Isaiah and the Crisis – Gospel in Life

Isaiah and the Crisis

Tim Keller |  September 11, 2011

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  • Repentance
  • Redemption
Isaiah 6:1-8
RS 331-11


The prophet Isaiah experienced God showing up at a point of cultural crisis and decline. What did Isaiah see? He saw: 1) A God who is not boring; 2) A God who is holy; and 3) A God who is on a mission.

Understanding Isaiah 6:1–8

Isaiah had a powerful vision in a time when his country was in trouble, showing us a God who is exciting, pure, and has a plan. This vision reminds us that no society, not even ours, is safe from falling into hard times just like before 9/11 happened. During our own times of trouble, it’s important to understand God the way Isaiah did.

1. Isaiah’s God is not dull

God is anything but boring, unlike the predictable nature of evil which comes from being self-absorbed. True goodness, like that shown by Jesus, is full of unexpected twists and turns, and it’s incredibly interesting. If we want to live exciting lives, we need to turn to the endlessly surprising and engaging God of the Bible.

2. Isaiah’s God is pure

To truly know and feel God’s presence, we need to admit our own shortcomings. This can be a tough thing to face, but it can also help us understand ourselves better and realize what we need to improve. This kind of self-awareness, personal growth, and deeper understanding of God’s love can only come when we’re in the presence of God.

3. Isaiah’s God has a plan

God has a plan to fix the world, and He sent Abram, Jesus, and Isaiah to help make it happen. Isaiah’s forgiveness and purification came through admitting his mistakes – the way to tap into God’s power. The coal that touched Isaiah’s lips, coming from the altar, represents the combination of God’s anger, sacrifice, and forgiveness, and it points forward to Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Knowing that God loves us because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we should be as confident as Isaiah, understanding that if God is on our side, nothing can defeat us.


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