One Red Hot Burning Coal to My Lips Please – blog
Isaiah knew that no man can see God and live. God said that to Moses when he asked to see God’s face. Yet, here Isaiah is standing in The Throne Room of Yahweh seeing the Lord. He is lofty and exalted. The train of His robe is filling The Temple. Lightening like creatures are flying overhead and calling to one another;
“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory.”
And the foundations of the thresholds are trembling from the voice of the one calling out. So, Isaiah is thinking; “I am a dead man!” and what he sees next only confirms his fears. He literally cries out;
“Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
Have you ever been so scared that it feels like your knees are going to give out, your heart is going to stop beating, and (well there is no pretty way to put this), you crap your pants? King James version uses the word “undone.” It is like you are falling off of a cliff and know you are going to die, and you have this feeling of terror in your gut.
That is what Isaiah is feeling as he realizes that he is in the presence of the Lord God Almighty. The first thing that he notices about himself is that he is a man of unclean lips of a people of unclean lips and he has seen the King, the Lord!!! It is interesting that his first reaction to seeing the Holy of Holies is to suddenly be aware of how sinful he is, and we will deal with that more at a later time.
But something happens that is causing him even more fear. One of the Seraphim flashes down to the altar and using tongs he picks up a live burning coal with his hand and is flying straight at Isaiah. Now Isaiah knows he is a dead man and thinks he is going to be burned to death.
However, something unexpected happens. The Seraph touches him with the live burning coal and says;
“Behold, this has touched your lips.”
Now, pardon me for saying this but I think if someone placed a red-hot burning coal to my lips, I would not need to be told that is happening. As the 1000-degree coal is burning his lips, strangely enough, he does not smell his burning flesh and is not feeling intense pain. Instead, he hears the angel say;
“…your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”
It is not pain he is experiencing. It is purification. There is no searing and scaring of his lips, instead, there is the purification of his sinful mouth that is happening. And isn’t that just like it is with us? We anticipate that God only wants to punish us for our sin when in reality what he really wants to do is purify us so that we stop being hurt by the sin and its consequences.
Let that sink in for a minute. God has already released His punishment for the sins of the world and placed it all on Jesus on the Cross. There is no more punishment left for your sins. Now, there may be discipline from our Loving and Holy Father, but the punishment is over. We do the crimes, but Jesus has already done the time.
It is not punishment the Lord has for us … it is purity. He wants to make us holy. His plan is to use everything in this life to conform us to the image of Jesus. He even says that in Romans 8.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son…”
He has predestined you to become holy and Philippians 1:6 tells us He is going to finish that work. Paul writes;
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Stop being afraid of the Holiness of God. It is not something to be feared but something to love and embrace. He has cleansed you of all your sin so, leave the garbage in the garbage and start to embrace the Holy Spirit as he continues His work of transforming you into a more holy person.