November 11 I Wednesday
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand....With it he touched my mouth and said, ‘See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.’” —Isaiah 6:6-7
God never convicts us of sin to condemn or humiliate us. Condemnation is the devil’s strategy, but God convicts us to liberate us. God does not forgive us and then shut us away so we never give in to temptation again. Instead, He redeems us to bring us back into a right relationship with Him so He can use us for His glory.
Redemption means to buy something back that was gone. It was a term used in the slave trade to talk about buying freedom back for slaves. In the Old Testament, we speak of how God redeemed Israel from their slavery in Egypt, but in the New Testament, we primarily apply redemption to how Jesus’s death on the cross bought us back and freed us from our slavery to sin. Yet, in Isaiah 6, we see that God redeems not only us, but particularly those parts of us that were once the most sinful.
Isaiah learned this after he met with God; being in God’s presence brought Isaiah to a place of total repentance. He expressed his deep sorrow for being a man of “unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5), but God did not leave him in sorrow. He sent one of the angels worshiping Him and proclaiming His holiness to touch Isaiah’s lips with a burning coal. After doing this, the angel said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:7). In that moment, Isaiah’s sin was dealt with, and he was cleansed because of his meeting with God.
Isaiah might have thought at that moment that his days as a prophet were over because of the sins of his mouth, but God had other plans. Immediately after forgiving Isaiah, God asked “Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us?” (Isaiah 6:8). There is no condemnation here. God does not forgive Isaiah under the condition that he could never prophesy again. Rather, God redeems Isaiah and his unclean lips, commissioning him in the very area of his previous failures.
Such cleansing is open to all of us, not only do we receive forgiveness when we believe in Jesus, but we also receive the Holy Spirit living in us. If we let Him, the Holy Spirit will transform us so our biggest failures become testaments to His grace. Because of Christ, the sins of our past no longer need to be a shameful memory; instead, they can become a part of how we witness to God’s transforming life in us. We can comfort others struggling with the same sins we once faced, offering them the same hope of forgiveness and transformation we have received in Christ.
Prayer: God, thank You for forgiving me. Let my life be a testament to Your grace. May I not be afraid to share with others how You have redeemed me. Praise You!