Written on December 20, 2014.
Day 20 – December 20
Some years ago now, our son Toggle and a dream. In the dream, Jesus came to him and invited him to read the book of Revelation, his dad to read Ezekiel and me the book of Isaiah. Since that day, the Lord has spoken to me much through the life of Isaiah, the words of Isaiah and the absolute hope of Isaiah.
Isaiah some of a branch that would spring forth from the root of a tumbled tree, even as he himself became the root of hope sprung forth from the seed of trust he carried for a people.
Isaiah did not speak of things he knew not of. He was immersed in a world defiled, embroiled in what concerned a decaying people. Connected politically and religiously, surrounded by wealth of man’s kingdoms is Isaiah when we happen upon him. We encounter him in the moment he realizes that he himself is utterly bankrupt.
It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. 2 Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 They were calling out to each other,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.
Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
8 Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”
I said, “Here I am. Send me.” Isaiah 6:1-6
Faced with his poverty, Isaiah cries out. The response he receives, opens the very treasuries of Heaven and releases to him wealth beyond measure.
Isaiah was concerned about the death of a king when he sees THE King. The King to come. The One he will prophecy the beauty and glory of, even as he tells of the rejection and persecution he will endure.
In the wealth filled vision Isaiah has, everything he has said and will say becomes real. For how could could he ever speak of one he knew not. In the presence of the King, Isaiah is undone. He reality in that moment is that he has become more of what he has seen around him, than the one he was created to gaze upon.
In the midst of the presence, Isaiah knows that he has become full of the emptiness of the world and he longs for an exchange. In the throne room, he sees angels worshipping. And then one comes to him carrying a burning coal. Angels are messengers and the communique of this one is quite incredible.
“Your guilt is removed and your sins are forgiven.”
In the timeless place, Isaiah received something that was to come. Forgiveness. Not the forgiveness of that day, but of a day far ahead. A resource most rejected and refused, leaving Pappa unseen and accused.
In the instant Isaiah received his daily bread and inheritance to come, he was commissioned, much as the disciples would be one day, years from Isaiah.
God asked who he could send, to tell of the gift to come. You see, Isaiah was not the prophet of God’s wrath, but of his redemption. He just needed to be redeemed first, so he would know the magnanimous value of the gift he would carry.
The candle that will light up our sundown is that of the light of God’s word. One of the most incredible things of Isaiah’s life is that he brought God’s word to life. He made it real, enlivened it and prophesied the word that would become flesh to come.
Through his encounter, Isaiah lit the way for us to receive God’s word and allow it to completely resurrect within us, so our words would never be separate from God’s.
Look at the creative ways God spoke through his people about the treasure Isaiah received as a coal and we receive though the blood of the lamb:
*He wipes off our sins (Isaiah 43:25)
*He forgets our sins (Isaiah 43:25)
*He removes our sins – as far as east is from the west (Psalm 103:12)
*He throws our sin behind his back ((Isaiah 38:17)
*He buries our sins at the bottom of the sea (Micah 7:19)
As you bask in the light of this candle, I pray you will literally wallow in the width and depth of the truth it shines. The message given to Isaiah is ours this day. Sins forgiven. Guilt removed.
A definition of the a hebrew word for guilt is “slavery”. Take a minute. Swim around. Not only is the act of sin removed, but the binding of slavery to that sin is unloosed. Why? So we can return. For that is what repentance was created, intended to be – our return.
Isaiah returned when he dwelt in the presence of God and he saw all revealed there. Concealed things are only able to stay that way when we don’t look. Eyes wide open, Isaiah saw the glory of God and the future of a Kingdom.
Tonight celebrate your return and all that is revealed in it.
Go and do things that reveal your return. Matthew 3:8