One of my favorite chapters in Isaiah. It is clear that when Isaiah is confronted with both the holiness of God and the sin in himself, he is overwhelmed, undone. Thomas D. Bernard makes a great point when he says, "Our sense of sin is in proportion to our nearness to God."
I think it is important to point out that, while anyone would be undone by such an encounter with God, Isaiah lived before Jesus dies on the cross. Atonement for sin had to be made by the priests on behalf of the people, and it was more like their sin was temporarily *covered* than blotted out or washed away.
I also find it important that we learn about all od God's attributes, because they all give us another portrait of who He really is. Yes, His attributes include consuming holiness, but they equally include cleansing grace.
The coals in the temple had soaked up the blood of the animal sacrifice. Hence their atoning power.
Isaiah was anointed of God to speak to the people only after his sin was atoned for. So it is with us. We have been called to bring a message to every person on earth. (Matt. 28:18-20) We no longer resort to blood sacrifices of animals to cover our sins. Jesus is our Atonement Lamb, who washes away all of our sins.
And while habitual, unrepentant sin should never be the case in a born-again believer, we have an advocate in Jesus. We have a beautiful promise for forgiveness and cleansing in 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
May we receive our cleansing today and be willing, as Isaiah was, to be God's mouthpiece to the people He brings into our lives.