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(From the book of Isaiah, chapter six:)
In the year King Uzziah died, I, (Isaiah), saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple…
It happened one day while I was in the spirit. One second I was in my upper room, the next, I was naked and sinful before the throne of The Living God. I will never forget that day… I have never seen a vision so horrible or wonderful as the site my eyes beheld when I saw Him, and He touched me.
I opened my eyes to find that I was in a place that I had never been before. It was bright with blinding light that hurt my eyes. I could not see for what must have been a full minute, and even then, I had to shield my eyes in the light of what I saw before me.
An unearthly smell, like which I have never before experienced, filled my nostrils with intoxicatingly glorious sweetness.
What I saw was so blurry, I could scarcely make it out at first.
There were amazing creatures on every side, in the air and on the ground. They were absolutely gorgeous! They each had six wings. With two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. At first, I wondered why they covered their faces so, until I saw the highest point of the temple, and I instantly knew why. It was Him, the Master of the whole universe! He was arrayed in glorious garments, the train of which filled the whole temple! It was as if He had swallowed a sunset whole, and its’ majestic light and color was shooting out from His very being! I must have stopped breathing. My heart must have stopped beating, and yet I lived on. I was struck incapable of any thought other than of Him.
Then suddenly the creatures began to shout with deafening, reverberating passion: “Holy Holy Holy is the LORD God almighty! The earth is filled with His glory! Holy Holy Holy is the LORD God almighty! The earth is filled with His glory!”
At the sound of their cries, the doorposts and the thresholds of the temple shook with thunderous rhapsody, and the temple was filled with smoke! I was suddenly filled with the most soul-wrenching fear. I began to choke and gasp on the fumes. I clapped my hands over my ears, but the volume was not scwelched. The message of the Lord’s righteous purity penetrated into my very soul. I was overwhelmed. I was unclean!
I knew it instantly, -without thinking. I was overcome by the raw power of my absolute wickedness in light of such awesome purity. I collapsed to the ground, incapable of any thought but the weight of my sin before a holy God. It was as if my bones and marrow, blood and organs, had all turned to cold grey lead.
“Woe to me!” I screamed. “I am destroyed! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and I have seen the One at whose name the earth trembles, The LORD ALMIGHTY! -I must surely die!”
At this, the temple grew silent. The hush was deafening. I heard a soft whirring noise, and pulled my face from the ground just enough to see the form of one of the creatures coming towards me with giant tongs that held a large glowing ember from the altar. I waited, still in torment, blood still frozen.
The creature flew right up into my face, and shoved the coal upon my lips, like a jouster unseating his opponent. I screamed with sheer agony, my mind reeling with the pain. It burned! -Oh how it burned! I smelled the putrid odor of seared flesh, and felt the pain fade into nothingness, as it went beyond the bounds of my nervous systems’ comprehension.
Then it was all over. The creature pulled the tongs from my lips and flew away. I felt the shame drain from me like water from a spilled glass. I was clean! I was pure! I breathed for what felt like the first time since I had come here, and new life pulsed through my veins.
I laughed out loud in jubilation! I hopped up and down. The weight was gone! I could rejoice with the rest of the heavens!
But then, unexpectedly, right in the middle of a shout of praise, I heard a voice thunder out loud and clear, interrupting me. Somehow I knew this voice. It resonated with the harmony of time and eternity, life and love, poured smoothly into speech. It was not just any voice. It was Him.
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” He said as a question, but it rang with an authority that said it had already been decided.
Suddenly, I knew why I had been brought here. I found myself weeping with joy at the very privilege of being invited to be used in this way. Words flowed forth from my mouth unbidden.
“Here am I. Send me!” I called out in a broken and tearful voice.
He replied: “GO AND TELL!”...
In this monologue, we see Isaiah being purified by God for a purpose. In the same way, we were once darkened and sinful, but like Isaiah, we have been changed by God. It amazes me that God has made me clean, and new, and He has not made me clean just for myself. He interrupts my self-centered existence and reveals Himself to me, that I too might glory in Him and have the awesome privilege of doing His work. Just like Isaiah, God doesn’t need us, but allows us to do His work. He purifies us, and then sends us out with a message for a dark and hurting world.
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