In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, 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 seraphs 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!””
Isaiah stands before the throne of God. What a magnificent site to see, but an holy site no doubt. Even the angels cover their faces and their feet as a sign of honor and reverence to the Lord seated upon the throne. They sing holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty. Isaiah is a man close to God. He has consecrated himself to the work of the Lord. He is steadfast in his faith, but as he witnesses this scene, he is not confident in his holiness, but fully aware of his sin.
The Scripture teaches us that we are to confess our sins and this confession of sins prompts the Lord to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This same confession also brings the healing touch of God into our lives. Confession of sins before God releases His power. It is not the confession, but a heart full of absolute humility that allows sincere confession. We don’t like the areas of our life that contain sin and our pride holds our tongue still to prevent confession. It is so much easier to raise our voices in praise. Praise allows us to focus on the glories of God, but it leaves us the ability to turn a blind eye to our own sin. Should a minister ask the church for a praise, many would line up to speak. Should a minister ask a parishioner in the privacy of his own home to confess, silence would become a powerful foe.
This confession moved the angel to take a coal from the altar of burnt offerings and touch Isaiah’s mouth. The burnt offering was one of complete and total devotion. It is the fire of the Holy Spirit that burns away all that is not right so that what remains might be totally dedicated to the Lord. It is the spirit of confession that invites the Holy Spirit’s presence. In the church, we have lost a sense of the power of confession. Confession preserves truth within our soul and inhibits a ‘holier than thou’ attitude from setting in.
Isaiah’s confession was not met with judgment or condemnation. It was met with mercy. This mercy burned his sin from him, setting him free. God stretched out his hand not only to forgive him, but to esteem him by making Isaiah the mouthpiece of God. We have nothing to fear when confessing our sins to God. The Lord is the only one who can set us free from the devastation that we bring into our own life, but our confession is His invitation to do just that. We need not fear. We need not hide in shame. We need not condemn ourself. Let us simply confess our sins to the Lord and be set free to the glory of our Great God!