Posted: Monday, September 10
2 Corinthians 11:16-33
Verse of the Day:
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. 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.” (Isiah 6:5-7)
What do you do with your important or private documents you no longer need? Some shred them, some send them away for someone else to discard, others don’t care and just throw it in the garbage and then become victims of identity theft. We have a spot in our house where we keep these documents and then have a fire event! These documents make fantastic tinder for our fire pit as we watch these items disintegrate into ashes.
Fire is often used in the Bible as a means to purify and cleanse. Do you remember how God eliminated the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah? FIRE and brimstone. How did the Israelites receive forgiveness of their sins before Jesus became the ultimate atonement? They would BURN a lamb on the altar. In his vision, Isaiah sees the glory of God and is instantly in fear for his life. He’s seen almighty God and his sin is instantly convicting and dooming. Then, as if from an episode of the Twilight Zone, an angel approaches Isaiah with a hot coal and puts it on his lips. Ouch! Even stranger, the angel says that as a result, Isaiah’s guilt is removed and sins are forgiven. Wait, what?
As is most cases with the prophets, this event was an object lesson for Isaiah to bring to the Israelites. The hot coal wasn’t the tool that offered Isaiah a guilt free conscience nor was the fact that it touched his lips the act that wiped away his sins. Instead, it was symbolic of how Isaiah’s words to the Israelites would be the device in which God brought cleansing and purification to the people. Isaiah received this vision because Judah needed to respond as Isaiah had, recognizing their need of cleansing from sin.
Thankfully we don’t have to burn sacrifices at the altar to be forgiven of our sins. Also thankfully we don’t have to be burned on the lips with a hot coal to be ok with God. But what we can learn from this vision is that God desires us to be pure and holy. It’s so easy for us to be forgiven, but the Word tells us that God takes more pleasure in obedience over sacrifice. To get to the next level in your relationship with God and to be more who he created you to be, live a holy, cleansed, refined life today.