Cruising Route 66
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots, a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him– the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD– and He will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what He sees with his eyes or decide by what He hears with His ears, but with righteousness, He will judge the needy. With justice, He will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth; with the breath of His lips, He will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be His belt, and faithfulness the sash around His waist. Isaiah 11:1-5
What a beautiful description of Jesus. It’s as though Isaiah knew Him personally, yet his book was written some 700 years before Jesus entered the scene. Although it’s been two-thousand years since Jesus’ earthly ministry, we too can know Him just as Isaiah did. Every area of human experience has in some way been influenced or enriched by this humble carpenter from Nazareth, yet there seems to be a continuing effort to deny His divinity and even His existence. There is one thing the intellectual world cannot deny about Jesus, the unfathomable impact He has made upon mankind. In His short life, His influence has never been matched.
Socrates and Aristotle taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, and they had hundreds if not thousands of disciples during their lifetime, but their impact is insignificant compared to Jesus. Jesus painted no pictures, etched no still lives, or sculpted no monuments. Yet, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci claimed to have received their inspiration from Him. Jesus composed no music or wrote no poetry, yet Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, and Bach, created their greatest works by composing His praises.
Isaiah speaks of the coming Messiah as someone he knows. He is not reciting what he has been taught, or information he has received. I believe it is important to note how Isaiah saw the Lord because we need to see Him that same way. Only then will we be ready to be used by Him.
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. Isaiah 6:1
The first thing Isaiah did was stand in reverence, looking up. To make my point, have you ever met someone famous, someone, that set you back on your heels because of who they were? The first thing out of Isaiah’s mouth is He was “seated on a throne.” It was a place of royal authority. When in the presence of royalty, everyone stands. The only one who is seated is the king. Consider when a president or member of the royal family enters a room, or how about a judge in his courtroom? Only after he is seated do others sit.
There is a place in the heart of every man and woman where the ultimate authority will be seated. The question isn’t where this seat is located but who is seated upon it.
Isaiah notes that He is “High and exalted.” In other words, God is not at eye level with you. There is no equality. Before all else, Isaiah sees God’s supremacy and power over all things. It is only from this perspective that we will submit to His Lordship over our lives.
Then Isaiah says, “the train of His robe filled the temple” God is all-encompassing. We are the “temple of the Holy Spirit.” He doesn’t merely occupy a portion of our lives, He fills every part of our lives.
It’s as though Isaiah has found something we may miss. Jesus promised that He would dwell with us as we dwell with Him. Let’s not get wrapped up trying to have a relationship with Him and rob Him of His holiness and Power. Let’s not miss the awe and wonder of His presence.
Once we have opened our hearts to the power of God and our eyes to the presence of God in all His majesty, then we need to begin to look in.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” Isaiah 6:5
The King James Version words it this way: “Woe is me for I am undone” Here is a man who was the spokesman for God through the reigns of 4 different kings, and he says he’s undone! I would say he is tight, yet all his righteousness, self-confidence, kudos, and “at-a-boys” suddenly melted away when he came before the ultimate power of the universe. The man started to unravel! Every fiber of his being was suddenly disconnected, and what seemed so secure wasn’t.
Notice what Isaiah saw first. He saw his own sin, his own shortcomings, his own imperfections. He didn’t see someone else’s sin before he saw his own. When we see the holiness of God, we can’t help but see ourselves as we really are, sinful and imperfect. When we wake up to who we are, other people don’t seem quite so noticeable.
Once we have seen how undone we are, then we can begin to look out.
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. Isaiah 6:8
Like Isaiah, we must be willing to hear God’s voice, respond and see with our hearts those who need Christ. If you ever wanted to know why God doesn’t use you, consider that it may be that you haven’t made yourself available. When God says, “Go!” We go! It may not make sense to us, but it does to Him.
In closing, consider one of the most tender descriptions of Jesus, written nearly three millennia ago, that depicts the love and compassion of an almighty God.
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:2-6
Until next time,