Can you imagine being transposed to heaven and seeing God in His throne room? What if one day, you are having your quiet time and suddenly, you open your eyes and you are in heaven? There is God with his robe filling the temple. Angels are flying around singing Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty! How would you respond?
What is Isaiah’s response when this happened to him (see Isaiah 6:1-8)? Does he fall on his knees and begin to join in the worship? No! He says, “Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty” (verse 6:5). Isaiah did not even feel like he could be in the presence of God because he was so aware of his sin (present and past). He became full of fear - not a healthy fear of respect, awe, and honor, but an unhealthy cowering where he wanted to flee the presence of God for he feared for his own life.
But how did God respond? Did he say, “You should run from me. I know all the disgusting thoughts you have, all the sinful things you have done. You are a sinful creature. Leave my presence!”? No! Instead, he sent one of the seraphs to touch his lips with a coal from the altar and declare, “Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for!” (Verse 6:7). Being a Jew, Isaiah knew that the coals from the altar were used for sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins. When the seraph touched him with a coal, he knew that the meaning was to bring forgiveness for his sins. Why his lips? Because he went right to the source of where Isaiah had the most shame, the root of the darkest struggle in his life, the sinful area of his life.
God goes to the darkest area of our life to remove the shame; to tell us we are completely forgiven. To assure Isaiah that he was truly forgiven, in verse 8, God expresses His desire to use Isaiah for His Kingdom plans. When we feel like Isaiah, and we focus on the sinful things we have done in our past, and do not accept the forgiveness and cleansing of God, we feel utterly ashamed and unworthy to serve God. Satan will use this to throw lies at us. But God assures us that we have been made pure through Christ’s death on the cross. Receive the Lord’s forgiveness and go forth with thankfulness and boldness to serve the Lord!
-Sue Corl (Founder of Crown of Beauty International)