July 10 (Daily reading: Isaiah 5-8) Isaiah’s call (6:1-8) came in a series of steps. Step one: Isaiah saw God. “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted…” He saw God’s description: (1) God was holy (perfect, pure, set apart). (2) God was powerful, “the Lord of Hosts.” Other versions say, “Lord of armies; heavenly forces; Lord All-Powerful!” (3) God was glorious, “The whole earth is full of His glory.” (4) God was King, “My eyes have seen the King.” King Uzziah was dead, but God, Judah’s true King, was alive!
Step two: Isaiah saw himself. “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips.” In the presence of God’s holiness, Isaiah saw how unholy he was. Why do praying Christians confess sin more than those who neglect prayer? The closer you get to God, to His light (Jn. 1:9), the more you are aware of your uncleanness; the more you see how sinful you are!
Step three: Isaiah received God’s grace. “One of the seraphim touched my mouth (with a burning coal from the altar), and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.” When Isaiah confessed his sin of unclean lips, by God’s grace, his lips were purified, and his sin was forgiven. This step of confession and forgiveness is a precondition to receiving God’s call.
Step four: Isaiah heard and responded to God’s call. “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” Once Isaiah’s lips (and heart) had been cleansed, he heard God and he spoke to God. Like Isaiah, we must see a lost world that needs the testimony of people who have experienced the transforming power of God’s grace!
– Al Gary