Chapter 6 records a vision from The Lord given to Isaiah. I do not want to miss out on any of the significance of what it is recorded here, so today I’m concentrating on the first seven verses.
In the vision, Isaiah sees The Lord sitting exalted on a throne. The train of His robe fills the temple. (Verse 1). He sees the Lord as royal, noble, above all, and holy. He fills the temple with His glory. Around The Lord are seraphim attending Him. Picture Him. This is a picture of a King. He is great. He is awesome in truest sense. The seraphim are a unique angel. They are described here and the picture given is terrific. Verse 2 reads,
“Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.”
Seraphim is translated “burning ones” in Hebrew and comes from a root meaning princely. In Numbers 21:6 is the word used for the serpents that bit and killed many Israelites. In fact it is used several times in the Bible to describe snakes including Isaiah and Deuteronomy. The imagery of fiery six winged serpents as God’s attendants is one of awesome holy royal glory. Verses 3-4 read,
“And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.”
The angels didn’t whisper or think the praise and description of The Lord. They didn’t shout it aimlessly to no one. They called to one another. This praise had purpose and it further glorified the Lord. Praising God whether silently or verbally blesses Him, but when you are verbal about it, when that praise is shared, God is glorified and people ae blessed as well. Glorifying God means more people hear about His goodness, His greatness, His power, and His love. The seraphim told each other about the holiness of The Lord, the Commander of Angel Armies. And when they did, there was an effect. Smoke filled the temple pouring out from The Holy of Holies where the Lord sat on His thrown. This smoke or cloud is a representation or manifestation of God after the priests had ministered to Him in the Holy of Holies in 1 Kings 8:10, and In Ezekiel 10 that cloud is God’s glory as it first fills the temple then leaves it. The smoke of the incense which was there to bring the prayers of the people to Him and to honor Him contains His glory. When you glorify God, by praying, praising Him, loving others as He loves, obeying Him, and sharing Him there is an impact. His glory, His manifestation of His Spirit fills the temple. You and I are His temple if we have made Jesus our Lord. More than only fill the temple, His glory goes out and fills the whole earth. You and I are the vehicles for that awesome prophecy.
Isaiah saw a problem, immediately he knew He couldn’t bear to be in the presence of Holiness, because he was not holy. Verse 5 reads,
“And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
Remember woe is a serious word, it doesn’t mean “Oh my, oh dear.” It means, despair, wretchedness and calamity. Isaiah confessed his sinfulness and understood that it couldn’t allow him to survive in existence with The Lord’s perfect pure holiness. But God made a way for Isaiah. Verses 6-7 read,
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
A coal from the altar where God had ignited the fire was touched to Isaiah’s lips. The mouth is the vehicle of our sin and the instrument of our Salvation. Salvation comes after we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord. Forgiveness of sins comes from God, His fire cleansed Isaiah and every one of his sins was burned away and paid for on God’s altar.
Now Isaiah could commune with God. Now he was worthy to be in His presence and hear from God. If you have been saved, made righteous and are in a relationship with The Lord then you too are ready to do what God would have you do. You are ready to let His Spirit fill you and let His glory fill in the earth. This is an active and intentional act on your part. Leave the confines of temple and go out into the world and love people, serve them, and impact the world not for your sake, but for God’s glory.