Woe is Me! For I am Lost

Isaiah 6:1-8 ESV

“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!’

“And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’

“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.’

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me.’”

The Call of Isaiah

All of us as humans are born into sin. We are born into this world in the image of Adam with sin natures. We have all sinned, and thus we all come up short of attaining God’s divine approval and his righteousness. Not one of us can be righteous in the sight of God in our own merit. Not one of us will ever be good enough, in our own flesh, to be approved by God. There is nothing we can do of ourselves to earn or to deserve our own salvation.

Not one of us can come to faith in Jesus Christ on our own, either. We must be drawn to Christ by God the Father. God the Father must first persuade us as to his holiness and righteousness, as he did with Isaiah, and as to our sinfulness, also as he did with Isaiah, and as to our need to be saved from our sins, which Isaiah became fully aware of. He realized his own sinfulness and he recognized that he was lost when he saw the glory of God.

Because Isaiah feared God when he saw the holiness and righteousness of God, and he humbled himself before God, and he acknowledged his own sinfulness, and he realized his own lostness and of his need to be rescued out of his lostness, the Lord saved him from his sins. He was forgiven his sins and he was given a new lease on life. And then God called him to his service, and Isaiah willingly said, “Here I am! Send me.”

An Example to Us

What Isaiah shared with us is an example to us of what our own salvation from sin should look like. And it needs to begin with God persuading us as to his holiness and righteousness, as to our sinfulness, and as to our need to be rescued from our sinful conditions and to walk in obedience to his calling upon each one of our lives. And our response needs to first be to fear God, to honor him as the holy God he is, and to see our own sinful conditions.

And this is not a casual thing that took place here. This was not about a mere verbal acknowledgement of sin and of the need to be rescued from the punishment of sin. This was not about wanting God to save him from his sins so he could go to heaven when he died but while he continued in his sin. What Isaiah described for us here is a picture of a person truly humbled by the holiness of God who saw himself as a sinner in need of being rescued.

And the result was not that Isaiah then continued in his sin convinced that heaven was now secured for him and it couldn’t be taken away from him. Isaiah had a changed life. What took place in his life transformed his life. He answered God’s call on his life, he became one of God’s messengers, one of his prophets, and he spoke the words of God to the people, and they weren’t “easy listening” types of words, either.

Here I am! Send me!

You see, when we are genuinely saved from our sins, by God’s grace, our lives change. They are altered by God’s Spirit. We no longer want to live the life we lived before. We want to serve the Lord. We want to obey him and do what he says. We don’t see our salvation merely as an escape from hell so we can go to heaven one day while we still continue in deliberate and habitual sin. We are thankful that God saved us so we can now live for him.

We know what Jesus said. We know that to believe in him means to be one of his followers (his disciples), and that to be one of his disciples means that we deny self, and daily we die with him to sin and we live to him and to his righteousness, and we walk in obedience to his commands. And we know, too, that this means we will be called to suffer for the sake of our walks of faith and our testimonies for Jesus Christ, and we accept that.

For, believing in Jesus Christ is not a casual thing we do just so we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die. Believing in Jesus Christ is a lifetime commitment to surrender our lives to the will of God to go wherever he sends us, to say whatever he commands, and to do whatever it is he calls us to do, even knowing we will be hated, rejected, persecuted, falsely accused, and even put to death for our walks of faith in Jesus Christ.

[Rom 3:23; Rom 5:12-19; 1 Co 15:21-22,42-49; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; Titus 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Matt 5:10-12; Lu 21:12-19; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; Jn 15:1-11; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23]

Because He Lives

By Gloria Gaither / William J. Gaither

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth a living just because He lives

And then one day, I’ll cross that river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then as death gives way to victory
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He reigns

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