The Ministerial Call of Isaiah (Isa. 6:1-8)
Isaiah was a
great Prophet and man of God. He lived around 700BC. No other prophet
predicted the birth of the Messiah, Christ Jesus, to the extent as Isaiah did:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child
and will give birth to
a son, will
call him Immanuel. Isa. 7:14 (NIV)
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will
be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of
Peace. Isa. 9:6 (NIV)
We read in
Isaiah 61: 1-4 the ministry of the Messiah and in Isaiah 53, we read about the
sufferings of the Messiah for the sins of humanity.
We may wonder
how he became such a great prophet, it is after seeing the vision of God,
which is recorded in Chapter 6 of Isaiah. It is relevant even today for those
who want to serve the Lord in His vineyard.
classify the vision into 4 divisions.
Vision about the Holiness of God (6:1-4)
Vision about his own sinfulness (6:5)
Vision about the grace of God (6:6,7)
Vision about being sent (6:8)
1) Vision about the Holiness
of God (Verse 6:1-4).
Isa 6:1-4 (NIV) 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. 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. And they were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple
was filled with smoke.
King Uzziah died. Who was King Uzziah?.
According to II Chronicles chapter 26, king Uzziah was one of the greatest kings
of Judah. He reigned for fifty-two years in Jerusalem and he did
right in the sight of the LORD (II Chron. 26:4). He was the most
outstanding monarch after David and Solomon. However, one day when he was
strong, he became so proud, he was not satisfied of being the king alone he also
wanted to be a priest in the temple. He went into the temple of God to
burn incense on the “altar of incense" (II Chro. 26:16) which has to be
done only by priests of the temple, who are the sons of Aaron and are
consecrated to burn incense. Though Azariah the priest along with 80 other
priests withstood Uzziah, he disregarded them. Immediately the LORD smote
him with leprosy in his forehead and he was thrown out from the temple.
Uzziah the king was a leper until the day of his death, and dwelt in a separate
house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD.
Now Isaiah as
a young man, from the royal line, was an official in Uzziah’s court. As an
official in the royal court, he lived so far happily without anything to worry
about and he was so secure. He had full confidence in king Uzziah and never
sought the presence of the Lord so far. But, after the death of Uzziah, he felt
insecure. He did not know what to do, that made him to enter the temple of
God, into the presence of the living God.
and sisters, like Isaiah, even today, when we are prosperous and successful, we
never seek the presence of the Lord. But, when we face problems or when we
are struck with diseases and when all our hopes fail that makes us many a
time, to go to the presence of the Lord. We can’t be like that, in all our
situations, we have to seek the presence of God.
with many worries in his heart, went into the presence of the Lord. Suddenly his
soul was taken up to heaven, he saw a great vision of God. Physically he
was in the temple, but his spirit was taken up to the heaven.
He has seen “The Lord is
sitting upon the throne, high and lifted up”
is the representation of His authority and power. He is high and lifted up, this
means; no one is equal to him. No one is comparable unto him. Isaiah had to look
at the highly exalted Jesus, who is in full control of the universe.
King Uzziah may have been dead but God was in full control. Isaiah had to
learn a lesson, as it is written in Ps. 146:3 “Put not your trust in princes,
nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help”.
of God, it is good to depend on the Lord at all times. We read in
Jer 17:5 “Cursed be the man that put his trust in man”, we are not called to
trust in any man but God alone. Also, we read in Isa. 2:22 “Stop trusting
in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he"? (NIV).
The temple was filled with
We read in
Kings and Chronicles, when Solomon dedicated the temple – the glory of the
Lord came down from heaven and the presence of the Lord filled the temple.
Isaiah had seen the same glory and presence of the LORD. Our God is an awesome
God. He will never share His glory with anyone. We read in Isa 42:8
"I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my
praise to idols. (NIV) . Isaiah had to learn that God’s presence alone was
enough to carry him through and not king Uzziah.
We read in
Exo. 33:15 Moses said to God, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send
us up from here” (NIV). God’s presence with us means, all His goodness is
with us. Moses knew the secret that if God’s presence was with him,
Pharoah could not harm him, Red sea could not stand against him as a
barrier and he could be a successful leader. Dear brethren, we must know
that His presence with us is the secret of all success. As the temple was
filled with His presence, our lives should be filled with God’s presence as our
body is the temple of the living God.
Above the throne
seraphims were there : each one had six wings
Seraphims are angel like and flame like
beings. In the whole Bible we read in this place only about Seraphims. Each one
had six wings, with two wings they covered their face, with two wings they
covered their feet and with two wings they did fly.
Why did they
cover their faces, because they could not see the holiness and majesty
of God. With all fear and reverence, they cover their faces. In Psalms 89:7 we
read, “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had
in reverence of all them that are about him” (KJV). We read in the Bible many a
time, saints of God hid their faces with fear and reverence, Abraham fell
on his face (Gen. 17:3), Moses hid his face (Exo. 3:6) and Elijah wrapped
his face with his mantle (I Kings 19:13). Why did the Seraphims cover their
feet, because they humbled themselves before the Lord. They did fly with
two wings represents that they are ready to serve the Lord and willing to
execute His commands. We read in Psalms 103:20 “Bless the LORD, ye his angels,
that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of
His word” (KJV). But, they all had sung one song “Holy, Holy, Holy
is the LORD of hosts!: the whole earth is full of His glory”. They praised
the thrice Holy God –God the Father, Jesus the Savior and Blessed Holy
Spirit - the comforter and guide. When they praised God, the door posts of the
temple were shaken and the temple was filled with glory. Dear brethren, if
all these creatures praised the Lord, how much more we need to glorify and
praise our Savior! The Bible says in Isa. 43:7 that God created us for His glory
and in the same chapter verse 21 we read, He instructed us to proclaim His
praises wherever we are. Our God is the one who lives in the praises of His
people! When we praise Him, He comes down with His glory in order to dwell in us
and to bless us.
had seen the vision of our highly exalted Lord Jesus Christ, he cried out, "woe
unto me!" because he was a sinner.
2) Vision about his own
sinfulness (Verse 5)
Isa 6:5 (NIV)"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."
out "I am undone, ruined and dead. I am a man of unclean lips and live among
sinners. I have seen the King, the LORD Almighty, who is seated on the
throne highly exalted".
the exalted Lord, they will cry out so. In the New Testament, we read in
Revelation 1:12-17, the vision that John had at the isle of Patmos of the
resurrected Lord Jesus. During the earthly life and ministry of Lord Jesus, John
was on the bosom of Him. He was the beloved of the Lord. But, after the death
and resurrection of our Savior, John had seen Him again in Patmos, he
wrote in verse 17, when I saw him , I fell at his feet as a dead
beloved, when we have a proper vision of our Almighty God and
His holiness, then only we will come to know who we are, how sinful we are, how
unworthy we are and how useless we are. We may now have many things to
boast about ourselves, but these are all for till the day we have an
encounter with Him. Even Isaiah had many things to boast till he had this
vision. After that, he has written in In Isa. 64:6, ”all our righteous
acts are like filthy rags”.
beloved, we need to have a fresh vision once again, about our Lord Jesus who is
sitting on the right hand of God, high and exalted. Then only we will cry
out as Isaiah did – I am undone and useless.
cried the Grace of our Lord Jesus came to him.
3)Vision of Grace (Verse 6 &
Isa 6:6-7(NIV) -Then one of
the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with
tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has
touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."
taken a live coal from the altar and laid it on Isaiah's mouth and said to him
your guilt is taken away and your sins are atoned for. As we know, in the temple
courtyard, there is a brazen altar for burnt offering. Altar means a place of
sacrifice or slaughter. The altar of burnt offering (Ex. 27:1-8) was placed in
front of the entrance to the tabernacle (Ex. 40:6), where it was used for the
daily burnt offering. This altar declared that entry into the presence of God
must be preceded by sacrificial ATONEMENT for sin. The live coal is taken from
this altar and put on Isaiah's mouth for his cleansing. In our
lives, it represents that our Lord Jesus Christ died on the Brazen Altar of
Calvary as an atonement for your sins and mine. Don’t you know, there is a
prayer from this altar all the time “Father forgive him”.
acknowledges and confesses that he is a sinner, the grace of Lord comes to him
from the cross and forgives his sins. We read in John 1 that grace came through
Jesus. Holiness of God killed Uzziah but cleansed Isaiah that is grace.
Isaiah found grace in the sight of the Lord.
from the altar to the mouth must cause pain. Yes, when God cleanses us there
will be a pain always, may be we have to loose our old friendships, old
activities and many things we may have to give them up. If we want to be His
child or if we want to be used by Him in his vineyard, this cleansing is a must.
We all should know, the primary requirement for God's service is holiness.
found the grace of God, he heard the calling of the Lord.
4) Vision about being sent
Isa 6:8 (NIV)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!"
as I wrote before, God will never use a person without cleansing him first.
Without deeply hurting, God cannot use anyone. He will take an impossible man
and break him and use him. After the cleansing only, Isaiah was able to
hear the voice of the Lord, Who will go for us, who will go for the triune
God. Isaiah said “here am I Lord, send me” . I am willing to go for you
and ready to do your ministry. A cleansed man and a man who has the vision
of the holiness of God can serve the Master faithfully and fearfully.
and sisters, God wants to use every one of us. We all have this higher calling
of the Lord. The Bible says we are the ambassadors of Christ. In 1 Peter
2:9, we read that “we are the royal priesthood”. If our ears are tuned
properly, even today we can hear the voice of the Lord “Who will go for us?”
But are we
worthy that is what we need to check out today. Do we have the proper
vision of God? Do we have the vision of the Holiness of God? Are we cleansed by
the blood of the lamb that is shed from Calvary? Have we found grace in the
sight of the Lord? Have you heard the voice of God through the scripture? Then
only, we can go. Bible says in Mathew 9:37 “the harvest is plenty, the
laborers are few”. Let us go to the vineyard of the Lord and lead souls to the
Kingdom of God .
May the Lord bless you with