by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Isaiah's God is the Holy One of Israel. In God's presence we have to be morally clean. God has chosen his Servant, who will rule in righteousness in a kingdom of peace.
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory" (Isa. 6:3).
Like Moses and like John on the Island of Patmos, Isaiah was permitted to see beyond all normal human limitations. He looked behind the scenes. He caught a glimpse of the throne, where God administers the affairs of the earth. He saw the temple in heaven where worship is uninterrupted. He experienced the tremor and the smoke of God's coming to the Sinai (Ex.19:18). Isaiah saw God.
Isaiah's one great message is that God is holy. All of Isaiah's prophecies are colored by his knowledge of God as the "holy one of Israel." Because he has seen God's holiness, Isaiah feels unworthy to speak for God or about God until he is cleansed by fire. Maybe Isaiah wasn't such a great sinner. But, like all of us, he was involved in and contaminated by the unclean people among whom he lived.
By clean and unclean Isaiah doesn't mean what's ritually "kosher" or unclean. Rather (as you know from reading his prophecies), he is referring to that which is morally right or corrupt. Unclean people are the arrogant, the decadent, the dishonest, and the greedy drunkards. One can speak against them only when one knows something of the holiness of God. And one can be separated from them only when called and cleansed by God.
Those who wallow in evil and see nothing wrong in immoral business are not merely insensitive to what is good and beautiful. They have no inkling of God's holiness.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version