God’s Holiness, Man’s Uncleanness

Oftentimes, when one is attempting to distinguish between the systems inherent in Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, terms like “law and grace” are used-usually to denigrate the former in light of the later. Overemphasis on this dichotomy leads to a view of the two testaments as unfortunate as it is inaccurate. An equally valid way of viewing all Scripture could be summed up in the terms “call and response” or “grace and gratitude.” All of God’s actions are movements of grace-many of His actions are calls requiring a response. Sometimes our response is to ignore His call or to decline His invitation of grace. Hopefully, more often our response is one of active obedience born out of a sense of gratitude.

In gratitude, the Hebrew people were obedient to the law as their response to God’s grace in choosing them as His people. In gratitude, The Christian community is obedient to the teachings of Jesus as their response to God’s saving grace. In gratitude, Isaiah accepted God’s call to represent Him to Judah in response to God’s cleansing grace.

This passage in Isaiah 6 is intriguing. In verse 3, a declaration of enlightenment is made, followed by the doorposts and thresholds shaking and the temple filling with smoke. Then in verse 5 we have Isaiah’s recognition of his own sinful condition. In verse 6 and 7 we are the cleansing power of God at work. As a result his guilt is taken away and his sin atoned for. then Isaiah hears the voice of the Lord asking, “Whom shall i send? And who will go for us?” Isaiah’s vision and mind in clarified so that he does not need to take time to span the leap from God’s holiness to his sinfulness to his cleansing to an understanding of the question God is now asking.

When you get a glimpse of God’s holiness, you too, will call out “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.” You too, will see your own need for cleansing. You too, will be transformed by the purifying fire from the Lord’s altar. Then, when the Almighty calls you, what will be your response?

“Whom shall i send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

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