Isaiah 5-8: Facedown

There are very few quotes that I remember verbatim. I am not a particularly observant person, nor do I remember much of what I read. But one quote that I remember is from a little book called Facedown, by author and lead worshipper, Matt Redman. In this book, Matt writes:

When we face up to the glory of God, we find ourselves facedown in worship

This is a simple and profound truth, and it is illustrated most powerfully in Isaiah chapter 6, a passage that many of us know, but few truly ponder. This is what it says:

1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train 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.”

Isaiah finds himself face to face with the unimaginably awesome and terribly great presence of the God of the universe and he is brought to his knees. When confronted with utter perfection and beauty and majesty, Isaiah is awakened to the reality of his sinfulness, and he is filled with fear. But God responds graciously by forgiving Him, and that forgiveness is extended to us in Christ.

We fall on our faces before a holy God because He is not only perfect and righteous and full of justice, but because He is full of grace and kindness and mercy, and He lovingly extends those things to us in Christ, that we might not die when faced with His perfect holiness.

Still, we fall facedown before Him, for that is the only appropriate response of saved sinners toward a saving God.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Is 6:1–7). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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