He Just Wants a Straight Answer

Isaiah 6: 5-8
The prophet Isaiah had been in a place of favour in the court of the King. This was a situation that he did not wish to change. But the King died and Isaiah's sense of security and purpose was turned topsy-turvy.

In that same year he was given a vision of the Lord. Certainly this man of God was going to be required to sense the Lord's presence just as powerfully as the presence of other mortals, if not moreso. The Lord was high and lifted up and His train filled the temple. He was accompanied by the seraphims, strange celestial beings. He caused an awesome smoke to fill the place.

The prophet's first words were words of self-abasement. 'Woe is me. I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips!' The moment was so awesome that he probably suspected that he was going to die. (How clear a contrast there is here with the churches these days who so glibly state that 'God's presence was so rich this morning'. They miss His glory. They miss the melting of self before His holiness.)

Obviously God approved of Isaiah's candour and sense of identification with the people. God had a job for him to do. God would instruct a seraphim to apply to the man's lips a burning coal from the altar. Cleansing was to be a supernatural work, and the candidate was to know that it was so. A simple heartfelt resolution would not cut it. There was to be total reliance upon the work of the Spirit.

Next came a call to ministry, but not a coercion. God is always a gentleman with His assignments: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"

It was not in any way out of self-confidence that the prophet responded, "Here am I; send me." He hardly knew what he was getting into. But God was with him. Even greater and holier Kings were coming and they needed his help.

How strange that one day this prophet would realize that true deliverance was not coming with monarchy, but rather with a bruised and battered servant of the Lord (Jesus) who would take on the hurts and ills of His people (chapters 52 and 53).


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