"Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?" (Isaiah 33:14). God is a consuming fire; his way is "the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it" (Isaiah 35:8). Isaiah calls out against the unclean, announcing judgment upon the nations. No wonder Isaiah appears to be a prophet of doom; but this assumes the question cannot be answered. It can; there is one who can stand the flames.
He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
who despises the gain of oppressions,
who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe,
who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed
and shuts his eyes from looking on evil (Isaiah 33:15).
Isaiah is also a proclaimer of hope, calling a people to walk with God, to fight oppression, to pursue righteousness, to reflect his glory.
There was a concert at the shopping plaza down the street. The band played songs by Journey. Remember Journey? "Don't Stop Believin'," "Any Way You Want," "Wheel in the Sky." I closed my eyes and could hear Steve Perry on lead vocals. Except it wasn't Steve Perry. It was a guy imitating Steve Perry, and he sounded just like him. Just like him. They were good. I thought to myself, what if the original Journey band was in the audience listening to their songs being performed by this band? I bet they would have loved them. I bet they would have said, "Well done!"
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us" (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Father God, when I think of Your Son, how He lived and how He died and how He rose again, I see a picture of You. He is the image, the perfect image of the invisible God. He is God. When we see Jesus, we see the Father, because You, God, are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Three in One. I don't understand it, but I see it.
May I be an imitator of You, as well, so that when people see me, they see what You are like. I won't be perfect, but I'll aim for it. You began the work in me, and I trust You will continue it daily. May I love like You love, forgive as You forgive, seek Your righteousness and Your ways, and follow Your steps wherever You lead. And may I live in such a way that You are forever and always praised.