Some Components of Worship

Title: Some Components of Worship

Bible Book: Isaiah 6 : 1-11

Author: David E. Owen

Subject: Worship


[Editor's Note: See all three sermons on worship by Dr. Owen by clicking on Sermons at the top of the Homepage of SermonCity, then click on Series and open the series entitled: Worship.]

We have been looking recently in our Sunday morning services at the subject of “Worship.” From Genesis 22, we talked about “The Concept Of Worship” and how the word “worship” is used for the first time in that passage. From Exodus 34, we dealt with “A Call To Worship,” and how we should “worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14).

This morning, it’s on my heart to preach on “Some Components Of Worship In Isaiah 6.” While the word “worship” is not used in this particular passage, the components of worship are very evident here.

Someone told me last week that another preacher had said that worship was like a dog that responds affectionately and excitedly and even submissively to its master. And that literally corresponds to the meaning of the word “worship” as it is used in the New Testament. The Greek word “proskuneo” is rendered as the word “worship” about 60 times in the New Testament, and it means…

1) to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence; like a dog licking his master's hand.

2) among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence

3) in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication

As we think about the components of worship in Isaiah 6, let me just remind you that Isaiah was a prophet who was active in his ministry in Judah from about 740 to 700 BC. The name Isaiah means “Jehovah Saves.” The Old Testament book of Isaiah is very much like a miniature Bible…

In The Holy Bible there are in                                                                   The Book of Isaiah there are…

66 Books                                                                                 66 Chapters

Divided into                                                                             Divided into

39 Books in the Old Testament                                              39 Chapters in the First Division (Ch. 1-39)

27 Books in the New Testament                                             27 Chapters in the Second Division (Ch. 40-66)

In the first section of Isaiah, the theme is “Defeat,” while in the second section, the theme is “Deliverance.”

The passage before us is introduced in chapter 6, verse 1 with these words…

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple (Isaiah 6:1).

And I believe that the components involved in the scene that unfolds can best be described with the word “worship.”

I. Let’s Consider The Requirements Of Worship (vs. 1-3)

A. Notice The Place Involved In Worship

(Isaiah 6:1) In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

1. It Was a Throne Environment

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words indicates that the word “throne” is the Hebrew word kicce (OT:3678), and it is translated in the Old Testament as either “throne” or “seat.” And the basic meaning of this word is a “seat of honor.”

The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon also indicates that the word “throne” has the idea of a “royal throne” with the accompanying idea of “royal dignity, authority, and power.”

While the earthly throne had been vacated with the death of Uzziah, the heavenly throne was occupied by the Lord of heaven and earth.

2. It Was a Temple Environment

The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary says…

Isaiah is outside, near the altar in front of the temple. The doors are supposed to open, and the veil hiding the Holy of holies to be withdrawn, unfolding to his view a vision of God, represented as an Eastern monarch, attended by seraphim as His ministers of state (1 Kings 22:19), and with a robe and flowing train (a badge of dignity in the East) which filled the temple.

The Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament says…

The “high and exalted throne” (Note: It is to this ‘throne’, and not to ‘Adonai, … that the words “high and exalted” refer.) is the heavenly antitype of the earthly throne which was formed by the ark of the covenant; and the “temple” (heecâl: literally, a spacious hall, the name given to the temple as the palace of God the King) is the temple in heaven, as in Psalms 11:4; 18:7; 29:9, and many other passages.

Cf. (Psalms 11:4) The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

Cf. (Psalms 29:9) The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

When everyone speaks of His glory and worships Him, it is as one brother said, “a little bit of heaven to go to heaven in.”

He could have been in the earthly temple and then caught up in vision to the heavenly temple. Certainly, when we worship, we are in earthly places, but we are connecting with the heavenly realm.

A. W. Tozer said…

I do not say that you must be at church all of the time—how could you be? You can worship God at your desk, on an elevated train, or driving in traffic. You can worship God washing dishes or ironing clothes. You can worship God in school, on the basketball court. You can worship God in whatever is legitimate and right and good … We can go to church and worship. But if we go to church and worship one day, it is not true worship unless it is followed by continuing worship in the days that follow.

B. Notice The Participants Involved In Worship

(Isaiah 6:1-2) In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. {2} Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

1. The God Of Worship Was There

The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary says of the phrase “I saw also the Lord” that it is…

Adonaay; Yahweh in Isaiah 6:5. Jesus Christ is meant as speaking in Isaiah 6:10, according to John 12:41. Isaiah could only have ‘seen’ the Son, not the divine essence (John 1:18). The words of Isaiah 6:10 are attributed by Paul (Acts 28:25-26) to the Holy Spirit. Thus the Trinity, in unity is implied; as also by the thrice “Holy” (Isaiah 6:3).

2. The Gathering Of Worship Was There

Along with Isaiah himself, the gathering included the “seraphims,” which is a word that literally means “burners.” Just as it was said of Zacharias in Luke 1:9 that “According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord;” it seems to have been the role of the Seraphim to burn in God’s presence.

Jesus said that “many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). But I’m afraid today that “many are cold, and some are frozen.” So, I’m glad that there are some who are “on fire” when they come into God’s presence.

C. Notice The Perspective Involved In Worship

1. There Was A Fresh Perspective Of The Lord’s Highness

(Isaiah 6:1) In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

While “high and lifted up” may refer to the throne as Keil and Delitzsch suggest, it is the Lord (Adonai) who is on the throne.

The word “Lord” in Isaiah 6:1 is not the word “Jehovah” which would suggest the essence of His divinity, but it is the word “Adonai” which suggests the essence of His dominion. The “throne” in verse 1 and the word “King” in verse 5 reinforces this point as does the image of the flowing train, which according to the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, was a badge of dignity in the East.

We are familiar with the concept of saying, “Your Highness” when someone comes before a king or one of royalty, and this is applicable to none more than God.

The word “high” has the idea of being exalted. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words says that it “basically represents … the “state of being on a higher plane.”

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words indicates that being “lifted up” is “clearly associated with leadership.”

2. There Was A Fresh Perspective Of The Lord’s Holiness

(Isaiah 6:3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

Holy – Hebrew 6918. qadowsh, kaw-doshe'; or qadosh, kaw-doshe'; from H6942; sacred (ceremonially or morally); (as noun) God (by eminence), an angel, a saint, a sanctuary:--holy (One), saint.

It has the idea of “purity” and being sacred.

II. Let’s Consider The Realizations In Worship (vs. 4-7)

A. In This Worship Environment, Isaiah Realized The Fullness Of The Sovereign

1. There Is A Fullness In The Manifestation Of God

(Isaiah 6:1) In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

(Isaiah 6:4) And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

filled – Hebrew 4390. male', maw-lay'; maw-law'; a prim. root, to fill or (intrans.) be full of, in a wide application (lit. and fig.):--accomplish, confirm, + consecrate, be at an end, be expired, be fenced, fill, fulfil, (be, become, X draw, give in, go) fully (-ly, -ly set, tale), [over-] flow, fulness, furnish, gather (selves, together), presume, replenish, satisfy, set, space, take a [hand-] full, + have wholly.

The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary says that the smoke was “the Shekinah cloud, the symbol of ‘the glory of the Lord’ (as seen in 1 Kings 8:10; Ezekiel 10:4).”

We don’t necessarily need a house full of people, but we need a house full of God.

2. There Is A Fullness In The Magnificence Of God

(Isaiah 6:3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

The word “full” is derived from the word “filled” used in verse 1 and 4. His glory fills the earth like a child who colors and fills in the lines but also gets outside the lines.

glory – Hebrew 3519. kabowd, kaw-bode'; rarely kabod, kaw-bode'; from H3513; prop. weight; but only fig. in a good sense, splendor or copiousness:--glorious (-ly), glory, honour (-able).

Illustrate: Years ago, someone showed me some of the concentrated syrup that is used to make Coca-Cola. They used it for medicinal purposes. But usually it is diluted and carbonated. And I think that is how we want God to be in our worship. Instead of the concentrated fullness of God’s presence that will help us, we want Him to be diluted and carbonated so it will be more palatable to us.

B. In This Worship Environment, Isaiah Realized The Flaws Of Self

1. Notice How His Deficiency Was Expressed

(Isaiah 6:5) Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

woe – Hebrew 188. 'owy, o'ee; (in the sense of crying out after); lamentation; also interj. Oh!:--alas, woe.

Six times in chapter 5 (vs. 8,11,18,20,21,22), he said “Woe unto them…”, but now in chapter 6 he uses this same word “woe” to refer to himself.

unclean – Hebrew 2931. tame', taw-may'; from H2930; foul in a ceremonial or moral or religious sense: KJV-- defiled, + infamous, polluted (-tion), unclean.

It’s almost as if Isaiah is identifying himself and the people to be spiritually what Uzziah had become physically (2 Chronicles 26:16-21), a bunch of lepers.

(Leviticus 13:45) And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean.

Isaiah found himself right in the middle of all the wickedness that was going on. It seems that in God’s presence there is a clear perception unclouded by pretense, unaffected by our preferences and personalities!

2. Notice How His Deficiency Was Exposed

mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts

In the light of God’s presence, Isaiah saw things that he had not seen before.

C. In This Worship Environment, Isaiah Realized The Forgiveness Of Sin

1. There Was An Altar Here

(Isaiah 6:6) Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary says that the “altar” was the altar…

Of burnt offering in the court of the priests before the temple. The fire on it was at first kindled by God (Leviticus 9:24), and was kept continually burning.

2. There Was An Atonement Here

(Isaiah 6:7) And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

purged – Hebrew 3722. kaphar, kaw-far'; a prim. root; to cover (spec. with bitumen); fig. to expiate (make amends for) or condone, to placate or cancel:--appease, make (an) atonement, cleanse, disannul, forgive, be merciful, pacify, pardon, to pitch, purge (away), put off, (make) reconcile (-liation).

The Barnes’ Notes Commentary says of the sin being “purged” that it…

Is purified, is removed – “to cover, to overlay;” then to make an atonement for, to expiate, to cover sin, to pardon it, to affect or to procure forgiveness; and then to purify in general, to make whole. This does not mean, that the fire from the altar had any physical effect to purify him from sin, but that it was “emblematic” of such a purifying; and probably, also, the fact that it was taken from the altar of sacrifice, was to him an indication that he was pardoned through the “atonement,” or expiation there made. The Jews expected pardon in no other mode than by sacrifice; and the offering on their altar pointed to the great sacrifice which was to be made on the cross for the sins of human beings.

III. Let’s Consider The Response To Worship (vs. 8-9,11)

A. Isaiah Responded To This Worship Environment With His Listening

(Isaiah 6:8) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

1. There Was A Definite Verb Involved In His Listening

heard – Hebrew 8085. shama', shaw-mah'; a prim. root; to hear intelligently (often with impl. of attention, obedience, etc.; caus. to tell, etc.):-- X attentively, call (gather) together, X carefully, X certainly, consent, consider, be content, declare, X diligently, discern, give ear, (cause to, let, make to) hear (-ken, tell), X indeed, listen, make (a) noise, (be) obedient, obey, perceive, (make a) proclaim (-ation), publish, regard, report, shew (forth), (make a) sound, X surely, tell, understand, whosoever [heareth], witness.

He could hear because he had been rendered silent as is suggested by the word “undone” in verse 5.

undone – Hebrew 1820. damah, daw-maw'; a prim. root; to be dumb or silent; hence to fail or perish; trans. to destroy:--cease, be cut down (off), destroy, be brought to silence, be undone, X utterly.

2. There Was A Divine Voice Involved In His Listening

voice – Hebrew 6963. qowl, kole; or qol, kole; from an unused root mean. to call aloud; a voice or sound:-- + aloud, bleating, crackling, cry (+ out), fame, lightness, lowing, noise, + hold peace, [pro-] claim, proclamation, + sing, sound, + spark, thunder (-ing), voice, + yell.

Lord – Hebrew 136. 'Adonay, ad-o-noy'; an emphatic form of H113; the Lord (used as a prop. name of God only):--(my) Lord.

B. Isaiah Responded To This Worship Environment With His Life

(Isaiah 6:8) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

1. Notice The Words That Captivated Him

Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?

go – Hebrew 3212. yalak, yaw-lak'; a prim. root [comp. H1980]; to walk (lit. or fig.); causat. to carry (in various senses):-- X again, away, bear, bring, carry (away), come (away), depart, flow, + follow (-ing), get (away, hence, him), (cause to, make) go (away, -ing, -ne, one's way, out), grow, lead (forth), let down, march, prosper, + pursue, cause to run, spread, take away ([-journey]), vanish, (cause to) walk (-ing), wax, X be weak.

God wanted someone to represent His interests, walk in His path, and declare His message.

2. Notice The Willingness That Characterized Him

Seeing the glory of God not only produced a penitence in Isaiah’s heart, but it also produced a passion in his heart.

here – Hebrew 2005. hen, hane; a prim. particle; lo!; also (as expressing surprise) if:--behold, if, lo, though.

send – Hebrew 7971. shalach, shaw-lakh'; a prim. root; to send away, for, or out (in a great variety of applications):-- X any wise, appoint, bring (on the way), cast (away, out), conduct, X earnestly, forsake, give (up), grow long, lay, leave, let depart (down, go, loose), push away, put (away, forth, in, out), reach forth, send (away, forth, out), set, shoot (forth, out), sow, spread, stretch forth (out).

C. Isaiah Responded To This Worship Environment With His Labor

1. God Told Him About The Critical Task Involved In This Labor

(Isaiah 6:9) And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

tell – Hebrew 559. 'amar, aw-mar'; a prim. root; to say (used with great latitude):--answer, appoint, avouch, bid, boast self, call, certify, challenge, charge, + (at the, give) command (ment), commune, consider, declare, demand, X desire, determine, X expressly, X indeed, X intend, name, X plainly, promise, publish, report, require, say, speak (against, of), X still, X suppose, talk, tell, term, X that is, X think, use [speech], utter, X verily, X yet.

2. God Told Him About The Continuing Timeframe Involved In This Labor

(Isaiah 6:11) Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,

The Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament says…

He inquired how long this service of hardening and this state of hardness were to continue. … The answer is intentionally commenced … with (an expression that) again in Genesis 28:15 and Numbers 32:17. Which … signified that the hardening judgment would only come to an end when the condition had been fulfilled; ‎that towns, houses, and the soil of the land of Israel and its environs had been made desolate, in fact, utterly and universally desolate, as the three definitions (without inhabitant, without man, wilderness) affirm.

How long do we serve God? Until…


In Chuck Swindoll’s collection of illustrations, “The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart,” he shares the following personal account…

When I was overseas, I was working with a man who was under great stress and great pressure. He was a maverick sort of a missionary. He didn’t fit the pattern or the mold of what you think of as a missionary. His ministry was in great part to the soldiers, who happened to be on the island of Okinawa by the thousands – in fact, it might be safe to say tens of thousands.

I went to his home one evening to visit with him, and his wife said he wasn’t there but was probably down at the office. The office was downtown in a little alley area off of the streets of Naha. It was a rainy night. And I decided that I would get on the bus and travel down to be with Bob. She’d mentioned his stress and pressure, so I expected to find the man folded up in despondency, discouragement, and depression, and just ready to finish it off.

I got off that little bus and 1 walked down the alley about a block and a half and I turned right, down a little smaller alley, to a little hut with a tatami mat inside. As I got away from the street noise, I heard singing,

“Come, Thou fount of every blessing,

Tune my heart to sing Thy grace.”

And then that next stanza,

“Prone to wander—Lord, I feel it, / Prone to leave the God I love.”

Quietly I eavesdropped on his private praise service. As I stood in the rain and looked through the walls of that little cheap hut, I saw a man on his knees with his hands toward heaven giving God praise, with his Bible on one side and an InterVarsity Christian hymnal on the other side, his little spiral notebook, worn from use. And I saw him turn from page to page, where he would read it to God, then he would find a hymn and he would sing it to God.

And the remarkable thing is that that pressure that he was under did not leave for perhaps another two weeks, it seems. But that praise service alone before God absolutely revolutionized his life.

Worship changed Isaiah. Worship changed this missionary named Bob. And a fresh experience of worship will change us!


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