Isaiah was a prophet to four different Kings of Judah – and he got to speak on behalf of God to the nation of Israel addressing their idolatry, injustice and rebellion against God. He brought the news of how they would be Judged and eventually how Jerusalem would be destroyed not once, but twice and given over to Assyria and Babylon. But, there was Hope – a NEW Jerusalem would be established and a new King from the seed of the Stump of Jesse would come to usher in this new Jerusalem in, where ALL NATIONS would have Justice & Peace!
In the sixth chapter of Isaiah, we see the initial call of the prophet here:
“1 I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 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. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.”
Just imagine in that moment, how you would respond. If God interrupted your day or came into your bedroom and you experienced the scene that Isaiah does. What would you say? what would you do? How would you feel? Would there be thoughts of regret, shame, fear, worship? Here is how Isaiah responded:
“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.” (vs. 5)
Why did he say woe to me? Why did he say He was ruined? In the ancient rituals and practices that would identify people as CLEAN/PURE or UNCLEAN/IMPURE. Any one that came into the presence surrounding the HOLINESS OF GOD (that resided in the holy of holies in the temple of God) immediately was struck down and they died on the spot. (see Leviticus 10:1-3). The holiness of God was not something you messed with.
Isaiah thought – ‘man, I’m surely going to die!’ He felt this CONVICTION that He was guilty for being unclean in the presence of God – and then he CONFESSES – I am a man of unclean lips and I’m living among people that are unclean. There has been no Day of Atonement where a scape goat for my sins has been provided (see Leviticus 16-17) – so surely, I was going to die. And he was right. He should of died. But, instead – we pick up the story in vs. 6 where the Lord CLEANSES Him and actually COMMISSIONS Him to do the Lord’s work (More on this next week). How great is our God?
The problem is… Often we don’t get to the cleansing part or the commissioning part – because we allow our conviction of guilt to imprison us. To stifle us. To weigh us down. We literally get shackled by our own sin, poor choices, or the enemies voices. You see, Isaiah was feeling GUILT. Even the Lord mentioned in vs. 7
“See, this [coal from the throne of God] has touched your lips;
your GUILT is taken away and your sin atoned for,”
Guilt had settled in and started weighing on Isaiah. He knew based on his standing before the Lord – he was not worthy, he was unclean, he was impure. Don’t We feel the same way sometimes? We are not worthy, we are unclean, and we are impure. We don’t feel like we should be in the same room as a holy God. However, now for us, there is just one difference:
Because of His death and His work on the cross – we are not condemned (see Romans 8:1-4). And not only that, we are actually seen as PURE, white as snow!
“if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
– 1 John 1:9
Our sin does NOT have to weigh us down or shackle us. But, how many of us still walk around in guilt and shame for the things we have done or ARE CURRENTLY doing? How many of us feel so much shame, that it actually keeps us from reading our Bible, coming to church, or authentically worshipping our God?
Brothers and sisters – let us take off our guilt and shame. Lay those things at the foot of the cross. That weight and sin has already been carried. Our sin and guilt and shame was put on Jesus, taken to the grave, and as He rose on the third day – it was defeated and destroyed. All sin…in the past, now, and forever! Let’s come into the presence of a Holy God regularly with CONFIDENCE, be convicted by the things we do or think that do not represent truth in Him, and confess to Him so He can cleanse us and commission us to be faithful and useful for the Kingdom!
SATAN TAKES OUR GUILTY CONVICTION &
IMPRISONS US IN OUR SHAME
MAKES US SUFFER & DIE FOR OUR SIN
SO WE CAN LIVE IN UNWORTHINESS
JESUS TAKES OUR GUILTY CONVICTION &
SERVES THE PRISON SENTENCE FOR US
SUFFERS & DIES FOR OUR SIN
SO WE CAN LIVE IN FREEDOM