H. McKnight - Isaiah 6

Isaiah 6. I was thinking of this chapter.  Verse 1 begins "In the year that king Uzziah died..... temple."  Uzziah was a very good king until he over-stepped the border of his responsibility and he became a leper and was a leper until the day of his death.  We haven't finished the race yet and this experience could happen to anyone, so we have to go forth carefully.  I was thinking of when Absalom was caught up in the tree.   Joab asked the young man why he did not smite him down but the young man spoke about the advice the king gave.  "Deal gently with the young man."  That young man fulfilled the words of the king.  Joab killed Absalom.  I admire that young man.  In spite of what the older man told him, he still kept the words of the king.  If we would go forward, just keep the words of the King and remember what we have heard here and fulfill it.   We have heard much about leaving here and the problems we may face in the world.   Sometimes those who were against you begin to admire your manner of life and they appreciate you for it.   They may not be willing for it, but they may come to appreciate you.  It is a privilege to witness to others so don't let the attitude of others discourage you. 

Verse 2.  "Above it stood the seraphims.... with twain he did fly."    These seraphims hid their identity and they spoke the same message.  There was great unity among them.  None put himself forward and they had the message.  Verse 3-4 "Holy, holy, holy...... was filled with smoke."  There was a a response to the message.  The house was filled with smoke.  The message had quite an effect upon the house.  Isaiah said (verse 5) "Woe is me.... the Lord of hosts."  He was grateful for that vision that he had seen the king.  Verses 6 & 7. "Then flew one of the seraphims.... thy sin purged."  That was not a pleasant experience.  It was a live coal - a living word.   We can leave here with iniquity taken away and our sin purged.  That is God's provision for His people.  He can send them forth as a clean people.   That is the interest that God has in His people.  Isaiah 55.  The word of God will cleanse.  Verse 12.  "For ye shall go out with joy..... with peace."   We can now go forward with the knowledge that we are clean no matter how we felt before.  Our responsibility is to keep clean.  We can go out with joy.   We can rejoice in His salvation.  We can rejoice in the dealings of God and be led forth with peace.  There is nothing to equal peace.  Peace in the heart, peace in the home and peace in the nation.  We can  find that in Jesus.  If we are willing to be cleansed by His word and keep that word, we can experience peace.  This is a very troubled world and it is not going to get any better but in the quietness of our own hearts we can live in peace.  Chapter 6, 8.  The voice of the Lord asked "Whom shall I send?"   Isaiah said "Send me."  He was very willing to respond to the voice of God and said willingly "Here am I, send me."  We have heard much about going into the Work but in every walk of life we could say "Here am I, send me."  We are very grateful for those who have gone.  I have thought recently of Wilson Reid who told us once "When you pray, don't preach."  Preaching and prayers should be separated.  One would like to practise that - not preach while we are praying.  We are just to express our own need and the needs of others.    I was thinking again of the Song of Solomon.  A lady once said to me "You like the romantic scriptures."  There is a great depth of meaning in this Song.   Chapter 2 , 3.  "I sat down under his shadow."  it is not easy to sit down.  You people have your occupation and responsibilities and I would like to learn better how to sit down.  When you sit down something comes into your mind and you have to do it and eventually you don't sit down at all.  There is a lot to be gained if we are just willing to sit down.   Verse 4.  "...... and his and banner over me was love."    He has so much to offer us if we could only sit down.  This world is in such a mad rush.  People are all better off but they seem to have less time than ever for the important things.  The devil doesn't mind how well off we are.  All he wants to do is to distract us and hinder us from what we need to do in order to preserve our own life.  And this is a matter of eternal life.  We must look at it in that light and realise that we have been given the privilege of eternal life.  We are joint-heirs with Christ.    This is almost unbelievable.  We turn to Jesus on the Cross and all He did to make that possible for us.   We don't feel worthy of being a joint-heir with Christ.  Verse 10. "My beloved..... over and gone."  In those countries winter is an unfruitful season but in this verse that season is over so the message is "Rise up."  It was my beloved who spoke.  That response is necessary, to rise up and leave certain things behind.  A different season had come.  "The time of the singing of birds..... in our land."  This can be our experience as we go through life, having fellowship with Jesus and with the Father.  That enables us to rise up and come away.  The Psalmist said "My soul cleaveth to the dust."  We cleave to the dust and we need to be quickened, to be raised up that one day we may live with Him for ever.  Verse 14 & 15. "Let me hear thy voice..... tender grapes."   Fellowship is very tender.  It can be broken.  It goes back to this matter of forgiveness that we have heard about.  

Forgiveness preserves fellowship.   We have no right not to forgive the other person for we have been forgiven ourselves.   This is the most wonderful fellowship in all the world.  Someone said in testimony of that which is better.  I have been thinking of the parable of the grain of mustard seed.   Matthew 13, 31. "The Kingdom of Heaven..... mustard seed.... greatest among herbs."   We have a part in that which has become great.  The whole world is going to destruction but we as God's Children, if we remain, faithful are in what is going to last for ever.   We are in it right now, not only after we die.  The only thing in the world today that is becoming greater is God's testimony.  The ordinary way of life is diminishing in value but God's Kingdom is increasing in value. People give themselves to so much and then say "It doesn't interest me any more."  It is so good to give ourselves to what is becoming greater day by day.  We are a very privileged people to have a part in His Kingdom.  Verse 16. "My beloved is mine...... among the lilies."  The lilies speak of purity .  Verse 17 "Until the day... mountains."  Jesus wanted to wash the Disciples’ feet but Peter didn't want it. Jesus said (John13, 8.) " If I wash thee not..... with me."  Right away Peter said "Not my feet only... head."  Perhaps he made the first statement out of respect for the Master.  But he had a perfect revelation of Jesus when he said "Not my feet..... head."    He couldn't entertain the thought of not being  in the Kingdom of Jesus.    If we could think along the same line we are not going to allow anything to hinder us.   Peter wanted to have a part for ever with Jesus.  Today perhaps it is a little bit of self denial and bearing of the Cross but one day it will be altogether different.  It is a wonderful future to live on this earth for one thousand years when all evil will be put down.  The enemy wants to hide that view from our eyes.  Chapter 3, 6.  "Who is this..... of the merchant."  When you think of a merchant you think of trading.  You have to buy.  You have to pay a price.  Chapter 4, 16.  The Bride is speaking. "Awake, O north wind... pleasant fruits."   She was willing for every experience that the sweet spices would flow out, proving to others that she was subject to her beloved.  Sometimes when I think of the beautiful expressions in this chapter I wonder if you husbands use such expressions to your wives.   Chapter 5, 2  "I sleep....."  The Bridegroom was coming but the bride didn't respond.  The Bridegroom said "Open to me."  When the Bridegroom speaks do we respond?   The beloved had withdrawn and then the bride realised what she had missed.  She had taken things easy and the Bridegroom had to pass her by.   Verse 9. "What is thy beloved more than another beloved."   She didn't want another beloved.  She had a revelation of the true beloved.  This was her testimony of her beloved.  He was altogether lovely.  It is nice when we have that true understanding of our beloved.  Chapter 6, 2.  My beloved..... gather lilies."  Now she was fully satisfied.    As we leave this place we want to have this assurance "I am my beloved's ..... is mine."  This is a very individual matter and it is wonderful to think of the possibility of service.  This is our only hope for the  future.    We will then have part in the great resurrection and be able to live with Him for ever and ever .  This is a great reality.    This Song is more than a love story.  It holds out hope to us.  There were some mistakes made by the bride but the relationship was renewed as soon as possible.  She couldn't live without the Bridegroom.  We can't live without our Bridegroom.  It would be a very dark future if we allowed the Bridegroom to leave us.  We have to put forth the effort that the Bridegroom will be willing to abide with us.