Isaiah 6:1-7 (ESV)
Isaiah’s Vision of the Lord
6 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train[a] of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” 4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “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!”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
In the year 740/39 the king of Israel, Uzziah, died and Isaiah received an incredible vision of God. Uzziah had been a decent king, not the greatest, but definitely not the worst. But he had tried to play the role of a priest and give incense in the temple, something only a priest was consecrated to do (2 Chronicles 26:16-21). When He did this God struck him with leprosy, a dangerous and contagious disease that forced him to be cut off from the community until he died. It is into this context that Isaiah sees the Lord! He is given a glimpse of something
that is far holier than anything in the temple. And he panics! But an angel comes to him and touches him with a burning coal from the altar that sits in heaven and that coal “atones” for his sins and removes his sin guilt. Atonement, being made right with God, and having guilt removed, are things that only God can do and we received this same atoning and freedom when the offering Jesus made, touched us in baptism. What an incredible gift and privilege we have! We are able to stand in the presence of God! Give God thanks and praise for Hiswork, not your vain attempts to make yourself holy.