The Prophet Isaiah had a vision of the Lord and this encounter is recorded in Isaiah chapter 6. Here is what Isaiah had to say about it in Isaiah 6:1b-5:
I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 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. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 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!”
When Isaiah had this vision of the Lord in all his holiness he was completely undone. Just imagine the seraphim flying around the glorious Lord as he was high and lifted up on his throne. They are calling out Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. Isaiah’s reaction to this vision tells us everything we need to know. God is not some old grandfather figure, he is not disinterested in what is happening within his creation and he is clearly not like us! His holiness sets him apart from his creation that has been marred by sin.
In the brilliant light of God’s holiness Isaiah was confronted by his sin (I am a man of unclean lips) and the sins of the nation of Israel (I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips). As we consider God’s holiness I pray it will have the same effect in our lives – highlighting our sin before our eyes and leading us to repentance. 1 Peter 1 gives us this great challenge, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
God is holy in his moral purity, and through the empowering work of the Holy Spirit we can live lives characterized not by sin but by holiness. Will we be perfect? Of course not! But in light of God’s holiness, his set apartness, we should be striving to be set apart for God’s honor and glory. Take this opportunity to pray and ask God for the wisdom and strength to leave behind the sins in your life that most often trip you up and cause you to stumble.
Isaiah also sees the sinfulness of his country through this powerful vision. Israel was certainly in rebellion against their God, but can we honestly say our nation is any different? Our country has fallen into moral decay which seems to be accelerating. Take some time today to pray for our nation. Pray that we would turn away from our national sins and would turn back to God’s standards of behavior. Pray that God would send revival to our nation.
In light of God’s Holiness let us be reminded of our personal and national sins, and let us repent and turn back to the one who is Holy, holy holy – the Lord of Hosts!