In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “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.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
For 52 years, King Uzziah ruled Israel, and the people loved him.
“And as long as he [King Uzziah] sought the Lord, God made him to prosper” (II Chronicles 26:5).
Who could fill the throne as well as King Uzziah? What would become of the nation?
An empty throne. A failing Northern Kingdom. Confusion and despair.
In a time of hopelessness, Isaiah sees the Lord of Hosts on the throne. Holy. Exalted. Worshipped.
I love the song, “I Can Only Imagine.” “Will I sing ‘Hallelujah’? Will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine.”
Isaiah’s response was different. When he saw the holiness of God, he realized his depravity.
He was unable to remove his guilt and his sin, but when the altar’s burning coal touched his lips, he was cleansed.
Then, the call to an authentic walk with God.
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
“Here am I. Send me!”
And the Lord sent him to warn the people to turn from their sin.
Most of us don’t have a dramatic encounter with God like Isaiah did. However, we have glimpses of God’s glory in each day’s sunrise and sunset, the unfolding of a rose, or the birth of a baby.
We have a love letter from God, the Bible, that shows us God’s nature, and we have the Holy Spirit to teach us.
God is at work in us, and we may recognize it in the small things: a prompting to pray for a friend – later, you find out that the friend was just diagnosed with cancer, a “yes” to a prayer, a door closed and a better opportunity opened.
Authentic Christianity begins with the recognition of God’s holiness and our depravity.
As we think about God’s nature, His holiness, His love for us, our initial response is “Woe is me! I am unclean.”
The altar’s burning coal, Jesus’s death on the cross, cleanses us. Jesus paid the price for our sin, and He conquered death by rising from the dead three days after His crucifixion.
After the burning coal’s touch, Isaiah never said “Woe is me! I am unclean.” He went where God sent him, and he served the Lord and the Lord’s people.
An authentic Christian’s response to glimpses of the majesty of the Lord God Almighty is “Send me.”
Remaining authentic is the key.
Lord God Almighty, we are humbled that You would share glimpses of Your holiness and exalted nature with us. Great are You, Lord. Holy, Holy, Holy are You, Lord God Almighty. We praise You and give You honor. Bless Your people as we study Your Word and learn how to follow You authentically. Amen.
Let’s study authenticity together in a series of posts.
Please share your insights or questions about the authentic Christian
in the comment section.