Putting God's Word into Practice…

Isaiah 6 ~ Woe is Me!

on February 27, 2014

(For our ladies’ Bible study this week, we were supposed to spend time in Isaiah 1-6.  It has been a rich buffet of learning and conviction, indeed!)

My last five blog posts have been about Isaiah’s message to the people of God who were rebelling against Him.  He was on a verbal rampage against sin and impurity among God’s people–calling them out for materialism, pride, greed, hypocrisy, injustice, etc…

There is something interesting about the book of Isaiah…the commissioning by God to make Isaiah His spokesman comes in chapter 6, not chapter 1.  And there is a major event that happens between chapter 5 and the commissioning.  Isaiah sees the Lord! Sees Him in all His splendor, glory and holiness!

I can’t say this to be true of Isaiah, but I know it is true of my sinful heart.  If I was prophesying doom and gloom over sin in the lives of God’s people, I would be prone to pride.  I may start looking for sin in others.  I may have a critical spirit towards others, and think that I’m doing so much better than they are.  I might take my eyes off God in the process of doing God’s work.  When we stop measuring our own lives by God’s standard of holiness, we can become self-righteous and judgmental.  The only cure for that is a good look at the Lord!!  Whether Isaiah struggled the way I would, I don’t know, but I do know that God gave Him a very personal and exceptional dose of His holiness!

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!”

After declaring so many “woes” on the people of God, when Isaiah is ushered into the presence of the Lord and sees Him worshipped in His holy splendor, Isaiah says, “Woe is me!  I’m just like everyone else!”  And I’m just like everyone else too.  I’m sinful!  I’m prone to ignore God’s glory (3:8).  I disregard His deeds all over the earth (5:12).  My mouth is prideful and unclean.  But thanks be to God!!!  He has the power to take away our guilt and forgive our sins and make us clean!!!

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 am I! Send me.”

Repentance and humility must precede ministry!  We cannot minister to others until we have something to offer them–our own story of God’s grace in forgiving our sins and taking away our guilt!

Spend some time before the Lord today, experiencing His presence, asking Him to examine your heart and exposing anything unholy.  Repent, let Him take it away and make you clean.  Then tell someone about His grace!

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