Crossroads: Our Holy God – Isaiah


Isaiah 6:1-8

A Story

One of my favorite TV shows is “The Andy Griffith Show.” In one episode of the show, Opie Taylor, son of Andy Taylor who is the sheriff of Mayberry, gets his report card in school. To Opie’s surprise, his report card shows that he made “A’s” in every school subject. Opie is so excited to show his Pa his report card. Andy is very pleased with Opie’s report card—so pleased, in fact, that Andy buys Opie a brand new bicycle as a gift for making all A’s.

The problem is that Opie learns the next day that his teacher made a mistake on the report card. Opie actually did not make all A’s—in fact, some of his grades were much worse. Opie tries to tell his Pa about the mistake on his report card, but Andy is still so proud of the good grades that Opie cannot tell his father the truth.

Opie feels extremely guilty about keeping the truth from his father. In fact, he feels so guilty that he cannot enjoy riding his new bike. Every time he sees the new bicycle, Opie feels more guilty because he knows he really does not deserve to have the bike since he didn’t make all A’s. Finally, Opie tells his father the truth about his report card. Opie’s father forgives him and allows Opie to keep the new bike. Then, after he tells the truth, Opie is able to enjoy riding the bicycle.

Your Story

Have you ever received something that you felt like you didn’t deserve?
• How did that gift make you feel? Could you enjoy it? Why or why not?
• Can you think of other times in your life when you felt unworthy? What happened? Why did you feel unworthy?
• What kinds of experiences make us feel unworthy?
• We often connect guilt with feelings of unworthiness. Describe other feelings associated with feeling unworthy (i.e. – sadness? fear? worry?)

Bible Story

Isaiah was a prophet for the nation of Israel, who lived about 750 years before the birth of Jesus. He was probably a priest or minister in the temple of Israel, and he often preached to the people God’s word for their lives. During Isaiah’s life and ministry, the Israelites had been conquered by a group of people called the Assyrians. The Assyrians made life very difficult for the people of Israel.

In our text for today, Isaiah is worshiping God in the temple. It was probably an ordinary worship service that day, but an amazing thing happened to Isaiah during that time of worship. Isaiah became more aware than he ever had before of the holiness of God. Even though other people were around him in the temple that day, in that moment Isaiah felt that he was all alone with God. Isaiah was deeply aware of the holy presence of God, and in God’s holy presence, Isaiah felt unworthy. In fact, at one point in the worship service, Isaiah cried out, “Woe to me, I am ruined. For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips.”

When he was in the holy presence of God, Isaiah was aware of his sin. Isaiah thought about all the times he said things he should not have said, saw things he should not have looked at, and did things he should not have done. And in the holy presence of God, Isaiah felt unworthy. He felt unworthy of God’s love, unworthy of God’s grace, and unworthy of God’s forgiveness.

But as soon as Isaiah said how unworthy he felt, God offered him forgiveness. No sooner had Isaiah said he felt unworthy than the scripture tells us that a seraph—another word for angel—flew over to Isaiah and placed a burning coal on Isaiah’s mouth. When the seraph touched the coal to Isaiah’s mouth, the seraph said, “Your guilt is taken away—your sin is no more—you are forgiven.” Even though Isaiah felt unworthy, God forgave him for all his sins and made Isaiah pure and clean.


• If you had been Isaiah and had seen and experienced the things Isaiah did in this passage, how would you have felt? What do you think was the most interesting thing Isaiah saw in this passage?
• The Bible says that God is holy. What does “holy” mean? Describe God’s holiness.
• Isaiah felt unworthy of God’s love and felt that he was not holy. What kinds of things make us unholy?
• We don’t deserve God’s grace and forgiveness, but God wants to give us these gifts. Why is it difficult to receive things we feel like we don’t deserve?
• What can we learn from Isaiah in this passage?


[Read Psalm 100.] Praise our holy, perfect God. Thank God for loving us and forgiving us even when we don’t deserve such love and forgiveness. Ask God to help us love and forgive other people in the same way that God loves and forgives us.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

Kevin Head began serving as Minister to Young Families at First Baptist Roswell, Georgia, in February 2012. He has pastored three churches in Kentucky and more recently served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lumberton, North Carolina. In 2007, Kevin and his wife, Amy, began a ministry-based counseling practice called New Perspectives for Life in East Cobb, Georgia. He is a graduate of Furman University (B.A.) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D., M.Div.) in Louisville, Kentucky. Kevin was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Belvedere, South Carolina. His model of ministry is based on John 8 and the amazing, continual grace of Jesus Christ. Kevin and Amy have two children, Jenna and Joshua.

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