Isaiah 6:1-2 “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.
Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings, with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.”
This was some sight! But it was not Isaiah’s call.
Isaiah was, most believe, a nephew of king Uzziah. He was often at court, and prophesied during the reign of four kings.
The royal family was allowed to go into the Holy Place, although they could not officiate at the golden altar.
(Isaiah writes of Christ Jesus as a suffering Savior, as well as the exalted Lord; and is quoted more often than any other prophet, in the New Testament.
He preached about a hundred years before Judah was taken into captivity for their sins;…….although he preached that it would happen, if they would not change their ways, and do as the Lord commanded them.)
Before this vision of God, Isaiah had preached against the sins of Judah.
Though they had the Temple and they were still performing the outward duties…some with great show (Isaiah 1:11-13);
…..yet it was just that…an elaborate show. (“The multitude of your sacrifices”)
The Lord had spoken to him about all of this. God wanted the people to do what the law set forth:
“Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings….Learn to do well; relieve the oppressed,…
(And the most important…) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:…” (Isaiah 1:16-18)
Isaiah saw the people ruined by twisting the Word of God.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness….that are wise in their own eyes,…that are mighty to drink wine,…which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!….
….because the have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 5:20-24)
Yet, Isaiah had not much success in his preaching. Some believe he was dejected by the indifference to God’s message.
(And perhaps there are some who are saddened by the lack of seeming success in their ministry….go to God, talk to Him about it, honestly….and let Him speak to you.)
Going into the temple, he sees the Lord, high and lifted up on a throne.
(This is actually a vision of Christ Jesus on the throne, as John 12:41 tells us)
He saw the seraphims, in their proper place of reverence….and he heard their cry:
Isaiah 6:3-4 “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.
And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.”
You might think that he would have been rejoicing to see such a vision.
When this happens, Isaiah,….a spiritual man….one which wanted to honor the Lord….
…gets a good look at his own heart.
Perhaps, Isaiah saw that he too, was not without selfishness or pride….
And he cries, “Woe is me! For I am undone;”.
“I have been brought to silence….before our Holy God.
All my words, which I spoke…which were right and good…nevertheless they have brought me into judgement. I am guilty, for I am not worthy to speak for the Lord.”
And the reason he knows this? Because Isaiah was spiritual. “For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
All he has done……is nothing in front of such a King!
He saw the Lord upon a throne—a throne of glory: think of the light that was shown Isaiah….
……before which Isaiah bowed his heart.
A throne of government: kings come and go,…….but The Lord is always in charge.
A throne of grace: And Isaiah is about to find that out (remember this is the Lord Jesus, Isaiah is seeing).
Isaiah 6:6-7 “Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touch thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.”
( It was said of Jesus, Matthew 3:11 “…He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”)
Depressed and discouraged, Isaiah came to the Temple, and met The Lord….and repented of his own sins.
(This is what the Lord Jesus requires of all of us…..repentance and faith…for ourselves. Getting right with God ourselves….then giving His Word…faithfully.)
He had heard God’s message to Israel,……and spoke it faithfully.
But now…under convictions from his own sins….
…..he is given the opportunity to know the Lord of Glory’s mercy and grace….for himself.
And then is empowered by that grace….to show this for his people.
Isaiah 6:8 “Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
Here is the call of Isaiah. “Who will go for us?”
And he answers. “Here, I give You myself; do as You will;…..send me.”
Then, and only then, the Lord gives Isaiah the general message of his preaching. There might be specifics which would be added, but the general message was:
Isaiah 6:9-10 “And He said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see indeed, but perceive not.
And make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and convert, and be healed.”
The Lord warned Isaiah what would happen when he spoke to them…..
As Isaiah would tell the people what God said,…….their eyes would glaze over,…….their ears would feel like they were going drop off,
…..their minds would quote the promises God has given…..
…..but refuse His threatenings….
The people would refuse the message, and be hardened in heart.
And if they chose this, God would let them be blind. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
(It was a picture of what happened when the Lord of Glory came to earth as man. Matt 13:14-15, Mark 4:12, Luke 8:10, John 12:38-41)
How sad that we forget that God is as faithful to His threatenings, as He is His promises.
Isaiah 6:11 “Then said I, Lord, how long?…”.
“How long will Your message be rejected before You act?”
In fact Isaiah was to die before it happened. For over fifty years he was to preach and prophesy tirelessly to Judah.
Most believe that Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh, had him killed because of his preaching against the wickedness and idolatry that Manasseh set up.
He had seen the King, the Lord of Glory, high and lifted up,….
…..yet spoke of Him in His most humble state (Isaiah 53), in poetic beauty.
He was the one to tell of the Lord being born of a virgin.
He followed the Lord’s calling to the end; and manifested Christ’s coming again and again….both in humility, and in power.
Isaiah 9:6-7 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called….
Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall perform this.”
Isaiah 40:10, 25, 28 “Behold, the Lord will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him: behold, His reward is with Him, and His Work before Him.
To whom then will ye liken Me, or I shall I be equal? Saith the Holy One.
Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding.”
Yet he also spoke a word to the remnant of true believers; encouraging them in to hang on and obey their God.
Isaiah 41:9-10 “Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art My servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.
Fear thou not; I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.”
This has been a long message, and how many of us would say, “If only we could hear the Lord, as he did….then I could do anything for the Lord…”
But He is the King, the Lord of Glory…High and lifted up.
He is speaking today, not in the same way as He did to Isaiah….
…but He is still calling, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”
If you have heard His call? What is your answer?
He has a message for me, He has one for you….but are we hearing it?