Isaiah 6:5 Facing the Lord

Isaiah 6:5 Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” 

In the presence of God, Isaiah realizes his personal sin and the sin of his fellow countrymen. He is in the presence of perfection in the throne room of Heaven. There is no comparison.

Peter has the same experience in the New Testament with a record hall of fish. He realizes he is in the presence deity. Luke 5:8 But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” 

Isaiah has Exodus 33:20 in mind when he sees the Lord in person. He feared for his life.

Exodus 33:20 But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” This is God talking.

Prior to God’s direct revelation in Exodus, this concept is understood by Jacob. Jacob wrestles with the Lord in Genesis 32:30 and has the following response. So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.”

The fear of seeing the Lord and subsequent death has been engrained in Jewish culture in the Old Testament. The same concern is expressed by Manoah in Judges 13. Manoah and his wife had encountered the Angel of the Lord. Their response was to bow their faces to the ground. Judges 13:22 So Manoah said to his wife, “We will surely die, for we have seen God.”

Gideon has an encounter with the Angel of the Lord in Judges 6:22-23 When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the LORD, he said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.” The LORD said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.”

As one can see, death does not occur to all who see and are face to face with the Lord. He is merciful and gracious. It is God’s choice. Exodus 33:19b… “and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”

It is clearly a humbling experience to be face to face with the Lord.

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