From Embarrassement to Boldness
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.
And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
What a sight that must have been. Before movies, before electricity, before cameras, Isaiah saw this vision of angels and God sitting on His throne. Who knows how Isaiah understood what those angels were saying, but he did. He instantly agrees and was struck by God’s holiness.
His first reaction was to look at himself in comparison. “Woe is me!” would be the normal reaction to seeing such a thing. How could anyone survive that? How could anyone rest with themselves, knowing everything you know about yourself, in light of seeing God’s pure goodness?
The instant Isaiah realizes his unworthiness, God takes away his sin. That is actually the exact way that it works for us today, minus the red hot coal. The Apostle Paul would write almost 900 years later: “Whoever calls on the name the Lord will be saved.” and Jesus Himself said, “Whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life.”
Isaiah’s sin and guilt are now gone. There is no uncleanliness, and therefore no fear of God’s punishment. With that renewed boldness and confidence of love, he is able to actually interrupt the conversation that is happening in heaven.
Think about that for a minute! God is speaking, the strange seraphim angels are worshipping, and God thinks out loud. Overhearing God’s thoughts, Isaiah blurts out to God that he is ready to go wherever God commands.
It is the ultimate “Pick me! Pick Me! Ooh Ooh Ooh Me Me Me” that our NextGen ministry and any teacher gets to experience every day.
Isaiah was still looking at himself in light of God’s glory, but he was no longer shameful, he was capable. He was no longer wanting to hide, but ready to shout. That’s what God does to us when He saves us and remakes us.