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 worshipped.
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.
We only see thrones in Disney movies and history books. This throne represents God’s kingship over all of us. First of all, he created us, and was our king then. But we rebelled against him and then he bought us with Jesus’ blood. So now he is doubly our king. We should honor him as king by submitting our lives to his authority.
- What I want the group to know and understand: God is the most holy, high king on a throne. Holy means to be pure, wholly other, set apart from everything else. As the king, he is in total control, has total power over the universe, and deserves to be worshipped. Even the angels cannot look at him, because he is so holy. Isaiah had to be cleansed to be in his presence.
- What I want the group to experience: As we see God as holy, we will see how sinful and unlike God we are. We will have broken hearts over our sin and bow down in worship of God. As we see God as king, we will let him rule in our lives.
- How I want the group to respond: By Seeing our sin, confessing it, turning towards God and asking for cleansing. By worshipping God. By letting him have control. By following God’s lead as he prompts us to take next steps in telling others about him.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TOPIC:
In America, 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.
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 leader like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
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.
Before beginning, have someone pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help everyone understand what they are reading.
1. Have someone read Isaiah 6:1-9a. Have the students recap the story.
2. 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).
3. What are the seraphs (angels) doing and saying? Why do you think they are covering themselves?
They are flying around the throne with two wings, and 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.
4. 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.
5.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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. When the angels were in God’s presence, all they could do was worship him. How do you think recognizing God’s holiness would help you to worship him more genuinely?
Allow the students to discuss.
10. As you read and see God in this passage as a holy and almighty king, what is your response to him? What do you sense God calling you to do?
Allow the students to discuss.
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.