““Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”” (Isaiah 6:3 ESV)
Isaiah is undone in the presence of the Lord as he cries out, “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!”” (Isaiah 6:5 ESV). The prophet recognizes how short he falls from holiness when he is faced with the holiness of God as he stands in His presence. But God provides the only remedy for Isaiah’s (and our) position: grace. God graciously provides and atones for his sinful inadequacy: “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.”” (Isaiah 6:6–7 ESV). Being in the presence of the Almighty and experiencing His grace moves Isaiah to action and service, ““Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”” (Isaiah 6:8 ESV). Isaiah is called to be a prophet to the people. However, Isaiah’s proclamation will not cause the people to repent and turn to the Lord, rather God had ordained that it would only serve to harden their already darkened and depraved hearts: ““‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”” (Isaiah 6:9–10 ESV). The regenerating faith to respond to God is a gift of His grace, for without it we won’t want Him.