It was in the year King Uzziah died in the land of Judah about 760 B.C. that the Prophet Isaiah saw the Lord seated on His Throne high and lifted up in Heaven. As Isaiah beheld the glorious scene he immediately became aware of his own sinful wretched condition and his shame. Even the heavenly beings present above the Throne covered themselves with their wings from head to foot in reverence and awe of the Holy One who sat upon the Throne.
As Isaiah witnessed the Lord’s royal train “filled the temple… and the house was filled with smoke,” the seraphim cried, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts” in adoration of Him Who sat upon the Throne. Isaiah realized standing in the presence of Almighty God just how sinful he truly was, proclaiming, “Woe is me! for I am undone.” He knew he was not worthy to join in the heavenly chorus of praise because of such wickedness in his being. Isaiah confessed he was a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips, “for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”
At Isaiah’s confession of his sin one of the seraphim used tongs to pick up a burning coal from off the altar of sacrifice and laid the hot ember upon Isaiah’s mouth, declaring “Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” When confronted with the Holiness of God in light of his own innate sinful nature, Isaiah’s confession led him to repentance and a restored fellowship with God that was lost when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden (Genesis 2-3; Isaiah 6:1-7).
The Apostle Paul writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote to the Romans, “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” just as Isaiah’s salvation came about over 700 years earlier (Romans 10:10). The Apostle John, exiled to the island of Patmos late in his life for preaching the Gospel of salvation in Christ Alone to the Jewish nation, wrote in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” King David’s testimony included confession of sin before receiving God’s forgiveness, “I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me,” (Psalm 51:3). Without confession of sin one remains lost in sin with no hope of salvation.