“Here am I! Send Me.”
Chris' Corner -- Sunday, May 23, 2021
When Isaiah was called to be a prophet and spokesman for God, he was in the very presence of the Lord Almighty. He was sitting on His throne with angels (the six-winged seraphim) standing above Him. They were giving praise and honor to the great, powerful, and majestic God of heaven. The temple of heaven shook and was filled with smoke (Isaiah 6:1ff).
Our attention is drawn to verse five, where Isaiah was so overwhelmed at what he was seeing, he said, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.” How small, how frail, how sinful and unworthy Isaiah felt standing in the presence of the Lord.
As we follow the passage further, it becomes even more dramatic when God asks, “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” The pronoun “Us” is used because God is three personalities in one. The triune nature of God includes God the Father, God the Word (Son), and God the Holy Spirit.
The symbolism indicates Isaiah was forgiven and cleansed of his sins. When he realized this, Isaiah answered the call, “Here am I! Send me.”
Right away, the Lord tells the new prophet, the job will not be a pleasant experience. From the start, they will reject the message because they were spiritually blind and deaf. The Lord explained, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ “Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed.”
There is a remarkable connection between this passage and one written by the apostle, John. As an inspired messenger himself, he applied the passage in Isaiah to Christ. “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them. But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him” (John 12:36–41).
When Isaiah stood in the presence of Jehovah God, he stood in the presence of Jesus Christ. He was commissioned to preach to Israel of his day, even though they were stubborn, rebellious, and refused to believe and obey the message. They reached the point where they could not bring themselves to repent.
Seven hundred years later, when Jehovah God came to earth in the form of a man (Philippians 2:5-11), those of the first century had the same disposition. Their promised Messiah and Savior stood in their presence, but their hearts were so hard and calloused; they too lost the ability to repent and be healed.
We have not been called to appear in the presence of Jesus Christ in His heavenly temple as Isaiah and John both were. However, through belief and obedience, we are privileged and humbled to be called to His service. It is our responsibility to go and preach the message of salvation to the world, regardless of whether they listen or not.