Summary: This sermon looks at the calling of Isaiah to be a prophet of God. He first encountered God, was consecrated before God, and then accepted his calling.
Whom shall I send?
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.
2:Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
3:And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
4:At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5:"Woe to me!" I cried. "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."
6:Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7:With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."
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!"
This chapter is all about Isaiahs calling to be a prophet to the Nation. It occurs in the year of the death of king Uzziah, also known as Azariah. Uzziah was on the scale of things, a relatively good king. However towards the end of his reign he had become proud and God had allowed Leprosy to come upon him. Uzziah had also allowed false worship to be practised in the land. The people of Judah had become corrupt and it had become a dark place to live.
I want to look at the three things that take place in this chapter that lead Isaiah to become one of the most significant prophets in history. Firstly he has a vision of God, then he is consecrated before God, and finally he accepts, and is faithful, to Gods commission.
Had a vision of, and from, God.
Isaiah has an encounter with God, and he is not alone. All of the great movers and shakers in the Bible had an encounter with God in some way before they began their work. Moses and the burning bush, Samuel, when he thought Eli was calling him, and Paul on the road to Damascus. If we want to be used by God then we must seek these encounters with Him daily. We must have both an encounter with God as well as a vision for what he wants us to achieve.
We have the ability when we worship God, not just to sing praises to Him, but also to actually enter the Holy place with Him. In the temple, where the people worshipped, there were separate courts. The gentile court, the inner courts, the Holy Place, and then the Holy of Holies, where only the High Priest could enter. When Jesus died the curtain of the temple was ripped apart, (Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:45) and we can now enter into His presence. Jesus has become our high priest and we can now encounter the Lord as Isaiah did.
When was the last time that you sought to enter that place with Him? God wants us there daily with him as it is there that He will give us the vision of what He wants us to do. If you have never been to that place of intimacy with God, then if you seek His face, He will take you there. If you seek God with all humility then He will meet with you. You may not see Him physically as Isaiah did, but you will certainly see His presence. It is when we have this kind of encounter with God, that he gives us a vision of what He wants us to do.
We need to desire a vision of God, before we desire the vision for His purpose. Some time ago there was a man who had a vision. He was in a very comfortable job, and yet he risked his life, and gave up his position in order to see that vision accomplished. He suffered many years of heart ache and endured many oppressors who would have liked to see his vision fail. Yet this man looked to God, and accomplished a great work.
The mans name was Nehemiah. He had heard that Jerusalem lay in ruins. Everybody could see the desolation that it was in, and yet Nehemiah had a vision to see it rebuilt. Nehemiah saw the finished product way before the work had begun, and because he had received his vision from God, he lived to see the walls of Jerusalem rebuilt. If we want to make a difference in this world, then like Isaiah and Nehemiah, we first need an encounter with God, and to receive a vision from Him.