Scripture Read: Isaiah 6; 9
Title: Isaiah Responds to God
(H) Highlight verse: "And I heard the voice of the LORD saying, 'Whom shall Isend, and who will go for us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.' And he said, 'Go and say to this people: Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' " Isaiah 6:8, 9
(E) Explain: In Isaiah 6 Isaiah has a vision of the LORD seated on his throne. The scene is awe inspiring, majestic and frightening. When Isaiah sees the LORD, he responds in reverential fear. Immediately he onfesses his sins and unworthiness to be in the presence of God. Then an angel of the LORD came over to him, touched his lips with a buring coal and declared Isaiah a man whose sins are forgiven and atoned for.
Then the LORD spoke to him by asking who he should send to go out and be a voice for the God to the people. Without hesitation Isaiah responds, "Here am I! Send me." He willingly responded to the call of God and the LORD commissioned Him to be his prophet. God tells him to speak to the people a message, but the people will not heed or respond in a positive manner. Isaiah asks, "How long, O LORD?" God tells him that the outcome will be bad, judgment will be placed on the people and they will not respond to the warnings and judgment of God.
(A) Application: In this passage we are witness to the holiness of God. The vision Isaiah has of the LORD is one that causes him to respond in a way that any person who encounters God would. In the presence of God, he sees the holiness of God and realizes and confesses his sinfulness to him. Isaiah knows he is unclean and unworthy. When the angel of God touches his lips he declares him clean and worthy. He is a man who is transformed by God.
Whenever anyone, including you or me, encounters God they are changed and transformed in some way. We see this throughout the Bible. Men and women encounter God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and transformation happens. Name a patriarch, prophet, priest or paralytic who encounters God and I will show you a transformation that occured in their lives. This is just the nature of God, and it is a good thing. Why? Because in our own strength and ability we are unable to be successful for od. We need to be cleansed by Jesus, empowered by the Spirit and commissioned by God so we can do what he calls us to do. When he enables us, then and only then, can we openly, honestly, and confidently say, "Here am I ! Send me."
(R) Respond: I am a man of unclean lips. I am a man of sin. I am unworthy of my calling as a child of God. But, because of Jesus I am made clean, forgiven of my sins and declared worthy of my calling. Thank you Jesus for what you have done, so I can be who you called me to be.
Scripture Read: Amos 1:1; 9
Title: The Judgment of Israel and The Hope for Israel
(H) Highlight verse: "I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebeuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. " Amos 9:14
(E) Explain: Amos was a shepherd and God spoke to him concerning the judgment of Israel. You see Israel had fallen away from God, once again. Amos prophecies judgment against them because of their injustice, greed, idolatry, fraud, and unethical business practices. The whole book is an account of God declaring his judgment on Israel and surrounding pagan societies. Upon reading this judgment one can see the harshness of God, until we get to chapter 9 verse 11. Suddenly, the tone of the book goes from judgment to hope. In the midst of this bleak judgment God declares that he will show mercy and restoration.
(A) Application: We can learn a lot about God's character in reading the book of Amos. In my observations I find that God is a God who can give out hash disciplines and judgment. But I also notice that He is a God who is compassionate and merciful. Knowing this about God gives me great perspective. I know that God desires obedience and loyalty to Him. We read in other passages of the Bible that God is a jealous God and He will not take the back seat to anything or anyone. We also read, and have read that God will go to great lengths to bring his children into right relationship with him. Sometimes it's a gentle nudge, other times it's a discipline, and occassionally He will allow a harsh judgment. No matter the means God always calls us back to Him because He has great love and concern for His children. His judgments and discipline may seem too great at the time, but we must know that they are always rooted in love .
(R) Respond: Even though your disciplines and judgment seem harsh and difficult when I experience them, I do rejoice in the fact that you love me enough to get me back on track.
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