We live in a self-absorbed society, where few volunteer for the common good. But many top philosophers tell us that self-centeredness is the source of suffering. How can we fix this? Let’s learn from Isaiah 6:1-13.
In this passage, Isaiah saw the glory and holiness of God (v1-4). In Hebrew, repetition shows magnitude. Here, “holy” is repeated three times, implying infinite brilliance, beauty, and significance. The encounter changed and deepened Isaiah’s understanding of God.
Isaiah was crushed and reacted by cursing himself (v5). Seeing the greatness exposed his inadequacies. Job, Moses and Peter had similar experiences.
Isaiah was a skilled and intelligent communicator from a royal family. At that time, King Uzziah had died, and the society was in bad shape. It should have been his time to shine, yet Isaiah saw how unworthy he and his people were (v5).
Then God cleansed Isaiah (v6-7). Isaiah was humbled by his inadequacies, but he was bold because of God’s cleansing and acceptance.
After that, God offered Isaiah a job without telling him what it entailed. Isaiah immediately accepted (v8). For the rest of his life, Isaiah would preach with no results, no conversion (v9-13). The Israel nation was like a tree cut down to its stump, but God told Isaiah the stump would grow again (v13).
God’s holiness might not bring earthly benefits. But after seeing His holiness, Isaiah focused on God, ignoring his own needs, fulfillment, and goals. Independent of the environment, Isaiah adored and served God for the rest of his life.
We tend to treat God as our personal ATM. Meeting God would totally change us. Encountering Christ would show our inadequacies, humbling us while making us bold! Isaiah didn’t earn his self-worth through his own effort; neither do we. Christ’s sacrifice cleanses us, leading to God’s acceptance, our supreme position, and boldness.
Encountering Christ changes us from self-absorbed to focused on Him. We can persevere even when our environment is terrible. We can adore and serve Him for the rest of our lives.
Also, one day Christ will come back. The stump will grow. And everything will be wonderful again!
Summarized from a Tim Keller sermon titled, “Gospel_and_Your_Self”:
以赛亚在这段经文中看到上帝的荣耀和圣洁 （以赛亚书6：1-4）。重复的字语在希伯来语中代表其重要性。 “圣洁”在此处重复三次，意味着无限的光彩、美丽和重要性。这次的相遇改变和深化了以赛亚对上帝的认识和理解。
以赛亚在他的余生中传讲上帝的话语，但最终都没有结果，没有人听了就回转 （以赛亚书6：9-13）。以色列民族就像一棵被砍伐的树木。但上帝告诉以赛亚那存留的树墩有一天会再次生长 （以赛亚书6：13）。