Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth…
I love the story of Isaiah 6. The prophet tells us of his magnificent vision: ”I saw the Lord, seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple” (Isaiah 6:1). And it gets even more glorious as he tells of six-winged seraphs calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty” (Isaiah 6:3). The doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple filled with smoke. Isn’t that awesome?
I wish the vision ended there…with praise flowing from our lips too. But as always, the awareness of the holiness of God accentuates the stark contrast of our own sinfulness. Isaiah cries, “Woe is me! I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5).
I’ve always thought that perhaps Isaiah had a problem, a habit, of profanity, and perhaps so. That is not my habit, but as I examine my heart, I do hear unclean words flowing from my lips too. All too often critical words, judgmental accusations, wounding jests, His precious name spoken in unworthy ways typify my speech. It seems that as I live among a people with unclean lips, it is ever more difficult to keep my words wholesome!
Purify me, O Lord. Wash me clean. Like Isaiah, touch my lips with the fire of your Spirit. Thank you for the atoning work of Christ on the cross that takes away my guilt and atones for my sin (Isaiah 6:7).