I'm a daughter, granddaughter & niece of pastors. I love God & studying the Bible and want to empower others to do the same.
⇩ Digging Deeper, optional
M Memory verse suggestion
Read Isaiah Chapter 6. Write out any verses, phrases or anything that stands out to you here:
Read verse 1. Think about the past kings and queens of England and the royal robe they wore at their coronation. The length of it corresponded to the amount of power they held. Our LORD, who is holiest, mightiest, worthy of all praise and devotion, has a robe of splendor that fills the entire temple. Try for a moment to imagine it, and then use words to describe what that says about God:
Read verse 2. “Angel” depictions are everywhere in American culture, and often they are misrepresented. From Raphael’s cute chubby-cheeked babies, to women with kind faces atop Christmas trees, yet no mention of either of these images exist within the Bible, nor does it say that anyone becomes an angel after death, for He “has made them [us] a little lower than the angels.” Psalm 8:5. Instead, describe below how the Seraphim, one of several categories of angels, actually look. What adjectives (descriptive words) or feelings would you use to describe such a creature if it were to suddenly appear before you?
⇩ Digging Deeper (optional). Look up Exodus 3:5. Why might the angels cover their feet?
Look up one of my all-time favorite poems, “Love III” by George Herbert. The personification of Love represents our Lord. Keep this in mind as you read.
If the angels, who have never sinned, cover their faces, how immeasurably great must God's holiness actually be? How ought that to affect how we talk to and approach God?
Take time today or this week to meditate in awe and wonder on God’s holiness, glory, and power, or some of the attributes below. The repetition of the word “holy” three times is known as the "trihagion." It implies that God is three persons, and is repeated in Rev. 4:8.
Read verse 3. If such unique, frightening creatures, made by God, greater in power than us proclaim this message to one another, how much more should we proclaim it to each other and ourselves? How often should we spend time praising God for Who He is, and how can you find more pockets of time to do this? (I personally try to go jogging most mornings—very slowly, because I have asthma, but it still counts—and I try to spend at least one of my 2-3 laps only in praising God for Who He is and all the things He has done for me).
Write some words below to describe God or copy them from my list at the end of this chapter. Try to reflect on at least one every day this week (the same one word is fine, or you can choose different ones), in still moments, as part of your quiet time, or while doing mindless activities (household chores, driving, etc).
Read verse 4. Do you think that the foundations of the God’s holy Temple shook because of the power of the creature speaking, or because of the words he spoke?
Write out the phrase below from verse 3:
Meditate on it today, soak it in like a sponge and ponder what it means. Ask the Lord to show it to you in a new light. The next time you sing or say this phrase, remember the power in these verses and words.
Read verse 5. What are some things that could give a person unclean lips?
Do you need to repent of any of these today?
Why would the author focus on his lips first, as opposed to any other part of his body? (Look back at verses 3-4 to help answer).
⇩ Digging Deeper (optional). Look up James 3:10-12, Philip. 2:14, Eph. 4:29.
Read verses 6-7. On the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, when the Jewish priests made sacrifices for the sins of all the people, they brought “a censer full of coals of fire from the altar before the Lord...and brought” it inside the veil. Then they “put the incense on the fire before the Lord, so that the cloud of incense covers the mercy seat” where the Spirit of God would come and appear (but no priest nor human was allowed to see, and it was covered by the veil).
Why was the coal, the sacrifice at the altar, and the Day of Atonement a yearly repeated practice before Jesus came to earth?
What happened to the veil in the Temple when Jesus died? (Matt. 27:50-51)
Why do we no longer need to make atonement for sins, if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior? (Romans 3:25, 5:11)
Read verse 8. Why should “Here I am; send me,” be our response to Jesus, especially after He has made atonement for all of our sins and removed our wickedness?
⇩ Digging Deeper (optional). Reread the poem “Love III” from earlier. Look up Luke 7:41-50.
Read verses 9-10. If you’re wondering why God might allow this (first, realize we can never fully know the mind of God, nor all the details He knows—1 Cor. 2:14), remember God knows the secret thoughts of man (Jer. 17:10), who will accept or reject Him, before they are even born. Yet even those choices He has molded into a part of His plan, like Pharaoh with the Egyptians (Ex. 3:1-19). In the next chapter, you’ll see how King Ahaz likewise hardened his heart against God. Though it saddens God (and should us as well), there are those who harden their hearts against God, and will be judged for it.
Read 2 Peter 3:9. Contrast the message of that verse with these. How do they round out or alter your understanding of God’s purposes and heart for people?
⇩ Digging Deeper (optional). For more examples of this even in the New Testament with Jesus, read Mark 4:11-12, John 12:37-40, Acts 28:25-28).
Read verse 12. Have you ever been driven away from unhealthy or unprofitable people or situations and weren’t happy about it at the time, but later realized the benefit?
How can you look for the benefit (or trusting God for it if you can’t see it yet, because He promises to work all things together for good)? Shift your perspective from “Woe is me” to “I’m looking for and expecting God’s good in this” and let this help you next time a possibly unwanted yet uncontrollable change comes that includes some type of removal.
⇩ Digging Deeper (optional). Compare this verse to John 15.
Read verse 13. Like the dross that was burned off in the refiner’s fire from earlier chapters, leaving only the pure silver, we too are like the “stump” that is left after a trial, meant to remove the dead branches of our hearts and lives, leaving a “holy seed” that God strengthens and grows.
The “elah” or terebinth tree (sometimes also called an oak tree) was what the “Angel of the Lord” was sitting under in Judges chapter 6, before He appears to Gideon (who is threshing wheat, removing the seed from the chaff) and calls him a mighty/valiant warrior, and calls him to lead an army of Israelites which He will dwindle from 33,000 to only 300, in order to impossibly defeat a giant army.
The Valley of Elah is where little David faced off against the giant Goliath with just a few stones in a sling.
In Genesis 35, Jacob and his family collected all the foreign gods they had been worshipping and buried them under a terebinth or oak tree, then built an altar to the true God. “Then they set out, and the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.”(verse 5)
In Isaiah 1:29, it says “You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks in which you have delighted; you will be disgraced because of the gardens that you have chosen.” —the idols and things we choose instead of God.
Terebinth trees are some of the earliest sources of turpentine (a solvent that can thin paint and make varnishes or furniture wax). It is acquired by strategic cuts made on the tree, removing the bark. Once the bark is gone, the tree secretes turpentine resin to protect itself against insects and to seal the open cuts. The resin is collected and processed to make refined turpentine. Once refined, wax can be added and it can be used to protect furniture. It is also an additive in medicinal chest rubs.
Think about yourself as the metaphorical tree here. The tree is cut, and stripped of its bark or hard outer layer, and sap oozes out. That sap is collected, refined, and wax is added, which is then used to polish and protect other wood, the very material—a tree—it was collected from. Or it can be added to a chest rub that can help open sick lungs and enable people to breathe in more deeply. It is also an additive to help treat lice, or skin cuts.
God takes our little bit, our true core, and removes through trials, the dross, the slough, the dead branches, the hard protective outer bark, that we have been clinging to. He takes the sap that oozes out of us—the yuck, the pain, the trial—and refines it, and uses it to help others, and us, to shine, for Him. When He “fells” us, God often takes us to the end of ourselves, where we discover that HE alone is all we need—not another person or relationship, our own skills, achievements, or talents, or the comforts we’ve been clinging to that He sometimes desires us to give up. Then He collects that, changes it, and uses it, and us, to strengthen and protect and help other trees, other people, walking the same path we have walked.
What “terebinth or oak bark” in your life (maybe that you are even a bit arrogant about or unhealthily dependent on, like little gods in our hearts) may need to be “burned away”?
Draw a tree with the bark peeling away and label the bark strips with your answer above.
What are some of the remaining true gifts and talents God has given you that make up your “holy seed” or “stump” (though even these should be surrendered at the altar of God and given to Him to be used how HE wills, and not always in our time or ways)?
How can you grow or strengthen the “holy stumps” God has given you?
Conclusion of the chapter:
What verse or passage stood out to you most?
What verse are you working on memorizing?
What’s your biggest takeaway idea or lesson from this chapter?
Descriptives of God:
- Lord of Hosts
- God Most High
- Eternal God
- King of Kings
- Resting Place
- Bread of Life
- Wonderful Counselor
- Prince of Peace
- Lion of Judah
- Warrior Who saves
- Author of our days
- High Priest
- Everlasting Father
- Living Water
- The Lord Who Saves
- Breaker of chains
- God Almighty
- Horn of my Salvation
© 2020 Amanda Lorenzo