top of page
Image by Milad Fakurian
  • Writer's pictureFirst Christian Church of Chicago

Humiliation Galore

Often it seems that when people perceive they have been wronged, the desire of those who are wronged is to bring about the ruination of the perpetrator. It doesn’t matter how long ago or how young and stupid we may have been when the perceived wrong took place, reputations are ruined, jobs lost ... in the words of Inigo Montoya "humiliation galore!" Then we stand over the wasted remains of our foe and gloat.

Many people look at their vengeful spite and warrant it because that is how they perceive God acts toward sinners. God humiliates and destroys those who wrong him. We are just acting like "the gods".

The ancient gods were capricious. They would strike at their human subjects for the pure joy of it. They would laugh at the human suffering that they brought.

However, YHWH was different. Yes, he would humiliate those who in stubborn rebelliousness would oppose him. But that is where the parallel stopped.

In Isaiah 6, after Isaiah experiences a soul awakening encounter with God, and comes to confront the immensity of his sin and unworthiness to exist in God’s presence, he is prepared to die. That is, after all, why the executors of God's judgment, the seraphim, are there.

When the seraph flies toward him, he is sure the end has come. He waits for the strike that brings about the end of his life. It doesn’t come.

Instead, "the burning one" flies to the Altar of Sacrifice to secure a "living coal", which he must secure with tongs. Flies that coal back to Isaiah, and places it on Isaiah's sin breathing lips.

(Think about this: how hot must a coal be that "the burning one" must use tongs to handle it?)

How painful would that have been for Isaiah? This process that God is taking us through isn't always going to be pleasant. Sometimes it will be tremendously painful.

Here is where the decisive moment takes place. At the moment we would tend to glory in the humiliation and suffering of the rightfully condemned, God announces redemption.

Yes, humiliation occurs. However, God doesn't bring humiliation for the enjoyment of see the disobedient and unjust suffer. Humiliation has divine purpose. Redemption through humiliation.

We see that in Isaiah 6. We will see it as God announces judgment of Judah. It will echo in announcements of judgment to the nations.

In nearly all occurrences the prospect of redemption follows. It may be Isaiah's cleansing. It may be in a remaining remnant or return of the exiles. It may be in the nations streaming to the Eternal City.

God doesn't stand in victory over his defeated enemies and gloat. God seeks to redeem, even the worst. But, he may have to burn them down to do that.

What pain have you had to endure so that redemption could be received?

1 view

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page