Long, long ago a well-educated historian and politically-connected religious counselor climbed the steps of the Jerusalem temple.
Once he reached the porch, he plodded into the temple, wrapped his tunic around his legs and fell to his knees to pray.
During that time of prayer, God visited him in a vision.
In that vision he saw God’s holiness and instantly felt the crushing weight of his sinfulness and a grim sense of guilt and hopelessness.
Scrambling away from the altar, he screamed “Woe is me! For I am ruined!”
But God assured him that his sins were forgiven.
And this man responded by accepting God’s call to preach the message of judgment and hope to the stubborn nation of Israel.
This man is Isaiah. And his story is found in Isaiah 6.
Isaiah’s Vision v. Contemporary Portraits of God
What we don’t get from this story is a sense that God is casual. Chummy. Cuddly…
Some kind of co-pilot who nods in approval and dishes out good advice. The eternal Uncle who makes the best hot cider and tells the funniest jokes.
No. He’s not trivial. Superficial. Shallow. Syrupy. Quite unlike the contemporary portrait of God we see in the marketplace…
A portrait that nurtures irreverence, irrelevance and even carnality.
What’s at Stake?
Our worship of God will only be as high and long and deep and great as our thoughts of God’s holiness.
Listen. There is a place for a warm, loving approach to God. David epitomized that approach.
This the NT equivalent:
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13
God’s holiness. Our sinfulness. His grace. Our adoration. His mercy. Our work. That’s the cycle we should repeat daily to enrich our worship of God.
Here’s My Point
Are you comfortable or convicted by God’s holiness?
Do you want to see what Isaiah saw? Do you want to hear what Isaiah heard? Do you want to feel what Isaiah felt?
More importantly, do you want to respond as Isaiah did–gripped afresh by the holiness of God?
Do you even care? I look forward to your thoughts. Brutal and all.