Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Isaiah 6:5.
Those who experience the sanctification of the Bible will manifest a spirit of humility. Like Moses, they have had a view of the awful majesty of holiness, and they see their own unworthiness in contrast with the purity and exalted perfection of the Infinite One.
The prophet Daniel was an example of true sanctification. His long life was filled up with noble service for his Master. He was a man “greatly beloved” (Daniel 10:11) of Heaven. Yet instead of claiming to be pure and holy, this honored prophet identified himself with the really sinful of Israel as he pleaded before God in behalf of his people: “We do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies.” “We have sinned, we have done wickedly.” He declares: “I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people. . . . “(Daniel 9:18, 15, 20).
When Job heard the voice of the Lord out of the whirlwind, he exclaimed: “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6). It was when Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord, and heard the cherubim crying, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts,” that he cried out, “Woe is me! for I am undone” (Isaiah 6:3, 5). Paul, after he was caught up into the third heaven and heard things which it was not possible for a man to utter, speaks of himself as “less than the least of all saints” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4, margin; Ephesians 3:8). It was the beloved John, who leaned on Jesus’ breast and beheld His glory, that fell as one dead before the feet of the angel (Revelation 1:17).
There can be no self-exaltation, no boastful claim to freedom from sin, on the part of those who walk in the shadow of Calvary’s cross. They feel that it was their sin which caused the agony that broke the heart of the Son of God, and this thought will lead them to self-abasement. Those who live nearest to Jesus discern most clearly the frailty and sinfulness of humanity, and their only hope is in the merit of a crucified and risen Saviour.
Maranatha p. 235
——update—Lois has passed away after a long battle with cancer. Please pray for her family and friends.
Years ago, when I worked at Lyster Army Hospital, we got a patient, who had been shot in the leg. When they saw him, all the other soldiers couldn’t help laughing. He took it all good naturedly. I was very curious and asked one of them why the reaction. This soldier was on the Military Police force. He and a few buddies had nothing to do one afternoon, so they started bragging about what they could do better than anyone else. This young MP told everyone that he could draw a gun with all the fancy twirling like the cowboys in the old western movies did. Of course, the others dared him to do it. Somehow when he went to take the gun out of the holster, his gun got stuck. His finger got twisted up in the trigger and that caused him not to be able to draw out the gun. In trying to free himself, the gun went off and the bullet went into his leg at such an odd angle that it traveled down the bone and came out of his foot. That one little moment gave him many months of pain, difficulty, and embarrassment.
How often, we are like that soldier. One careless word, one little action, can change our life forever. Jesus tells us, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matt 12:34-37 The wise man observed, “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” Prov 20:11
As we look upon our weak, blundering ways, we cry as did Paul, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Rom 7:24 We are helpless and weak and cannot deliver ourselves. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Jer 13:23
How much we need a Saviour! We must have Someone Who can empower us to do right. Praise God, we do have such a One, even the Only Begotten Son of God! He is “the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by” Him. John 14:6 He loves us with an everlasting love and draws us to Him with His loving kindness. What a wonderful Saviour!
Moreover, He does not stop there, He leads and guides us on the path to Heaven. He promises, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Is 30:21 “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Ps 32:8
May we come to Him now, all weak and helpless, for He will not turn us away. May we allow Him to change us into His image, that His love may flow out to those around us. May we follow Him all the way to His Heavenly Kingdom is my prayer.