Summary: Isaiah's calling. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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Reading: Isaiah chapter 6 verses 1-8.

• The Hebrew word translated "prophet" is navi (pro¬≠nounced nah-vEE),

• It is a term that means literally "one who has been called."


• Abraham was the first person in the Old Testament;

• To bear the title of prophet (Genesis chapter 20 verse 7),

• Back in Genesis chapter 11 verses 1-3;

• God called him to leave his father's household and serve him.


• According to Jesus (Matthew chapter 12 verse 13;

• John the Baptist was the last Old Testament prophet.

Between those two men:

• The Bible contains many, many numerous accounts;

• Of people being called to serve God as prophets.

• In each case the man became a prophet not by human preference;

• But through divine choice.

• True prophecy is a vocation (which means "calling"),

• Not a profession (which depends on human initiative).

Since Isaiah was a genuine prophet (Isa. 37:2; 38:1; 39:3-4):

• You would therefore expect him to give us the story of his call,

• And he has not disappointed us.

• In fact, the sixth chapter of his prophecy,

• We have an outstanding example of a "call" narrative.

• It describes the basic elements;

• Of what a person can expect to happen when he or she is called by God to serve him.

Quote Ravenhill:

“If you have a vision without a task, you’ll be a visionary,

if you have a task without a vision, it’s drudgery.

But if you get a task wedded to a vision, you’ll be a missionary”.

• Isaiah was a missionary;

• And we 5 find principles in this story.


Principle 1: God Uses Circumstances to Make Us Aware of His Presence.

Verse 1:

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple

• In reading these verses it is easy to become so impressed with the vision;

• That we pass over the circumstance that brought it about.

• If I understand this correctly, it was a time of loss,

• An experience of grief for Isaiah as his friend had died.

• The Living Bible links the vision with the grief:

• "The year King Uzziah died I saw the Lord!"

His earthly circumstances turned his eyes upwards.

• Uzziah and Isaiah had been friends, maybe even related,

• But Uzziah’s death had left Isaiah feeling shocked and hopeless.

• Everything in Isaiah’s world was in confusion,

• His king was dead, his nation was in peril, and he could do nothing to change them!

Notice this is when he “saw the Lord”

• Question: What was the Lord doing? Was He frowning or pacing back and forth?

• Answer: No.

• Question: Was He anxious or puzzled or angry?

• Answer: No.

• In fact the Lord was sitting down! Calmly seated on His throne.

• When you read of Jehovah's position, you think of majestic sovereignty.

God was totally in charge.

• He was not wringing His hands, wondering what will he do now Uzziah’s gone,

• Not worried about who will rule over the people, He is not phased at all by the situation.


• He was "lofty and exalted."

• With height comes perspective.

• And His exalted role speaks of authority.

• Isaiah saw no confused or anxious deity,

• But One who sat in sovereign, calm control with full perspective;

• And in absolute authority.

When Isaiah entered the temple he was taken up fully with Uzziah & his circumstances:

• But from now on the death of Uzziah is not mentioned again.

• From now he would be taken up with God himself;

• Isaiah was overwhelmed by what he saw:

• God’s presence was everywhere, it was "filling the temple."

Principle 2: God Reveals His Character to Make Us See Our Need.

Isaiah also saw a group of multiple-winged creatures called "seraphim"

• Quote: One Old Testament scholar refers to them as "flaming angels".

• These seraphim were also present in Isaiah's vision.

• They formed an an-ti-phonal choir,

• Chanting and repeating in alternating voice:

"Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,

the whole earth is full of His glory."

• It must have been an incredible sight!

• In Unger's Bible Dictionary we read,

"From their antiphonal chant. . . we may conceive them to have been ranged in opposite rows on each side of the throne. "

• One group would cry out;

• And the other group would answer.

• And as Isaiah stared in silence, dumbfounded by the vision he saw,

• The cry would sound out again and again and again.

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