Summary: Isaiah's vision of God and Heaven holds important lessons for all of us today. God reveals a great deal about His own heart for people in this chapter of Isaiah 6.
The Three Looks of Isaiah Chapter 6
Pastor Eric J. Hanson
Who was King Uzziah? He was a king of Judah. He reigned for an exceptionally long period of time, which was about 51 years. He believed in God, and mostly served Him. King Uzziah, after many years of success, made a very serious and presumptuous misstep. He offered incense before God in the Temple. Only priests were authorized by God to do this. Uzziah did this even though the priests warmed him against it. He was stricken with leprosy as a direct judgment from God because of this.
Like any Leper, he could no longer mix with the people. He elevated his son Jotham, to share the kingly responsibilities with him, and become the public face of the administration in Uzziah’s last years. It was right around the year 735 BC that Uzziah died. At that time, the prophets Isaiah, Hosea, and Amos were active in their ministries in and around Jerusalem.
Read verse 1:
Note that Isaiah saw the Lord. He did not just see a bright light, or a pillar of fire, or a cloud. This indicates that he was seeing Jesus Himself, prior to His coming to Earth to become a man. Jesus once said “Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58) Indicating His divinity or God-ness. Here in Isaiah 6, we see Jesus, clearly God, about 765 years before he made that statement. This was the first look.
Read verses 2 & 3:
This is the only place in the Bible that Seraphim are mentioned. They are one type of angel. God is endlessly creative, and able to make great varieties of creatures. The fact that these angels each have six wings is certainly both interesting and fascinating. Isaiah certainly noted this in detail, including the uses that each pair of wings was put to. We don’t know how many seraphim exist or what other jobs they may have besides attending the throne of God and proclaiming His greatness. The fact that each seraph covered his face and his feet in God’s presence indicates humility on the angel’s part, and a worshipful attitude toward the Lord.
Read verse 4:
I cannot imagine the decibel level of the angel’s voice. It shook the Temple in Heaven! Some cars which have monster speakers and monster amplifiers mounted in the trunk, have been known to blow out their rear glass at car shows, because their foolish owners got carried away with showing off. Sound can indeed be a physical force to be reckoned with. Apparently it didn’t bother God any. ??
Read verse 5:
This is the second look. Isaiah suddenly saw his own sinfulness in stark terms. He was already an active and recognized prophet in Judah. He was already calling people to repentance because of various sins. But now, in the presence of the Lord Himself, Isaiah became completely undone. Having looked up at the Lord on His throne, the prophet now looked inward at self and the result was despair, both for himself and for the people of Judah.
Read verses 6 & 7:
Heaven’s response to Isaiah’s problem was wonderful! This is something many commentators have written about, but I suspect that none of us fully understand everything about the fire on the true altar of God which is in Heaven. Why didn’t this live coal burn the prophet and injure his mouth? What is this amazing transaction by which forgiveness was extended and sin and despair got burned out of Isaiah?
I suspect that there is a strong connection with the fire which came down on the day of Pentecost in Acts Chapter 2. Jesus had said to them, “You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit and with Fire.” This was Isaiah’s baptism with Holy Fire. It changed him instantly, and it later changed the 120 instantly too.
Read verse 8:
Here is the third look. The Lord spoke out of His mighty concern for His people. Referring to himself in both the singular and the plural, God asked “Who will go for us?” Isaiah was ready then. His response was immediate and strong. Here I am! Send me! Do we see the need in our own time the same way as Isaiah did? In Matthew 9:37 Jesus said that the Harvest (of souls) is great, but the workers are few. More workers are always needed in God’s great harvest fields.
Nancy and I recently saw and heard bright faced young adults share their desire to go with God’s message of forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ. At the pastors’ conference was heard one young father of five children share passionately about reaching the children right here in Maine, with the gospel of Jesus Christ, as full-time missionaries for Child Evangelism Fellowship. Another young couple are headed to the nation of Poland with Word of Life, and reaching out to Eastern Europe with that same life-giving message. Here at Hosanna Church, we recently heard Alex Warren, also with Word of Life, share that he can hardly wait to get back to South Korea, and reach from there into many lands, including Viet Nam, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether near or far, the need is real, for the message of salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to be shared.