ISAIAH'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE.
If the prophet Isaiah were alive today, he might tell the story a little differently than the first time he recorded it (in Isaiah 6:1-7). He might say something like:
"It went down like this: See, I was in the temple, minding my own business, worshiping God, you know, like I always did.
"All of a sudden the place lit up like New York City or Las Vegas or something! I looked up, and it was like the roof had come off the temple. I could see a throne hovering in the sky. On the throne was God, man, God himself, and he was wearing this long robe that hung all the way down and, like, filled the temple. And there were angels weird looking, scary looking angels flying all around him, and they were singing, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty. The whole earth is filled with his glory!' Man, it was like 'Surround Sound' know what I'm saying? It shook the whole temple like an earthquake, and the place was filled with smoke!
"Aw, man, I couldn't take it! I fell on my face, and I said to myself, 'O man, O man, I'm done for! I'm dead meat! I'm history, man, my goose is cooked! Here I am, a sinner, man, a sinner, and I've seen the King, the Lord Almighty! Aw, man, I just know I'm gonna be fried any minute!'
That's a paraphrase, of course, but you get the idea. The whole story is in the sixth chapter of the Old Testament book of Isaiah, but here's the main idea: Isaiah saw the Lord, and his vision of God was so overwhelming that he was filled with awe and respect (so much awe and respect that he nearly had a heart attack right on the spot!).
Why mention it here? Because that kind of awe and respect is the first step in respecting others. You cannot truly respect your parents, your teachers, your friends even yourself unless you have a healthy respect for God. Because when you respect God, you can begin to truly respect others. But if you don't respect God, you'll never really respect anyone including yourself.
REFLECT: When Isaiah saw God's glory in the temple, he fell on his face in fear and awe. The apostle John had a similar reaction to a vision of Jesus (check out Revelation 1:9-19). Why do you think they had such extreme reactions to God's glory? (Hint: Exodus 33:12-23 might also offer a clue.)
Why do you think respect for others begins with respect for God? How do you show respect for God? Do you think you can develop a deeper respect for God? If not, why not? If so, how?
ACT: Make a list of five practical ways you can show respect for God (such as "taking off my hat in church," "not talking during the worship service," "kneeling when I pray," etc.), and try to do everything on the list before the end of the next week.
PRAY: "God, you are so awesome! I praise you, God."