“Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
— ISAIAH 6:5 (NRSV)
FALLEN short, again. The words of Isaiah’s call seem to reflect so many little mirages and shattered fragments of my life. So many times my tongue is salacious and my lips are filthy. All because I look at all the wickedness around me and I find such fault with it that it affects me; I am drawn into it! I find I cannot reconcile it and I get utterly forlorn when all I seek is to be in an environment of 24/7 honesty and authenticity breeding inviolable trust and consummate respect — the perfect world of love. The witness of crooked tongues, and lives set on controlling others, are my torment and death. And yet, in my despondency I become the one who is crooked, for I cuss like a demon. Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips…
… Yet (if I cast my mind back) my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!
Consider this gem:
“Everything that God does in this secret shaping of the Servant has one end in view: to make the servant what God’s people as a whole are intended to be — the showcase of God’s glory.”
— Selwyn Hughes
Inspired of Isaiah 49:3, the servant is purposed and destined to display God’s splendour. That is what God’s people, Israel of the Old Testament, the Church of the New, is intended to do. We were made for greater things than cussing and crooked talk.
We are ennobled to exist in a perfect world to come, whilst we are purposed to inhabit this life with humility — and, yet, we will often be humiliated because we confuse the two. We are wrong to think we are already there.
And, still, we have laid eyes and hands on the secret glories of the King. We have tasted his Majesty. Why else would we have set our standards so high?
The Christian world is one huge disappointment, for all have fallen short of the glory of God. Yet, it is to such dizzying heights we are to, again, climb!
The servant’s purpose in showcasing the glory of God is to showcase love for the sinner whilst condemning the sin. This is such a hard thing to do. Yet it must start.
Single-minded is little Israel — the single organism embodying the representation of one nation — in being a manifestation of God’s eternal brilliance, even in this mortal life.
Operating at God’s good pleasure is never an easy task. It requires continual confession and regular repentance. It can be the loneliest of paths, but it is replete with God’s blessing, known only beyond this world.
Sinner, though saved,
Sanctified, yet depraved,
Sick past, his glory,
Redeemed, his story.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.