In the Hebrew scriptures prophets are ordinary people chosen for a very special purpose, to speak the very words of the Creator; to convey divine encouragement, warnings, instructions and revelations; to point the way when everyone else is heading in the wrong direction. Here we see an ordinary young man, Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) who would become a great prophet, being given a vision that is literally out of this world.
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 removed and your wrongdoing 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’s glorious vision of the Divine, glimpsed in the throne room of Heaven, reveals to us three divine mysteries:
Firstly Isaiah is awe-struck at the holiness of the Creator. We see His breathtaking beauty, untouchable authority and the respect and submission of the angelic beings. We are drawn by His majesty, yet tremble at His power. Many today believe in a god of their own making; one who is often no more than an impersonal force or who cares little about how we live our lives. Yet here we see the unique supreme being, whose purity and power puts Him* far above the misdeeds of mankind and the corruption of the human character. What would our response be to such an experience when confronted with the One who exists from eternity past to eternity future?
On glimpsing the holiness of God, Isaiah becomes immediately aware of his own corrupt condition; his true nature is exposed. Yet Isaiah is neither judged nor condemned. Instead he receives mercy and forgiveness. Why? Because, along with justice, love and mercy are part of the divine nature that seeks change in the offender. The sacred writings declare that “The loving kindness of the Lord never ceases, his compassions never fail.” and “He is loving towards all he has made.” Even so something had to be done about Isaiah’s record of wrong. An angel flies to Isaiah with a hot coal in his hand with which he touches Isaiah’s lips, and says “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your wrongdoing atoned for.”
It is still God’s desire to forgive, but thankfully the hot coal idea was a one-off! Instead God has made it possible for us all to receive His love and forgiveness by taking our
place on the cross and personally paying the debt owed by each one of us. Yeshua died so that we don't have to; tasting death and separation from God on account of our wrongdoing, so we can know
Whoever we are each of us has a choice. Will we respond to our Creator. Will we allow Him to love us and shape us into the people He created us to be? Will we, like Isaiah, admit our wrongdoing and receive forgiveness? We have free will. God is eagerly waiting to hear your response. Your destiny depends on it.
Isaiah discovers that, through divine forgiveness, it is possible to interact with God and live, and not only to live but to enjoy friendship, because the One who created the universe is personally interested in you and me. Our Creator has a purpose for each one of our lives, whoever we are. In fulfilling that purpose, we find our destiny. For more, go to Focus.
As we delve deeper into prophecy we come across some little known words from the prophet Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah).
“A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary.” (Jeremiah 17v12)
This short prophecy from Jeremiah suddenly makes sense in the light of Isaiah’s vision. In Isaiah not only do we have someone who has actually witnessed the “glorious throne”, but we also have someone to whom that throne has become a place of sanctuary, a place of forgiveness and a new beginning. The same can be true for you too.