God asked a lot of pointed questions in the Bible. Those questions are worthy of our attention. Isaiah chapter 6 opens by giving us a date, the year that King Uzziah died, about 740 B.C. We are not told for certain, but it appears that Isaiah is in The Temple worshipping. That is always a good place to be. For Isaiah it was the year that he met the Lord face to face. (I guess Uzziah did also!) From God’s perspective, the year was the year of Uzziah’s death. Uzziah had reigned longer than any king of Judah or Israel before him. His reign started off well but did not finish well.
Isaiah is before the Lord and the veils are pulled back. He sees into the Holy of Holies or into the very throne room of God. He sees Adonai high and lifted up, exalted above all heaven and earth. Isaiah gets to see at least a portion of the Lord’s glory. In verse 5, Isaiah exclaims that he has seen Jehovah the King. The Temple is a good place to be, but maybe an uncomfortable place, or even a dangerous place to be. Once Isaiah gets a look at God, he quickly realizes his own unclean state and that of the people around him. Once Isaiah cried out in his distress, confessing his sin, God immediately blessed him with not only forgiveness but cleansing. Now God is ready to ask the question.
Isaiah 6:8 records this very interesting and enlightening question, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’” (NASU) Don’t miss the not-so-subtle hint at the Trinity, very similar to the one found in Genesis 1:26. Isaiah answers by saying that he is present, ready, and willing to be sent. Please note that Isaiah volunteers before he knows what the assignment is. God tells Isaiah to go to “this people”. Calling the Hebrews “this people” rather than “My people” is a sad commentary on how far they had fallen. Isaiah is given a message calling them to repent and he is told that they will not heed his warning. This will not be a pleasant task for Isaiah.
Surely God has not changed. The Bible is clear about that. We can learn much from Isaiah’s preparation, his response, and God’s commission. God was looking for a prepared man to carry out a specific mission. He found Isaiah, presumably in the Temple, but certainly before God in worship. If you desire to be used of God, get before Him in worship. Church is the place to be. God gave Isaiah a vision of Himself on the throne. God gave Isaiah a vision of Isaiah and the nation. That is always how God prepares His man or woman for service. He gives them a glimpse of His holy, holy, holiness and a glimpse of the person’s sinful state. Next God cleanses the person and forgives the sin. Once God has cleansed us, He makes us aware of our need to serve. He calls most often without revealing the exact nature of the call. We are not really ready to truly follow Him until we are ready to accept the call without knowing all the requirements. We must answer immediately and without question. To do otherwise is evidence that we are not ready to be truly counted among those who “know His voice and follow Him.” (John 10) Be prepared and ready, knowing full well that the assignment will likely be unpleasant from a human perspective. From a heavenly perspective, nothing else could possibly satisfy. Whom shall God send, you or someone else?