Trinity Sunday (May 27th)

Pastor's Summary of Isaiah 6:1-8

In this passage, Isaiah gives the grounds for his authority as a prophet. The year is 742 BC. Assyria is expanding its borders. The northern kingdom, Israel, is trying to coerce Judah into a military alliance aginst the Assyrian threat. Isaiah has a vision of God enthroned, surrounded by courtiers, with seraphs hovering above him, guarding him.  "Holy" (v. 3), repeated three times for emphasis, identifies God as all-holy, sinless, apart from earthly things. God is "LORD of hosts", the warrior for Israel; he rules over :the whole earth", all peoples.  The setting appears to be the Temple.  "Smoke" is also a sign of divine presence, as is the cloud of glory in the desert (Exodus 40:34).

Isaiah feels totally inadequate in God's presence: he feels "unclean" (v. 5), unfit to stand before God, yet he sees God. He also sees the people as unworthy, but a seraph (v. 7) an agent of God, purifies him. rendering him fit and qualified to speak God's word to his people. God confers with his advisors: "Whom shall I send...?" (v. 8), and Isaiah volunteers to be prophet to Judah.  In vv. 9-13, God accepts his offer, and tells him that most people will reject God's message ( will not hear it and will fail to understand it), preferring traditional (corrupt) ways. but a small number will accept it. Most will be destroyed; even the remnant will endure difficult times. Within nine year, Assyria had invaded and made Judah a puppet state.