June 1, 2022
Thank you for praying today for our prodigals and for revival.
The words of John Piper are searching and powerful. He says, “It is about the greatness of God, not the significance of man. God made man small and the universe big to say something about Himself.”
Isaiah was one of the greats in Israel and could easily be one of the prophets of faith in Hebrews 11. Because of his message of salvation through the coming Messiah, he has been referred to as the Paul of the Old Testament. His name, like Joshua, means Yahweh is salvation, reflecting the message he spoke. Tradition says that he was a cousin to King Uzziah, and became a sort of court preacher.
He recorded a life-changing event (a vision) that is worth considering:
“It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!’ Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke. Then I said, ‘It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.’ Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, ‘See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.’ Then I heard the Lord asking, ‘Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?’ I said, ‘Here I am. Send me’” (Isaiah 6:1-8).
By faith, Isaiah saw the LORD! He saw God in His greatness and holiness, and the description is staggering. It was otherworldly, and far beyond human comprehension.
Isaiah’s reaction to God’s greatness was absolute devastation at his own sinfulness and contrition. The words of verse 5 indicate the same, “Then I said, ‘It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.’”
The more we understand the awesomeness of who God is, the deeper our respect and love for Him will be!
This sight caused Isaiah to fear the LORD!
By faith, Isaiah felt the LORD! God didn’t leave him in that lonely desperate place of condemnation and uncleanness. Notice that as soon as Isaiah expressed his condition, the heavenly being flew to Isaiah in haste and touched his lips with the cleansing coal from the altar.
The altar is symbolic of sacrifice and beautifully points us to the cross of Jesus. Notice the language of heaven in verse 7, “Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.” This is what the person and sacrifice of Christ can do for anyone who accepts Him as Savior.
To have the guilt of sin forever removed and to be forgiven of all your sins is a tremendous relief. It is equally precious to feel its present effects of cleansing, when defiled as a believer. A coal from the altar will do this every time you need it.
Maybe, you need to feel the Lord’s cleansing touch today? In His presence you will experience both the wonder of His awesomeness and the grace of acceptance.
This experience brought Isaiah close to the LORD!
Lastly, by faith, Isaiah heard the LORD! Just as real as His greatness and His forgiveness is the clarity of His commission. It was personal. It was direct, and it was specific.
“Then I heard the Lord asking, ‘Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?’” (Isaiah 6:8).
Upon hearing God speak to him, Isaiah responded immediately by saying, “Here I am. Send me.” This is the language of one who realizes God’s greatness.
For Isaiah, this mission wouldn’t be easy. He would speak to people who would not listen because of their unbelief (see rest of chapter), but he obeyed regardless of the difficulty.
Hearing the LORD, Isaiah was eager to listen.
Each of us have been given different tasks. It is our responsibility, with God’s help, to determine what God would have us do, and like Isaiah say, “Here I am. Send me.”
This is the gift of availability that each of us can give back to God. When we pay attention to what God has for us to do, He will provide both the opportunities and the enabling for us to do it.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel