January 6 @ Isaiah 1-6

Isaiah 1-6 (NLT)

Discover His heart: He cleanses our hearts so that we may sit in His presence

“I saw the Lord! I saw the Lord! He was high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple, He was high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. The angels cried, ‘Holy!’ The angels cried, ‘Holy!’ The angels cried, ‘Holy is the Lord!’” When I was just a little girl of five or six years old, I remember my pastor walking to the microphone singing this song. I’ve always thought this song with its several verses was a spontaneous outflow by my pastor from Isaiah 6 following personal time he had spent with the Lord.  Today, I’m not really sure who originated the song, but I know it was someone who had an encounter with God.

Even though he had been a missionary, an evangelist and was then the pastor of our church, my Pastor was like Abraham or Moses to me.  Like all the youth and children in our church, I sat spellbound as I listened to his messages.  I didn’t understand a lot of what was being said, but he spoke with an authority, an anointing, that could only come from someone who had experienced an encounter with the Lord similar to that of Isaiah. 

@ Isaiah 6
The life of a prophet was not easy during Israel’s disobedient years, and this was true for Isaiah.  His prophecies to Israel, Judah and the surrounding countries were dismal and spoke of devastation, but nestled in between his declarations of judgment was a little bit of heaven.  “I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!’” (1-3)  Often when our hearts are heavy from the sin and disregard for God that we see all around us, the Lord offers us an oasis in His Holy presence.

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord…” Perhaps a tribute by the Seraphim to the Trinity, the Hebrew meaning of Holy implied to Isaiah that God was unapproachable and separate, exposing his sin and he cried, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.’ Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, ‘See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.’” (5-8)

To be sure, an encounter of this magnitude with the living God could only humble us, but our loving God would not leave us wallowing in our sin and separation as Isaiah feared.

No, He offers the coal, the fire of the Spirit, the blood of the sacrificial Lamb from the altar to remove our guilt and sin.  And just as He asked Isaiah, the Lord asks us, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” (8)

So the question for us from Isaiah’s encounter with God is whether or not we will separate from our busy lives and step away to His presence where He will purify us and where we will receive the words, the songs and prose He wants to give us to touch our world.  Even more sobering, if He asks us, will we go? 

Moving Forward:  Stepping away to sit in His Holy presence, I’m so very thankful for His cleansing.  I’ll wait to receive all that He has for me today. 

Tomorrow @ Matthew 2

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