30th January 2009

A VISION FOR OUR TIME

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory. At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke”. Isaiah 6:1 -4  NIV

In the present economic crisis, many people are unsure where to turn for help and encouragement. Can the government or any of the other political parties really paint us a picture of hope for the future?

Is there really a ‘vision for Britain’ or elsewhere that can help lift us out of the present gloom?

The prophet Isaiah had worshipped in the temple at Jerusalem all his life. It was the place where God was supposed to dwell and the only true place of worship for Jews at that time. Yet Isaiah, like many Jews of his generation, came to
the temple, burdened, just as most Christians often attend church today, with frustrations and concerns from which there often seems no hope of escape. God just doesn’t seem to be there when we need him most.

We know that God exists and that he has power to reach into our lives and change and shape both the present and the future for us, but he seems so remote; even in those places where we would most expect to find him and where his presence should be most keenly felt.

This was how Isaiah felt too. Yet, one day, he left the temple a changed man. His life became instantly filled with a sense of purpose and, from then on, his enthusiasm and zeal for God knew no bounds. Can Isaiah’s experience can be ours too?

Isaiah was given a vision of God which not only filled the temple but filled him also with hope and renewed strength, enabling him to see beyond his present difficulties and the problems which beset the nation. The old king had just
died yet the nation was still torn by internal divisions and strife and also faced imminent danger from without. Although the king, who had been one of the few remaining symbols of stability, may now be dead, Isaiah was reminded that God was still on his throne and all would be well if the nation would only look to him for deliverance.

Our own nations now face difficult times ahead, with so much uncertainly following the revelation that we could be heading for the worst economic downturn since World War II. Perhaps you have been personally affected by the
current crisis.

Like Isaiah, we need to have the eyes of faith to see God seated on his throne, in charge, ruling despite all the chaos around us. The great God is indeed there for us. And to quote the apostle Paul: “If God be for us, who can be against
us.” (Romans 8:31)

We need to pray for a fresh vision of God.

Prayer
Lord, help me to see beyond my present difficulties and to know that you are indeed the God of all creation who stands outside of time and knows the end from the beginning. Help me to see your true glory and to know the height and depth of your love which was revealed to us through the sacrifice of your Son, Jesus, and to know the power of his resurrection.
Amen.

Study by Richard Dempsey

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