Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, “Here I am. Send me!'”
People who have truly experienced God are forever changed.
In the year that Judah’s King Uzziah died, a man named Isaiah had a vision. In his vision he saw the Lord God seated on a throne, high and exalted above all else. The train of his kingly robe filled the temple, and above Him were angelic beings who were calling out to one another. Their awe-inspiring chant lifted up the mighty King of heaven and described Him with these words, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.” Just the sound of their voices caused the earth to shake and smoke to fill the temple.
Isaiah was so overwhelmed by the perfection and majesty of the King in his vision that the view of his own sinful self became too much to bear. He loudly expressed grief over his sin, which could not be hidden in the glory of the supreme ruler of the universe. His words reflected his utter devastation: “Woe is me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips.”
For those who have had a personal experience with the Almighty God, there is no other response. It is often easy to feel good about ourselves and to pride ourselves on our accomplishments and actions until we are confronted with the awesome perfection of a holy God. Compared to Him even the most valiant of efforts is like a dirty rag. As the realization of our sinfulness hits us, we, like Isaiah, are only left with the words, “Woe is me!“
But I love how Isaiah’s attitude changes in the next verses. One of the angelic beings flew to him with a live coal in his hand which he had taken from the altar with tongs. Placing the hot coal on Isaiah’s lips he declared, “Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.“
This act of purging Isaiah of his sinful lips gave him new hope and confidence. When he heard the voice of the Lord, the great King, asking, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” Isaiah responded immediately. “Here am I. Send me!”
This broken man who was so aware of his own sinfulness and unworthiness now had the confidence to volunteer for the Lord’s work. The power of his sin was broken and Isaiah was now a clean instrument to speak God’s word to the nation. His life was changed forever and so were many who heard the truth proclaimed from his lips.
To be an effective tool for God’s work one must first experience the Lord in all His holiness. This encounter will clearly show the truth of one’s unworthiness. Yet when we bow before Him in utter brokenness, He will cleanse us from sin through the blood of Christ. Then when we hear His call, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” we will be ready to answer with Isaiah, “Here I am. Send me!”
Have you truly experienced the holiness of God? When you do you will be forever changed.