In Times of Transition Look Inward, Upward, and Outward


When King Uzziah died, the throne of Judah was empty. In times of transition everyone is on edge, but for men of faith, we have a clear advantage.  We like Isaiah turn to God for His help and comfort.  In our hour of darkest need, Isaiah teaches us three key things to do.  When the hour seems most bleak, the times more trying, and hope all but lost, what an opportunity for the greatest spiritual blessings.  Isaiah looked up to the throne and saw it was not empty but Yahweh was still seated there.  When in times of distress and uncertainty your first move is to look upward.

  1. Look Upward He Saw the Lord (6:1–4)

“When the outlook is bleak, try the uplook!”[1]

There are some similarities between Israel and America.  For fifty-two years, Uzziah had led Judah in a program of peace and prosperity. During his reign, there was an economic boom. The economic growth and temporary peace served as a band-aid to cover a deeper national spiritual poverty.   Like far too many people of power and influence King Uzziah had rebelled against the Word of God and died a leper (2 Kings 15:1–7; 2 Chron. 26). Isaiah realized that though the nation had prospered materially, it was in terrible condition spiritually.

Facing this dire situation, God lifted Isaiah’s eyes from himself and his people to the throne of heaven. While we as the people of God might be facing confusion and unrest on earth, look upward and find perfect peace in heaven.


     2.  The Inward Look Isaiah His True Condition (6:5–7)

 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;[2]

It is amazing how standing in front of a Holy God, shatters any sense of pride we may have about ourselves. As Isaiah faced God and His holiness he realized his sinfulness and failure.  And Isaiah was not the first one to come to this realization.  “What’s wrong with the world?” a newspaper editorial once asked. G.K. Chesterton wrote in reply, “I am.” The biblical list is long:

Job saw God and repented (Job 42:6); Peter cried out, “I am a sinful man” when he saw Christ’s power (Luke 5:8).  And for us, we too need to come to this revelation.  We are lost, we are people with unclean lips and hearts, and we serve, work, live and love a people with the same ailments we possess.

3.        The Outward LookIsaiah Responded to the Need (6:8–13)

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”[3]Is 6:8

The first two stages all were about preparation.  Isaiah was called by God and used to preach His Word. To be an effective servant the prophet had to move beyond his own needs and set aside his wants, to carry out the will of God. His burden of sin is lifted and he has been cleansed. The discouragement he was facing has been replaced with the comfort he finds at the throne of God.  Now he is ready to respond to the needs of the people.

The call we receive from God to go and serve is evidence of God’s grace. Evidence of God’s willingness to use flawed, sinful, and rebellious human beings to accomplish His will on earth. His plan could be better executed with one of the seraphim, and it would have obeyed instantly and perfectly.  Nevertheless, he sends us with a simple message “Go and tell!” “You shall be witnesses to me … to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NKJV).

There is no guarantee this mission will be without its challenges.  We cannot control how people will respond.  It will take great faith to faithfully carry out this mission, but our work is not done until the final flag is placed marking our journey on this earth complete.  Just remember God’s Word will accomplish its task.

[1]Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be Comforted(pp. 28–29). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[2]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 6:5). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[3]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 6:8). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.


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