From watching some news commentators and reporters, from listening to some politicians and protestors, from reading some of the dialogue on Facebook, as Bible teachers we surely see what Isaiah saw: “I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5).
If we ever have a vision like Isaiah’s, we, too, will probably realize as Isaiah did that we have said some unclean words. But as the angel cleansed Isaiah’s lips, as believers we have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Therefore, if we are followers of Christ, there is no excuse for us if we accept and adopt the foul language that we hear over the television, in the movies, or in today’s politics. Of course, you may want to ask your students what they see as unclean words. Will they include hateful words, spiteful words said in anger, lying words, defaming words, and other words?
I recently returned from a mission trip to Japan, and a Japanese pastor asked me, “Do all the people in the United States curse as much as we see people doing in your movies.” All I could say was, “Not the people I know.”
Both God and Isaiah knew that the problems in Israel were far deeper and worse than words from unclean lips, and so they are in our world today. Unclean words from unclean lips reveal an unclean heart and inner self. Therefore, when God asked for a volunteer to preach against the rampant and deep-rooted immorality and idolatry of the Israelites and give God’s solutions to these problems, Isaiah responded, “Here I am! Send me.”
The way nations and individuals choose to live has consequences. Neither the Kingdom of Israel nor the Kingdom of Judah repented, and the northern Kingdom of Israel was destroyed never to rise again.
As Bible teachers, we are volunteers like Isaiah. What are some ways we and our students can reverse the slide into a worsening immorality that we see all around us? Since you are a Bible teacher and a student of the Bible, I hope you see how vitally important your job is in our churches and in our world today.
May God bless your Bible study this week and your teaching this Sunday!