Introduction: Do you like change? Most people fear change because it
brings uncertainty. Right now I’m adding change to my unchanged
life. I’ve lived in the same house for over 25 years, but have
rented a house in a new city and am slowly moving there. I’ve had
the same employer for over 32 years, but now I spend half my time
teaching in law school. For 28 years I have been a member of the
same local church, but I’m slowly moving to the new church in the new
city. I’ve been married to the same wife for 34 years and my goal is
to make no changes there! Change creates anxiety. Being a missionary
may require some change in your life. This week our lesson starts out
with changing leadership, let’s dive into our study of Isaiah!

  1. King Uzziah Dies

    1. Read Isaiah 6:1-3. Uzziah had been king for more than 50
      years. How do you think it made the people feel to have
      him die?

      1. Since Uzziah was generally a good king, how would you
        guess Isaiah felt about it?

      2. Why do you think God showed Isaiah this vision at the
        time when King Uzziah died? (We want someone in
        charge who has our best interests in mind. We want
        rulers who like us. God shows Isaiah that although
        Uzziah may have died, God is still on His throne and
        is in charge.)

    2. What does this vision show us about the nature of our God?
      (He wants to reassure His followers. He wants you to have
      confidence in Him.)

  2. Woeful Man!

    1. Read Isaiah 6:2 again. Let’s notice these angels for a
      minute. By the way, this is the only time “seraphs” are
      mentioned in the Bible.

      1. The word “seraph” means “to burn.” How do you think
        these angels looked?

      2. How do these seraphs use their wings? (Two to cover
        the face, two to cover the feet (or the lower part of
        the body) and two to fly.)

        1. Why do you think these angels used their wings
          in such a way? (They are in the presence of God.
          They veiled their faces because of a holy God.
          They covered their feet as a suggestion of
          respect. The common was kept from God’s view.
          They needed two to keep flying!)

    2. Read Isaiah 6:3-4. If you are worried about “second-hand
      smoke,” you need to stay away from the presence of God!
      Seriously, why is there such physical force connected with
      the message of these angels?

      1. Why should the temple be filled with smoke? (Read
        Exodus 19:18. This tells us that the “smoke” that
        surrounds God is the result of God traveling in fire.
        This is called the “Shekinah cloud” and is often
        associated with God. See, e.g. 1 Kings 8:10 and
        Ezekiel 10:4.)

      2. Why do you think that God and the angels appear to be
        burning? This sounds more like a picture of hell!
        (If you look at Numbers 31:21-24 we see that burning
        and water are God’s means for purifying an item.
        Based on that, God’s fiery appearance symbolizes the
        source of purity.)

        1. Why, then, do we have a picture in Revelation
          20:9-10 of the devil burning? (Absolute impurity
          meets absolute purity. The fire of God consumes
          the impurity of sin.)

      3. Those of you that are more scientifically oriented
        can tell me – isn’t smoke evidence of the conversion
        of energy from one form to another? If so, this may
        be some evidence of the energy that surrounds God.
        Energy, purity, power: that is our God! In times of
        change, God remains the power of the universe.

      4. Are the words of the angels in Isaiah 6:3 less
        powerful than the delivery of the words in Isaiah
        6:4? (The entire picture in Isaiah 6 conveys a sense
        of power. The dazzling angels (remember they looked
        like fire) cover their faces, they continually praise
        God, and you can feel the power of the presence of
        God and these angels. What they say is that God is
        holy and His influence fills the whole earth.)

        1. Do you feel power in your church worship?

    3. Read Isaiah 6:5. What is Isaiah’s reaction to being in the
      presence of God?

      1. How is this a reassurance in a time of change?

      2. Why does Isaiah speak of his lips? If you find
        yourself in the presence of someone important, aren’t
        you more concerned about whether your hair is combed
        and your clothes are clean and neat? (Isaiah, the
        prophet, has a message for God’s people. His point is
        that he is unworthy to bring this message. His first
        need is to have his sins forgiven.)

    4. Read Isaiah 6:6-7. What does the live coal represent?
      (Remember that Isaiah 6:1 and Isaiah 6:4 tell us that God,
      the seraphs and Isaiah are all in the temple in this
      vision. This coal is taken from the altar – the place of
      the atonement for sin. The coal is applied to the place
      in which Isaiah says he has the greatest need.)

      1. Read Acts 2:3-4. Isaiah has a burning coal touched to
        his lips. The apostles have tongues of fire rest on
        them. What pattern do you see?

        1. What lesson do you find? (The instrument used by
          the missionary is purified by the fire of God.)

      2. What message do you see in Isaiah confessing his
        unworthiness and seeking cleansing for his words
        before he begins his mission? (If you want to be
        involved in mission you need to first confess your
        sins and seek God’s blessings. You need to have the
        power and purity of God fall on you. How can you
        teach others to repent if you have not repented?)

  3. The Volunteer

    1. Read Isaiah 6:8. Why does God call for a volunteer when He
      is there with Isaiah? (This reinforces the idea that God
      does not force us to be His missionaries. He asks us to
      volunteer for His work.)

      1. Who is the “us” in verse 8? (Notice that the seraphs
        say “Holy” three times. Both the reference to “us”
        and the repetition of the word “Holy” imply the

      2. How many does volunteers does God call for? (He seems
        to be calling for one. “Whom” shall I send?)

  4. The Message

    1. Read Isaiah 6:9-10. Isaiah now has a new mission from God.
      What does God see is the major problem?

      1. Is Isaiah the first one to mention the problem to the
        people? Is the issue that they have not heard God’s
        message before? (The message is that they need to
        clean their ears, open their eyes and soften their

      2. We have a great concern to fulfill the “Gospel
        Commission” that the whole world hear the message of
        Jesus. What complication to our task do verses 9 and
        10 suggest? (It is not simply hearing the word, it is
        understanding it. We have a mission field among those
        who “know” as well as for those who have not heard.)

    2. Read Isaiah 6:11-12. How long for what?

      1. Isaiah seems to be asking, “What will it take for the
        people to both hear and understand?”

        1. What is the answer? (Calamity will cause them to
          pay attention to God. In the United States we
          are experiences bank failures. This is historic
          bad news.)

    3. Read Isaiah 6:13. This verse contains both bad and good
      news. What is the bad news? (That even though 10% of the
      people survive at first, what remains will be attacked a
      second time. Things are going to get much worse.)

      1. What is the good news? (That out of the “stumps”
        which are left, the “holy seed” will arise.)

    4. Do you think we are facing change in the world? Serious
      problems? (Some bad things are happening in the world. The
      problems in the American financial system seem to be the
      worst of my lifetime. I read there are serious problems in
      other countries as well. Last week I heard an expert talk
      about how the President of Iran publically states that he
      is the modern day “John the Baptist” who will usher in the
      Mahdi, who is the redeemer of Islam. The Mahdi comes when
      there is great conflict in the middle east. Remember that
      Iran is making nuclear weapons and has said it wants to
      destroy Israel. Israel has a history of bombing the
      nuclear plants of problematic neighbors. This is a recipe
      for real trouble!)

    5. What encouragement do you find from this lesson when bad
      things are happening in your life, when change is taking
      place? (Our whole lesson this week, from a fiery God, to
      the burning coal on the lips, to the destruction of those
      who will not pay attention, paints a picture. Our God is
      in charge and He will cleanse us from our sins. Heat,
      pressure, and fire burn away the impurities and bring
      forth the holy. God uses change to make us better people
      and help us to be His representatives to bring change to

    6. Friend, how about you? Are you willing to be purified so
      that you can be God’s representative? Are you willing to
      respond to the call of God to share His word? Are you
      willing to embrace change and trouble to make you a better

  5. Next week we start a new series of lessons on the “Atonement and
    the Cross of Christ.”