The BIG IDEA
God introduces himself to Isaiah as the most holy and high king on a throne. He rules and he is to be worshiped.
Because of our sin, we cannot stand in his presence apart from being covered or cleansed.
Christ covers us in his righteousness and cleanses us by the sacrifice of his life for ours. His death and resurrection and our faith in him allow us to stand before the holy King and worship him. We will follow him as he calls us to go tell others.
Why THIS MATTERS
In the United States, we don’t have a concept of royalty and we don’t like to submit to another’s control. We are known for equality and independence. We want to have it our way. But in God’s kingdom, we were designed to come under his control and authority.
I WANT MY STUDENTS TO:
- KNOW: God is holy which means to be pure and set apart from everything else. As the king, he is in total control, has total power over the universe, and deserves to be worshiped.
- EXPERIENCE: See God as holy and have broken hearts over their sin. Be in awe of God’s holiness and majesty.
- DO: See our sin, confess it, turn towards God and ask for cleansing. Respond to his holiness by worshiping him and submit to him as king.
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leading this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leaders like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
*WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Basketball star LeBron James broke a major rule when he met Prince William and Duchess Kate, English royalty. LeBron put his arm around Kate when they took a photo. Here are some of the rules for meeting royalty:
1) Stand when royalty enters the room.
2) Only speak when spoken to.
3) Address the Queen as “Your Majesty” and the Prince and Duchess as “Your Royal Highness.”
4) Never touch them, unless they offer a brief handshake.
5) Don’t chew gum.
6) Stop and bow 20 feet from the throne.
7) Stop eating when they stop eating.
8) Don’t turn your back on them.
What’s your reaction to this kind of royal treatment?
In America we are not used to having or being around royalty. We expect everyone to be treated equally. The closest we come to this is being around celebrities. In the passage we are going to read, Isaiah describes his encounter when he meets God seated on a throne.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
Before beginning, have someone pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help everyone understand what they are reading.
In a few places in the Bible, the writers describe a picture of heaven. These passages are sometimes strange to imagine and a lot like a Sci-Fi movie, but they do give us an idea of what God is like. In this passage, Isaiah sees how holy God is. Holy means sacred, set apart, and so different than everything else. It also means morally and spiritually pure. Let’s read about what a guy named Isaiah saw when he saw heaven.
*Have someone read Isaiah 6:1–9a. What is happening in this story?
1. When Isaiah meets God in a vision, how does he see God?
Seated on a throne, high and exalted (sitting high and above). His robe fills the temple. He is holy and powerful, full of glory (which is brighter than looking into the sun).
2. Verse 2 talks about seraphim (which are angels).
- What are these angels doing and saying?
- Why do you think they are covering themselves?
They are flying around the throne with two wings. With two wings they are covering their eyes and with two wings they are covering their feet. They are saying that God is holy and almighty (powerful over all things) and the whole earth is filled with his glory (or bright presence). God is so bright and so holy that they have to cover themselves in his presence.
3. How does Isaiah respond? How do you think you would have responded if you saw and heard this?
He says, “Woe is me!” He sees how unclean he is compared to God. Normally people were not able to be in God’s holy presence and live. He’s afraid of being struck dead. Allow students to discuss their responses.
4. How is Isaiah able to stay in God’s presence and not be destroyed? How has our guilt been taken away and our sin “atoned for (been paid for)” as believers, allowing us to be in God’s presence?
The angel brings a piece of coal from the altar and touches Isaiah’s lips, which cleans him and takes away his sin and his guilt. Jesus was our payment; he has cleaned us and taken away our sin and guilt.
5. What does the Lord say to Isaiah in verse 8 and the first half of verse 9 and what is Isaiah’s response?
The Lord asks Isaiah, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?”, meaning he is wanting someone to go as a messenger from God to the people. Isaiah asks God to send him.
HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
6. When you compare yourself to this holy God, would you consider yourself to be a pretty good person or unclean, like Isaiah? Why?
Allow the students to discuss.
7. If the only way for you to be with God is for you to be holy, how do you think you can become holy?
Answers will vary, but students need to understand that they need Jesus to cleanse them from their sin. They will never be able to be clean enough on their own.
8. When the angels were in God’s presence, all they could do was worship him. What do you think “worship” means?
Allow the students to discuss. Worship means to honor or show reverence for—to show respect or devotion to. These may be big words and hard concepts for your students, but don’t shy away from helping them define it in their words.
9. How do you think recognizing God’s holiness would help you to worship him more genuinely?
When we recognize how holy God is, and how small we are in comparison, we can’t help but respect and worship him. True worship is real and from the heart, not just a show of what you think worship means. Some people think worship is just singing songs at church, but God sees it as much more than that.
*10. OK, so God is holy.
- How does that impact your life?
- If you really believed that this holy God is always with you, how would you want to live differently?
Allow the group to answer. Some elements you might want to bring out if they don’t might include… being more aware of their sin, a greater respect for God, a desire to live a life that honors God, a brokenness from their sin.
Pray together with your group, thanking him for being holy and asking him to give you the power to live lives that would please him.
If you feel they are up for it, have your students pray about their own desires to live holy lives.
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.