In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
He said, “Go and tell…”
Looking upon God’s holiness made Isaiah see how unholy and sinful he was. He saw his true sin condition in comparison to God’s purity, and was ashamed and humbled. As all of Isaiah’s sinful thoughts, actions and behaviors lay bare before the holiness of God, he understood that he wasn’t fit to stand in the presence of God’s holiness. God’s not only holy, he’s holy, holy, holy. God’s holiness sets Him so far apart from us, that to even be in His presence is a gift of mercy, from His grace filled hand. As Isaiah is cleansed with live coal, we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus. If not for that, we could never so graciously be used to serve, go or tell. God doesn’t need us to do His work; he chooses to use us. That is a mystery to me. When I one day am able to look upon the face of God and see the one that was pierced for me, I will know the full depth of His grace and holiness.