Over the next few days, we will catch a glimpse of God’s love through His servant Isaiah. Isaiah, who later becomes a prophet, is in the temple as a faithful and religious man, performing his priestly duties. I imagine up until that point in Isaiah’s life, as found in Chapter 6, he feels like he’s in pretty good standing with God. Most of us subconsciously keep a moral report card. Maybe Isaiah hopes to be a B-minus or higher like most of us. Perhaps you don’t live like a saint full time, but you’re a relatively all-around good person, someone you would have a cup of coffee with or trust with your most precious possessions.
So, Isaiah is in the temple, and in an instant, everything changes as God in theophany appears. And the heavens enflame in light, the atmosphere is full of resounding song, with angels and wind. At once, all of that propriety about being a good religious man goes out the door and is replaced with utter dread and terror for Isaiah. He looked upon the throne of the Almighty and said to himself, “Woe is me. I am a man of unclean lips.”
Friend, an angel comes down, picks up coal with tongs of fire, presses it on Isaiah’s lips, and says, “Your sins have been atoned for.” In other words, “The slate is clean.” Doesn’t that reflect the love of God? He doesn’t cast him down, doesn’t curse him, doesn’t strike him dead, but invites him into a relationship. Because of Jesus, we also can stand boldly before the throne of God.