God calls Isaiah – Isaiah 6:1-13
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” 9 And he said, “Go and say to this people:
‘Keep listening, but do not comprehend;
keep looking, but do not understand.’
10 Make the mind of this people dull,
and stop their ears,
and shut their eyes,
so that they may not look with their eyes,
and listen with their ears,
and comprehend with their minds,
and turn and be healed.”
11 Then I said, “How long, O Lord?” And he said:
“Until cities lie waste
and houses without people,
and the land is utterly desolate;
12 until the Lord sends everyone far away,
and vast is the emptiness in the midst of the land.
13 Even if a tenth part remain in it,
it will be burned again,
like a terebinth or an oak
whose stump remains standing
when it is felled.”
The holy seed is its stump.
What does the passage say?
V. 1-4 In the year King Uzziah died, Isaiah is encountered by the Lord. King Uzziah was one of the ‘good kings’ of Judah. He was a son of King Amaziah, another ‘good king’ of Judah. Like his father, he sought out to the Lord. He had Zechariah, a mentor prophet, helping him. And it says, “As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success” (2 Chron. 26:5). What does this mean? After his success, King Uzziah filled with pride considered himself above the Law. He wanted to officiate the sacrifice by himself, which has to be led by a priest. He entered the temple, and eighty priests came to confront the prideful King. The King became furious and was raging at the priest when we noticed that God had punished him for breaking leprosy on his skin. He runs away from the temple and remains to live like a leper for the rest of his life. Read more of King Uzziah’s story in 2 Chronicles 26.
God appears in front of Isaiah. God’s glory filled up the temple, and Isaiah was trembling in the sight of the Lord.
V. 4-7 When Isaiah was crying, assuming that he was on the floor face down, he says, “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty” (v. 5 NIV).
Why does he say that he is a ‘man of unclean lips?’ Why not say, I am a sinner?
This reminds us what Jesus said in Mathew 15:11, “It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds our of the mouth, this defiles the man.” Jesus said this while he was debating with the Pharisees over clean and unclean food.
Isaiah was saying that his heart was not sanctified and, therefore, all the words that came out of his mouth were unclean. Then one of the seraphim flew and touched Isaiah’s mouth with burning coal, and says, “See this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for” (v. 7 NIV).
In the same way, we need the Holy Spirit to touch our hearts and our lips with the blood of Jesus to atone us for all sins. We can understand this as a circumcision of the heart.
V. 8-13 Then God says, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” Isaiah responds by saying” Here I am. Send me!”
God sends him out to tell the Israelites a Message of God. A message they won’t understand. A Message that will continue until God’s deconstruction happens. A deconstruction; preparing for restoration.
God says to the people, “Listen hard, but you aren’t going to get it, look hard, but you won’t catch on. Make these people blockheads, with fingers in their ears and blindfolds on their eyes. So they won’t see a thing, won’t hear a word. So they won’t have a clue about what’s going on and, yes, so they won’t turn around and be made whole” (v. 9-10 The Message).
It is difficult to understand, but it was also the result of the sin of God’s people. It doesn’t make sense, but God prepares for restoration, even through this horrible situation.
What does this mean to me/us
Do we desire to be used for God’s purpose?
We need to understand that our hearts are set right in front of our Lord.
If God appears in front of you today, what would be our reaction? Of course, due to the glory overwhelming, we will all fall to the ground. However, would we be trembling in fear, or be filled with the joy?
Either way, God will still work in our lives. For the ones trembling in fear, God will wash away our guilt so that we can live for God’s purpose. If we are cleans, God will encourage us on this path as we live for God.
So it comes down to one question, ‘Do we desire to see God’s face?’
May God create a clean heart in our lives, so we desire and seek our Lord, every day.
What does this MEAN to you?
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