Summary: The Seraphim placed the hot coal on Isaiah’s tongue and the tongue became pure,it was then that he could answer the call to be sent by God.
“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”.
Isaiah was a prophet of the Living God. In this text he recounts his encounter with the Lord. A Seraph of the Lord picked a live coal of fire and placed it on the tongue of Isaiah. Note that the Seraph picked the live coal with a tongue; he did not pick it with his hand because it was hot. It was, as a person would pick a hot slice of yam from a pot on fire. The Seraphim placed the hot coal on Isaiah’s tongue and the tongue became pure. It was then that he could answer the call to be sent by God. Immediately Isaiah saw the Lord, the trouble with his life and the reason for his powerlessness, was revealed to him. His lips were unclean and his tongue was polluted, therefore, his words carried no power.
This incidence took place in Jerusalem around 742 BC. Isaiah was a middle-aged man. He was in the midst of worshippers in the temple, whilst the evening sacrifice was taking place Uzziah King of Judah, one of the best kings around, had just died.
II Chronicles 261-5:
“Concerning the divisions of the porters: Of the Korhites was Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph. And the sons of Meshelemiah were, Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth, Elam the fifth, Jehohanan the sixth, Elioenai the seventh. Moreover the sons of Obed-edom were, Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, and Sacar the fourth, and Nethaneel the fifth, Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, Peulthai the eighth: for God blessed him”.
1 Chronicles 2621-23:
“As concerning the sons of Laadan; the sons of the Gershonite Laadan, chief fathers, even of Laadan the Gershonite, were Jehieli. The sons of Jehieli; Zetham, and Joel his brother, which were over the treasures of the house of the Lord. Of the Amramites, and the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites”
Uzziah was a powerful wise king he became very strong and was feared by neighbouring countries. His strength got into his head and he became proud. He was really a better king than many; his reign was golden; money and splendour corrupted the hearts of the people. God’s people forgot their calling as a holy nation. They were no longer living in conformity with the statutes of the Lord. They no longer trusted in God to protect them and provide for them. They conformed to the unholy ways of the nations around them. Their bellies and ears became heavy; they were unable to speak the Word of God. They could not even hear from God. Isaiah too was like that, until he saw the Lord and his life changed. He realised that he had unclean Lips: his tongue had no power. A tongue can carry power, discouragement, defeat and failure.
For your tongue to carry power you must:
1. Encounter the Giver of power
The Bible says: “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue.” Your tongue can carry power or weakness, disease or discouragement. God wants our tongue to carry power.