My wife, Bobbie, has no affection whatsoever for the Fourth of July. Of course, I’m not referring to our nation’s celebration of independence from the tyranny of eighteenth-century British rule. I’m referring to firecrackers.
Neither of us grew up in states where private citizens could buy or detonate fireworks. So, after we were married and moved to a state where this was legal, I loaded up. I told my wife that I bought and shot off firecrackers so our girls would have a special experience of celebrating our nation’s freedom. She wasn’t listening.
One of the more interesting moments during the Wolgemuth family fireworks show was when one of these Chinese delights didn’t go off. I had lit the fuse, seen the sparks, heard the unmistakable hissing sound, run like crazy . . . but nothing had happened. In a few minutes, the girls had uncovered their ears and had declared that one a “dud.”
Unfortunately, it was my job to go back to the misfired device to see what had happened. If you have ever done this, you know exactly what I’m describing. The last thing you’d ever do is to boldly walk up to the firecracker, pick it up and look it over. No, actually, what you do is to carefully tiptoe toward the fizzled waste of money. It’s as though you’re on thin ice. Your heart is pounding in your temples. Your children are cheering you on. Your wife is in the house, dialing 9–1 – 1. You’re literally shaking at the thought that it still might blow up. This is not funny.
Throughout the Bible—and especially in the Old Testament—we are warned about entering God’s presence casually. Glibly. Forgetting His awesomeness. His power. His restraint in light of our sinfulness. The account of Isaiah entering the temple and becoming aware of the presence of a holy God is a pretty incredible one. To this point in the story, Isaiah has been reminding folks of their sinfulness. Suddenly he’s reminded of his own. This account is in the Scripture to help us to never forget that our God is an exalted God. Coming into His presence should make our hearts race. It should make our feet tread lightly, our hands tremble. We are standing before pure dynamite.
With this image firmly in our minds, isn’t it incredible that this same God loves us and tenderly calls himself our Father? Let the contrast of these two incredible truths bury themselves deeply in our hearts.
By the way, I gave up on the fireworks. Bobbie was right. Several years ago a dad in our town said “farewell” to his right hand on Independence Day. I’m pretty sure this isn’t what the founding fathers had in mind.
Taken from NIV Dad's Devotional Bible