“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.”
Would you like to see God? The prophet Isaiah actually did. The Lord was seated high on his throne, and his robe filled the temple. Smoke billowed everywhere. Fiery angels flew overhead and shouted praises to God so loudly that the temple shook. And there, in the middle of all of it, stood Isaiah, listening to what the angels were saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3).
To be holy means to be set apart. Holiness is separation from sin. In fact, sinfulness and holiness are polar opposites. It is like light and darkness. One cannot exist in the presence of the other. Light scatters darkness, and God’s holiness destroys unholy things.
That was why Isaiah was terrified. What happens when sinners see God? Death happens. No sinner can stand in the presence of God and live. Isaiah expected to be obliterated by God’s holiness.
That was Isaiah’s problem. It’s also our problem. Like him, we have unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips. Whether we look inside or outside ourselves, there is only unclean sin.
So, would you still like to see God? Only if you know that God’s holiness does not just condemn sinners; it also saves them. Because he is holy, God cleanses us from our sin.
How? The holy Son of God came down from heaven and became a man. He lived a perfectly holy life and gives you his holiness. And then, for the sake of sinners, woe came to Christ. Jesus Christ was treated as the sinner and was ruined on the cross, cast from his Father’s presence so that you will live in his Father’s presence forever.
That is the goal of God’s holiness—to take away your sin so that you are able to see him without fear. In heaven, “we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
Lord Almighty, thank you for giving me what I need to see you. Amen.