April 13, 2008

The Calling

Isaiah 6:4-7

“Woe to me! … I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips …”
Isaiah 6:5


Isaiah describes the vision that changed his life and prepared him for the difficult career of a faithful minister of God’s Word. John 12:41 tells us that this glimpse of divine glory includes a revelation of the glory of the Son of God himself. The holy angels themselves could not look upon the Son of God in his majestic state. They had to cover their faces and fly away from the scene as they reported how the divine glory filled the whole earth (Isaiah 6:2-3). Isaiah, though he was a sinner, was actually allowed to have a peek. What an experience of both terror and awe!

Confronting the God of triple holiness made Isaiah realize how overwhelming his sinfulness actually was. His lips, the instrument for proclaiming God’s holy Word, were as stained as those of his unrepentant audience. His own sin was exposed, and he recognized how unfit he was for the task. But the holy seraph flew to him “with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.” And touching Isaiah’s mouth with it, the angel said: “See … your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Jesus’ holiness burns away guilt and “purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). The Lord’s cleansing prepared Isaiah for his calling. The same cleansing prepares you for whatever ministry the Lord intends for you.

Father, thank you for exposing my own sinfulness. Grant me the cleansing that is needed for bearing witness to my Redeemer, in whose name I pray. Amen.

About the author — Victor Atallah

Rev. Victor Atallah is the broadcast team leader for The Back to God Hour Arabic ministry and the general director of Middle East Reformed Fellowship. These meditations are based on texts of Arabic broadcasts aired a few years ago and an Arabic commentary on the book of Isaiah prepared for publication. Rev. Atallah and his wife, Lisa, live in Larnaca, Cyprus, where The Back to God Hour Arabic ministry is based. The ministry reaches Arabic-speaking people throughout the Middle East and North Africa, introducing them to Jesus Christ, Savior of the nations.

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