In today’s reading, Isaiah 4 opens with a prophecy of hope – and then Isaiah 5 turns dark as it describes how the people of Judah had rejected his grace (5:4) and consequently, would experience God’s wrath (5:13-14).
Isaiah’s vision is truly awesome. He is face to face with the glory and holiness of the Lord, and he is terrified. Never has Isaiah been more aware of his own shortcomings – he was absolutely destitute in his sin.
But see God’s severe grace. Forgiveness does not come cheap. Sin always bears a price…
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:6-7).
Then God gives Isaiah his calling and purpose. Isaiah was called into a life of suffering – as he would proclaim God’s impending judgment on a hardened people.
But look deeper into the text and notice that Isaiah is describing the very throne room of God! God’s robe fills the temple and the foundation of the temple shook at the power of His voice. Isaiah, in his sinful state, could only crumple under the Holiness, but the seraphim, the pure seraphim, were engaged in worship.
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3)
This song is echoed in Revelation 4 – where we are also transported through vision to the throne room of God – and there we find the four creatures (representing all of creation) gathered with the 24 elders (who probably represent the unity of Israel and the church – combining the 12 tribes of Israel + the 12 apostles) – and what are they ALL doing??!! Worshiping the Lord!
And the four living creatures, …day and night they never cease to say,
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”
And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:8-11)
What is our response to the God we serve?? First, we say with Isaiah, “Woe is me!” And then, we must worship.
Romans 12:1 instructs us in this worship. We don’t contain our worship to Sunday mornings. No! We worship with our very lives!
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Jesus demands our all. How will you worship Him today?