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  • Writer's picturePastor Johnson

"Woe Is Me, For I Am Undone!"

“Woe is me, for I am undone!” 

These are the words that have been echoing through my heart and mind this week. These are the words spoken by Isaiah upon seeing the throne room of God (Isaiah 6:5) He is so overcome with God’s holiness and majesty, especially in light of his sinfulness, that he can only exclaim of his helpless condition. 

How can we stand in the presence of the one who is Holy, Holy, Holy? How can we look upon the face of such majesty? How can sinful man such as I, find any favor with God? My self-sufficient hope only gives way to woe and ruin. I’m undone! I’m undone! I’m undone! 

Isaiah needed purification. We see that take place through the intermediary work of a seraphim.  The seraph touches Isaiah’s lips with a burning coal, thus purifying this man’s unclean state. It is then that Isaiah hears the voice of God, commanding him to service.

I see this as a picture, a shadow of what was to come. Yet it wouldn’t be an angel purifying the sins of mankind. It would be God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, who would purify His people from their sins. Isaiah declares this truth later in his ministry: 

“Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6)

Christ is our man of sorrows. He has taken my undone and helpless state, and through His suffering, His death, and in His resurrection, I am healed. Praise be to God! I am at a loss for words. I cannot write anything more.

Not what these hands have done

can save this guilty soul;

not what this toiling flesh has borne

can make my spirit whole.

Not what I feel or do

can give me peace with God;

not all my prayers and sighs and tears

can bear my awful load.

Thy work alone, O Christ,

can ease this weight of sin;

Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God,

can give me peace within.

Thy love to me, O God, not mine,

O Lord, to Thee,

can rid me of the dark unrest,

and set my spirit free.

Thy grace alone, O God,

to me can pardon speak;

Thy pow'r alone, O Son of God,

can this sore bondage break.

I bless the Christ of God;

I rest on love divine;

and with unfalt'ring lip and heart,

I call this Savior mine.

“Not What My Hands Have Done” 

Text by: Horatius Bonar

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