Summary: We often can feel inadequate and ill-prepared to witness our faith, and to share God's Word with others. However, like the prophet Isaiah, God has prepared us through our life experiences and His Word. He has forgiven us, and He has sent us.
“I know just the right person for the job!” This is a phrase that we can be very familiar with in our lives. It is one that we heard with the elections, as people told us whom they taught were the best candidates. It is a phrase we may hear at work as we suggest people for vacant positions. It is also a phrase we might say as we acts as arm chair general managers for our favorite sports team. This is a saying that we can speak with great satisfaction and excitement when we see how a person’s skills, talents, and education qualifies them for the job at hand.
When the Lord looked at the spiritual condition of His people in the 8th century, and when He was looking for a person to proclaim His message of salvation, I’m sure He couldn’t help but think this about the prophet Isaiah: “I know just the right person for the job.” As we look at the prophet Isaiah this morning, we’ll see how God prepared him to witness and to proclaim His Word, and how in many ways, He has done the same to us.
The Lord called Isaiah to be a prophet in the year that King Uzziah died, 740 B.C. The Lord had prepared Isaiah well for this moment and for the ministry that he would start. Second Chronicles 26:22 tells us that Isaiah recorded the history of King Uzziah. This shows us that he knew the royal family and the people that he would minister to very well. Isaiah was also a very educated man. He wrote what is considered to be the best book of the ancient world. He also had the right personality to be a prophet. It takes a person of courage and firm conviction to preach a message of Law and Gospel to a stiff-necked and rebellious people. We see that his family would help in his ministry too. His wife was a prophetess, and the names of his two children, Shear-jashub and Maher-shalal-hash-baz (imagine having those for names!), would be a sign of things to come. The prophet was prepared well for his task to witness his faith and to proclaim God’s Word. God had used Isaiah’s life to prepare him for this special task. Isaiah was the right person for the job.
In a similar way, the Lord prepares us for ministry and outreach too. When God looks at the spiritual decay in our day, and its need for the Gospel message, He can’t help but look at you and me and say, “I know just the right person for the job!” He says, “I have prepared you through baptism, where I have called you to be my child and to witness about the salvation that comes from my Son Jesus Christ. I have prepared you through the education that I have given you. I have created you with the skills, talents, and abilities that I have given you and only you. I have formed you through the relationships that you have and through the experiences that you have gone through. I have worked on you through my Word and Spirit, which I have given to you. As a result, there are people that I can reach through you and only you on account of these things. I have prepared you for the task at hand.” God has personally prepared us just like how He had prepared the prophet Isaiah. We are just the right people for the job.
However, even though God had prepared the prophet Isaiah, he was missing one key thing, and we see what that is in his vision of the temple. As I go through it, try to figure out what Isaiah needed. Isaiah says that he saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up. Isaiah sees and hears the Holy Trinity in this text! John 12:41 states that Isaiah saw and spoke of the glory of Jesus in this scene. The Apostle Paul records in Acts 28:25 that the Holy Spirit was right in what He spoke in this chapter about the people of Israel. To make it even more clear of whom he is seeing and of whom he is in the presence of, the seraphim cover their faces and feet and cry “Holy, Holy, Holy”; one “holy” for each person of the Trinity. Isaiah is truly standing before the Lord!
And what is his response about being in the presence of God? It is not, “How cool! This is amazing! Let me take a picture!” but, “Woe is me! For I am lost!” or in other words he says, “I am a dead man!” “I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” He is afraid that he is going to be destroyed, because no one can see God and live.