might be faithful unto You. Lord, and may we go forth, speak to these people, at least Lord bearing witness to them of Your word. We know that many won’t hear, many don’t see. But Lord, we know that there are those who will hear, those who will see, and be converted. Thus Lord, may we be faithful in just bearing witness of Your truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7244