Sept. 21, 2020

Dr. Lance Plyler on Isaiah 6:1-7 – “Commissioned to Do God’s Work on Earth” - S1E54


Mark is delighted to welcome his good friend and humanitarian hero, Dr. Lance Plyler to today’s episode. As the Director of World Medical Missions for Samaritan’s Purse, Lance treats victims of war, typhoons, infectious diseases, almost anything, really, in places as diverse as, but definitely not limited to Haiti, Nepal, Liberia, and New York City. In Mark’s opinion, Lance is the star of Facing Darkness, a genuinely great documentary regarding Lance’s work in Liberia in 2014 that brilliantly demonstrates religious faith and love of God in action, and which Mark highly recommends for everyone to watch. The passage that Lance has selected to discuss is Isaiah 6:1-7.

They begin their conversation by discussing both the movie and Lance’s work in Liberia before Lance shares his summary of today’s passage and its importance for him. They also engage in a fascinating discussion of their differing interpretations of one part of the passage, and Mark identifies another part that reminds him of Lance and his work. Lance shares his calling to do God’s work on Earth, the common feeling of being inadequate to do God’s work, his ability to overcome fear, and the lessons he has learned about mankind. As this episode makes crystal clear, Dr. Lance Plyler is a devout Christian medical missionary whose selfless work, at great physical risk to himself, brings today’s passage to vivid life.

Episode Highlights:

  • Facing Darkness and Lance’s story of his time in Liberia
  • Lance’s summary of the passage and its importance for him
  • Differing interpretations of the symbolism of the angels’ ability to fly
  • The part of the passage which reminds Mark of Lance
  • Lance’s calling to do God’s work on Earth
  • Feeling inadequate to do God’s work
  • Overcoming fear
  • The lessons about mankind that Lance has learned

Quotes:

“God makes an appearance in the film.”

“It was the hand of God…miracle after miracle after miracle.”

“Basically it’s a commissioning of the prophet Isaiah to do the work for the…people of Israel.”

“It’s a recognition of the holiness of God and our iniquity.”

“If we want to be Godly, we do His work on Earth.”

“He calls us to go forward into the loneliest places, the darkest places.”

“Isaiah enthusiastically embraces the call.”

“There’s great rationale, great reason, why we’re not qualified to do God’s work.”

“Throughout the Bible, God uses the weak to do the mighty.”

“True courage is stepping forward in the face of fear.”

“My hope is in my faith.”

Isaiah 6:1-7 In the year that King Uzziah died, I beheld my Lord seated on a high and lofty throne; and the skirts of His robe filled the Temple. Seraphs stood in attendance on Him. Each of them had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his legs, and with two he would fly. And one would call to the other, “Holy, holy, holy! The LORD of Hosts! His presence fills all the earth!” The doorposts would shake at the sound of the one who called, and the House kept filling with smoke. I cried, “Woe is me; I am lost! For I am a man of unclean lips And I live among a people Of unclean lips; Yet my own eyes have beheld The King LORD of Hosts.” Then one of the seraphs flew over to me with a live coal, which he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched it to my lips and declared, “Now that this has touched your lips, Your guilt shall depart And your sin be purged away.” https://www.sefaria.org/Isaiah.6.1-7?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en

Links:

The Rabbi’s Husband homepage: http://therabbishusband.com/

Mark’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/markgerson?lang=en

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