We are going to Isaiah again and take a run through the first six chapters. Lord, we look to You for a revelation of Yourself.
Isaiah 1:3 The ox knows his owner ...
Every time I read this verse I think about our neighbor in Texas. As soon as those cows heard his truck, they started mooing and running toward the proper place knowing they were going to be fed. The ox knows his owner.
Isaiah 1:3 ...and the ass his master’s crib ...
The ass is not quite as intelligent. He doesn’t know the master so much, but he knows the crib, the place where the food is found.
Isaiah 1:3 ...but Israel does not know, My people does not consider.
We want to take this out of the past, so we realize that things have not really changed. It is not only Israel but also God’s people in this day that do not know their owner like the ox does or the place where they can be fed as the ass does. In verse 5, God continues with the description of what His people are like.
Isaiah 1:5 Why should you be stricken any more? You will revolt more and more ... (God chastises His people and they revolt more) ... the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint.
The whole head meaning the outer man and the heart meaning the inner man, the whole man is sick and faints.
Isaiah 1:6,11 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness
in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed,
neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
With everything God says about His people, they are still going through the mechanics of worship. So God is not talking about the Amorites or some of the other Canaanites. He is talking about His people then and now. The mechanics of worship alone are not acceptable.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Even with the corrupt state that His people are in, God is ready to show mercy and ready to meet their hearts. Now, when He says, “Come, let us reason together,” He is not saying, “You give your opinions and I’ll give My opinions and we’ll work this thing out.” That is not what He means here. When He says, “Let us reason together,” He is saying, “Let us establish what is reasonable.” Paul speaks of what is reasonable in Romans 12:1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. It is only reasonable when there is a submission to His Lordship. It is only reasonable when you are abiding by divine order. Divine order is very important. They had gotten out of divine order, still going through the mechanics of worship of a religion and probably not even aware of how corrupt they really were. So the Lord says, “Now let’s get you back on track here.” That’s what He is really saying, not we are going to discuss this thing. God is saying, “Now let Me show you what is reasonable and let’s get you back on track.”
Isaiah 1:19 If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.
You shall partake of the best. So you see God is not dumping them off on the side of the road. He wants to bless them. He wants to meet their hearts. Now let’s move on to chapter 2.
Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
God is going to bring them into divine order and then He is going to bring them to His mountain, and His mountain is not Sinai. It is the house of God.
Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
So God deals with His people. They wake up; they come out it. God blesses them and then we enter into the time of which verse 11 speaks: The Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. Again, in verse 17: The Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And this is what He is after in the last verse of the chapter: Cease ye from man. That is how it happens. You cease from your man nature and only the Lord is to be exalted in that day.
Now, we’ll skip chapter 3 and go on to chapter 4 where it starts off: And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by Thy name, to take away our reproach. Isaiah 4:1. It seems that all through history there has been that same thing happening. God’s people fall into a place of degradation, they turn away from the Lord but are still religious, their whole heart is faint. God deals with them and gets them back on track and then after a period of time they are right back down in it again. The old nature continues to pull them down.
Isaiah 5:1 Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching His vineyard.
God now speaks of how He cared for His people in terms of a vineyard. He planted it on a very fruitful hill. In verse two He says that He fenced it, gathered out the stones, planted it with the choicest vine, built a tower in the midst of it, and made a winepress therein. Then He expected it to bring forth grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes. We’ve talked about the woes in Matthew chapter 23. In this chapter five of Isaiah the Lord speaks six woes. Each one of these woes is a wild grape. Verse 8: Woe unto them that join house to house. That’s a wild grape. Verse 11: Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink. Another wild grape. Verse 18: Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity. The remaining three are in verses 20, 21, and 22. Six times God says, “Woe unto them. Woe unto them,” but He is still dealing with His people.
God has a purpose in dealing with us. The just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again. Proverbs 24:16. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand. Psalm 37:24. The righteous man falls, and I think that many times it is in the will of the Lord for a person to fall. If a person did everything right from the start, he would not know what he had done. What would he become? It is in your failings that you learn. If you never failed, you would not know what your man nature was really like.
I was reading this morning that the Law came to reveal sin (Roman 3:20). Jesus said, “If I had not spoken to you, you would not have sin” (John 15:22). In other words, the Law does not cleanse you from the sin; it reveals the sin that is in you. Over and over again the children of Israel missed God’s will, but the whole purpose of God was to bring them unto Himself and that is the purpose God has for us.
After these six woes we come to chapter six.
Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord ...
The story of Uzziah king of Judah is found in II Chronicles 26. He became king when he was 16 years old and he reigned for 52 years. He was known as a great king, but the Scripture says that in his latter days his heart was lifted up. He began to think of how great he was and he exalted himself. He thought of himself more highly than he ought to (Romans 12:3). Uzziah could do all the things a king should do but he could not fulfill the priest’s office. The king had his domain in which he could function as did the priest. That was divine order, and divine order is very important. Jude speaks of the angels who left their domain and their punishment. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Jude 6.
Uzziah, in his high-mindedness, decided to go into the temple and offer incense unto the Lord, something that only the priest could do. The priests tried to stop him, but he was determined to do it. For that reason God smote him with leprosy. Uzziah stands for one who in his latter days has lifted up himself and moved out of his domain of divine order. Uzziah was a king, but that same arrogance can be found in every man regardless of their station. Even the poorest of men can have that problem, for it is found in human nature. There is a little Uzziah in everyone.
Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
Isaiah is not just giving us the year that Uzziah died so that we have an idea of the place in history when this happened. He is talking about the Uzziah within himself. There is a little Uzziah in every Christian until he is overcome. Paul speaks of Jesus Christ as “the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (I Timothy 6:15). Jesus Christ will be the King over a company of kings and the Lord over a company of lords. Before you can become a king in that company of kings or a lord in that company of lords, your Uzziah must die. Every member has his proper sphere of activity; divine order must be maintained. But now God hath set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him. I Corinthians 12:18. It is when that king Uzziah in your man-nature dies that releases a revelation of the Lord. In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
Isaiah 6:2 Above it stood the seraphim ...
Isaiah not only sees the Lord, but he sees the seraphim – the fiery ones.
Isaiah 6:2 ... each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
We see all the different stages that God’s people came through. This is the way it is for us, too. At first we don’t know the Master as well as the ox knows his. We don’t know the Master’s crib as well as the ass knows his. We come through stage after stage after stage, falling down, being lifted up, falling down again, but the grace of God is continuous. His mercy is bringing us to the place where our king Uzziah can die. When that happens, then we will be able to see the Lord high and lifted up as He really is.
Isaiah 6:3-4 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord
of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
We just finished reading about the Tabernacle. When it was finished, it was filled with smoke and the glory of the Lord appeared. Here again, when our King Uzziah dies and we get this revelation of the Lord the doorposts of our heart are moved. The things that cause that stiff-heartedness moves and our house is filled with the glory of the Lord.
Then upon seeing this vision of the Lord Isaiah says in verse 5, “Woe is me!” There is the seventh woe. If you go back to chapter 5, there is a woe in verses 8, 11, 18, 20, 21, and 22 – six of them. But here you find the seventh woe taking place in chapter 6.
Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
A revelation of the Lord of glory also brings a revelation of his unclean lips. He could not see his uncleanness as long as there was a king Uzziah in him. The death of king Uzziah brought to him an awareness of the King of glory. Isaiah made the journey from king to King.
Copyright © 2008 by Henry DuBose