High and Lifted UP

Isaiah 6:1-8 “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”

Text Romans 3:10-12 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Before us is the personal account of Isaiah’s vision of the Lord, “high and lifted up.” For Isaiah, this vision was life changing; one from which he would never recover. When we begin to closely examine what has transpired in Isaiah’s life, we are enlightened to the benefits and blessing associated with the vision.

One of the first things to be seen is the Vision’s Privilege, “I saw also the Lord.” For years I have viewed this from a negative perspective rather than a privilege. From the tone of the text it appears that Isaiah was surprised by the Lord’s presence; it gives us the idea that while Isaiah may not have been looking for the Lord, the Lord was looking for Isaiah. It appears to be similar to Saul’s experience on the Damascus road; “And as he journeyed . . . suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him” (Acts 9:3-4). It is a privilege anytime the Lord takes the initiative to reveal Himself unto man!

The second thing we see is the Vision’s Plight, “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone.” It appears upon first glance that Isaiah is not blessed, but buffeted by the vision. Isaiah’s life is coming apart at the seams as he declares, “I am a man of unclean lips.” Why did Isaiah declare the condition of his lips? Jesus said, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34). The vision revealed that Isaiah’s problem was one of the heart! You never have a true revelation of the sinfulness of self until you have a full revelation of the Sovereign.

Lastly we see the Vision’s Purging, “Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” Having acknowledged the complete sinful nature of his heart, God dispatches relief from the altar as a live coal is placed upon his lips. R.C. Sproul said, “In this divine act of cleansing Isaiah experienced a forgiveness that went beyond the purification of his lips. He was cleansed throughout, forgiven to the core, but not without the awful pain of repentance.”

Isaiah discovered that what first appeared to be a buffeting was truly a blessing; for in the end, the privilege of sight, the plight of sin, and the purging of self had served to yield the privilege of service! It is worth seeing Him “High and Lifted Up!”