Tuesday, January 30, 2018

EmmDev 2018-01-30 [Insights from Isaiah] When God called Isaiah (#1)

When God called Isaiah (#1)

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.      (Isaiah6:1)
This is one of the most beloved chapters of the Bible. The book doesn't start with the story of Isaiah's calling into ministry, but, as we saw, it starts with a summary of the message that Isaiah proclaimed: Israel was broken in her sin and corruption, but God was willing, able and eager to forgive.

In the first five chapters Isaiah has spelled out the heart of his message:

  • Israel's holy God sees their brokenness and wants to heal them.
  • Israel has a destiny as a light on a hill and a fruitful vineyard.
  • Their stubborn resistance and rebellion had and would result in consequences (their enemies would overcome them)
  • They would need to repent and return to the Lord)
  • God has a plan to restore His people.

Now that the basics have been laid down, Isaiah shares the story of how he came to be the preacher of this message.

As we explore this story of calling we are going to explore the questions raised by the title of our devotion:

  • WHEN did God call Isaiah
  • What is the GOD who called Isaiah like?
  • What kind of person was ISAIAH?
  • What did the CALLING entail?

Let's pick up on the "when" of Isaiah's calling...

Isaiah tells us that the calling came "in the year that King Uzziah died". Uzziah was one of Israel's few good kings, but he let his pride get the better of him and tried to act as the high priest and God struck him with leprosy and he completed his reign from quarantine. Uzziah would be followed by Jotham who was a good man but failed to lead the people back to God. Ahaz, a corrupt and evil king would follow him, and then Hezekiah would come and bring a short-lived revival, but he would be become obsessed with buildings and wealth and be followed by Manasseh who was probably one of Israel's most evil kings.

Along with the up's and down's of the kings, the geopolitical situation of the region was tempestuous. The Assyrians, coming from the North-East were about to defeat Samaria in the North and the power of Egypt in sthe South-West seemed like it could be a deterrent, but when the pressure mounted Egypt would collapse.

In the midst of all this uncertainty God calls Isaiah.
He still calls today.

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