Consider God's Holiness
In the year King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on a high and exalted throne with the train of his rope filling the temple. Above Him were seraphs with six wings each calling to one another, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory." The doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. Isaiah cried out that he was ruined with unclean lips and living among a people of unclean lips but his eyes saw the King, the Lord Almighty (Is. 6:1-5). Consider God's holiness to reveal personal and community sin.
Experience Forgiveness of Sin
A seraphim flew with a burning coal taken from the altar and touched Isaiah's mouth. He said his iniquity was taken away and sin forgiven. The Lord said, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" Isaiah said, "Here am I. Send me!" He said to go and tell this people that they were always hearing but never understanding and always seeing but never perceiving. Their hearts were insensitive, ears dull and eyes dim so they could not hear, understand, return to the Lord and be healed. The Lord said Isaiah would do this until cities lie ruined without people, houses deserted, fields ravaged and land completely forsaken. A tenth as the holy seed would remain in the land as a remnant like a stump in the land (Is. 6:6-13). Experience forgiveness of sin and hear God's call as an ambassador of reconciliation.
Trust God's Protection
Rezin, king of Aram and Pekah, king of Israel, battled against Ahaz, king of Judah, without conquering them. Israel's king and peoples' hearts shook like trees in the wind. Isaiah and his son told Ahaz to be calm, not fear or be fainthearted because of the fierce anger of these two kings who planned evil against them. God said their terror would not make a breach in its walls. Within 65 years Ephraim would be no longer be a people because of their unbelief (Is. 7:1-9). Trust God's protection, stay calm and do not fear when people seek evil.
Live in God's Presence
The Lord told Ahaz to ask for a sign but he refused not wanting to test God's patience. The Lord gave the sign of a virgin who would bear a son whose name would be called Immanuel. He would eat curds and honey when he was old enough to refuse evil and choose good. The land of the two kings they dreaded would be laid waste in the early childhood of the boy. The Lord would bring the king of Assyria causing great natural and economic trials to Judah (Is. 7:10-25). Live in God's presence instead of testing His patience by exercising faith in humankind.
Reject Faith in Humankind
The Lord said to write ordinary letters on a large tablet, "Swift is the booty, speedy is the prey," and called Uriah the priest and Zechariah as reliable witnesses. He went to a prophetess and she gave birth to a son named, "Swift is the booty, speedy is the prey." The wealth of Damascus and spoil of Samaria would be carried away by the king of Assyria. These people rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah and rejoiced in Rezin and Pekah. As a result, Judah experienced devastation by the king of Assyria (Is. 8:1-8). Reject faith in humankind to prevent your land from being devastated.
Reject Human Strategies
All nations that prepared for battle would be shattered. They devised their strategy but it was thwarted "for God is with us." God warned them with mighty power not to follow the way of this people and say, 'It is a conspiracy,' what the people called a conspiracy. They were not to fear what they feared or be in dread of it, but regard God as holy. He was their fear and dread. He would become a sanctuary for both houses of Israel as a stone that caused men to stumble and a trap and snare for the people of Jerusalem (Is. 8:9-15). Reject human strategies by regarding God's holiness and presence.
To be in position to receive the Word, these prior things--consider God's holiness, experience forgiveness of sin, trust God's protection and presence, and reject faith in humankind and their strategies--must be in place.
Receive God's Word
Bind up the testimony and seal the law among His disciples. Isaiah would wait and trust in the Lord who hid his face from the house of Jacob. He and the children God gave him were signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord Almighty. They consulted the Lord and not mediums and spiritists men suggested. If they did not speak according to the law and testimony, they had no dawn but were distressed, hungry and their anger caused them to curse their king and God. They would see only distress and fearful gloom and be thrust into utter darkness looking toward the earth (Is. 9:16-22). Disciples receive God's word so they can consult and speak of the Lord as signs and wonders in the land.
Preparation Steps in Receiving God's Word:
1. Consider God's holiness to reveal personal and community sin.
2. Experience forgiveness of sin and hear God's call as an ambassador of reconciliation.
3. Trust God's protection, stay calm and do not fear when people seek evil.
4. Live in God's presence instead of testing His patience by exercising faith in humankind.
5. Reject faith in humankind to prevent your land from being devastated.
6. Reject human strategies by regarding God's holiness and presence.
To be in position to receive the Word, these prior things--consider God's holiness, experience forgiveness of sin, trust God's protection and presence, and reject faith in humankind and their strategies--must be in place first.
7. Disciples receive God's word so they can consult and speak of the Lord as signs and wonders in the land.