Isa 6:1-8 "I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim; each ... one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory." And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, .... And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, ...; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!" Then flew one of the seraphim to me.... And he touched my mouth, and said: "Behold, ...; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven." 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."
Today our text speaks of 3 things, angels, the holiness of God, and stewardship. We need very much to hear what the text has to say.
1st on angels, while we don’t often speak of angels, the Bible does. It is an angel that appears to Zechariah, to announce the birth of John the Baptist. It is an angel that appears to Mary to tell of the birth of Jesus. It is an angel that tells the shepeherds about the birth of Jesus, and later it is a choir of angels that sing the praise of God. It is an angel that appears to Jospeph 3 times, 1st to tell about the birth of Jesus, then to tell him to flee to Egypt, and finally to call Jospeh and his family out of Egypt. It is an angel that appears on Easter morning when the women go early to the tomb. Angels are ministering spirits, messengers of God.
In the Old Testament, there are also many references to angels. Mostly they appear as messengers of God, but they also apppear in battle for Israel as mighty warriors of God who destroy the enemies of God. In the Old Testament there are even types of angels, cheifly it speaks of the cherubim. They are theangels that according to Ezekiel carry the throne of God, they are the angels that stand on either side of the ark of the covenant in the temple, now it is important to remember that the ark of the covenant, was in the holy of holies, a part of the temple that was so holy, only the highpriest could enter there, and then only once a year, and then only after much careful prepapration. The presence of God hovered over the ark of the covenant, above the cherubim, where in our text we encounter the angels of the presence of God, the Seraphim. The presence of the Seraphim is awesome, their voice shakes even the foundations, yet they are servants and messengers, and compared the the holiness and presence of God himself they are as nothing.
Once in his life, Isaiah records seeing the presence of God. And the holiness of God was such that the first thing he did was fear, for he saw his sins, and he knew what his sins had earned. I wish more people today could see the holiness of God, so that seeing, they might repent of their sins, and remember that God called them to be perfect, and ask God for mercy. I wish more people would encounter God who as the scripture say: 1TI 6:16 "dwells in unapproachable light" - for if they could see that light, that light would show them that their very best is nothing better than filthy rags, and they would repent of their self pride and beg God for mercy. For the holiness of God is such that it is is clear to all that all sin must be punished, but the mercy of God is such that there is forgieveness, not that God overlooks sin, or treats it as of no consequences, but rather, that God sent his son to pay the price, so that he might give to all the forgiveness that was earned by Jesus death in our place. And when we come to God in true repentance, it might not be a coal from the altar, but we do have the body and blood of Jesus Christ, given and shed for us for the forgiveness of sins, and that forgiveness takes away our guilt and shame, and allows us to come into the presence of God, for we are covered with Christ’s righteousness, and in His Blood we have been made holy.
All of this leads us to stewardship. For as the forgiven people of God, we like Isaiah, here the voice of God, saying, Who shall we send? Who will go for us? And we who have been forgiven, who stand covered in Christ’s righteousness, who have been made a new creation. We know the answer... Isaiah, in gratitude for his forgiveness, said here I am, Lord, send me. And scriptures indicated that the Lord had something for Isiah to do wthat would occupy all his days, and give meaning and purpose to his life. There is work still to be done, people who have not heard, people who do not know where they are going, and God still calls out to us. I cannot answer on your behalf, I cannot tell you what God has called you to do. All I can do is remind you of the grace of God in which you stand, forgiven and redeemed Remind you of the grace shown, in which God provides for all your needs. Remind you that God will provide, and if you answer his call, he will fill your days with good things, and fill your life with meaning and purpose. There is much work to be done. God has given you time, talents, and treasures. Seeing the forgiveness that God has given us in Jesus Christ, how shall we show our thanks and praise? Let it always be for Jesus sake.