Weekly Devotionals

Week of Monday, November 23 – Saturday, November 28
Send Me - Man as a Chaplain

And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” … “So I said: “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 my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”….  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”  And He said, “Go…” — Isaiah 6:3, 5, 8-9a (NKJV)

Have you ever had an overwhelming sense of the presence of Holy God? Maybe it was at the birth of a child, or perhaps during a life-threatening experience, or simply as you witnessed the majesty of God’s creation.  At the very moment we are overcome with the wonder and greatness and holiness of God, we can also be overcome with an acute awareness of our own weakness and even wickedness. Honestly, we are not ready to serve well as Chaplains until we see ourselves in the light of God’s majestic holiness and deal with our own sinfulness.
Isaiah’s experience was kind of like that. He was in the Temple, contemplating the loss of their earthly king, when he was suddenly given a vision of the Heavenly King, the Lord seated on His throne, surrounded by angels who worshiped Him. Isaiah heard their booming voices calling out to one another (v. 2-3). "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts," those on the left cried out.  "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts," answered those on the right. And the sound of it resonated and reverberated until the very foundations were shaken and the whole temple filled with smoke (v. 4)! "The whole earth is full of His glory!" the voices on the left rang out.  "The whole earth is full of His glory!" the voices on the right roared.

In the presence of Holy God, Isaiah was wrecked. He had been preaching hard against various groups of sinners, denouncing them with: “Woe to you! Woe to you! Woe to you!” (see 5:8, 11, 18, 20, 21-25). But when he stood in the presence of a Holy God, he turned and pointed to himself and said: "Woe to me! Woe to me! Woe to me! I am undone (literally destroyed, lost). I am a man of unclean lips! I have sinned against a holy God!" We all think that we look pretty good in comparison with others, but in the brilliant light of God's holiness, we see our true selves... and the only acceptable response is to say with Isaiah: "Woe to me.”

Then by His grace, Holy God removed Isaiah’s sin, symbolized by the live coal from the altar that touched his sinful lips. And then Isaiah heard the God of the universe, the King of creation, the Lord of heavenly armies call out: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" God had a mission. Isaiah didn't hesitate: "Here am I," he offered, "Send me!" This passage is especially meaningful to me because I have prayed that prayer to God numerous times before going on a mission. I saluted the Lord with: “Here I am. Send me!” Why? Because I truly believed I was serving my God and my country. Remember that all we need to do is to confess our sins and seek forgiveness and they are not only forgiven but they are forgotten. (1 John 1:9)

Back to Isaiah: He experienced this awesome display of God's holy presence; he has seen the true and everlasting King, the Lord of heavenly armies, high and lifted up; he has faced the deep darkness of his own sin and the release and relief of God's forgiveness. So flowing naturally out of his grateful heart is his eager response: "Send me!" Should our response be any less?

  • When have you experienced a strong sense of the presence of Holy God in your life? How did you respond to those experiences?
  • Reread Isaiah 6:5. Isaiah had trouble with his mouth.  A lot of us do. But what sin(s) do you need to confess to God? To become effective Chaplains, we need to humble ourselves, confess our sins, and ask for his forgiveness. And God will do it (1 John 1:9).
  • God has a mission for his men. What part of that mission has God assigned you? Have you saluted and said: “Here I am Lord, send me?”