Call to ministry
¶ In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon
a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
The year Probably 740-739 BC. This was a serious time for the Israel, the Northern Kingdom. The wicked king of Assyria, Tiglath-pileser III had begun to reign in 745 and was on his way to ruling the world, or certainly the Middle East. Uzziah's death seemed to open the door to the conquest of Israel and Judah.
Uzziah died The Lord had given him instant leprosy for rebellion against the divine authority 2ch2616ff. He had presumed to offer incense inside the temple – a responsibility given only to priests!
Lord sitting on the throne This is an awesome scene and would
have impressed Isaiah deeply. In spite of Tiglath's overpowering military
might and Uzziah's rebellion against the divine authority, the Lord was
in control from heaven. In vision, Michiah also had seen the Lord on His
throne surrounded by the armies of heaven 1ki2219.
Amos, Daniel, and Ezekiel had seen Him, too am0901,
Later John and Paul would see Him re04,
The existence of the sanctuary in heaven is clear.
High and lifted up The elevation may represent His ministering for us in heaven. Being lifted up shows us that all in heaven honor and exalt Him.
His train Or "the train of his robe." The word, robe, is not in the hebrew text but is implied. The robe is His righteousness is6110 or glory. It covered the whole interior of the temple leaving no place for Isaiah or Uzziah or any other human to stand. (We picture Isaiah outside looking in.)
Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered
his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
We see them as the living ones of re0406.
Holy, holy, holy Why three times? The designation as "Lord of hosts" implies that this is Christ before His incarnation jg0611. He was and is to come re0108, he1308. Of course three times holy also describes attributes of the one God manifested as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Posts of the door 1ki0633.
Earth full In a world covered with darkness is6001f, those who are true to God may see His glory as did Moses ex3318. The statement also describes the future hab0214.
|.5 ¶ Then said I, 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 mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.|| Woe
is me The prophet had, in the previous
chapter beginning at is0508,
expressed the divine curse on those who invested for themselves neglecting
the vineyard or city of the Lord. Now he sees his own sinfulness.
Undone The Hebrew word dawmam suggests being silenced. How arrogantly we tend to come into the presence of the Lord! If we could sense His purity we would cry out like Isaiah. Even as committed ones, we sense ourselves safe only in His righteousness is6406. Compare mi0701.
Unclean lips How could he communicate truth to others while sinful himself? He had seen the character of God!
Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand,
which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
Angels of God are commissioned to minister to us he0114.
They, through the Holy Spirit, are our connection with the temple in heaven.
The idea is spiritual purification. The altar of incense is heaven's prayer
Iniquity is taken away A pure character is a gift. Keeping sinful tendencies away is a daily work of grace.
Whom shall I send? With our eyes fixed on Christ, we are ready to be Christ's ambassadors. Isaiah didn't place any conditions on his acceptance of the call in spite of the wickedness he was to face v1.
¶ And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand
not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
.10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
.11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
12 And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.
.13 But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil [terebinth] tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.
| 9 -
but understand not Why would the Lord instruct Isaiah to tell
the people to not understand that which would lead to conversion? Did He
really not want them to lose salvation? Not according to His appeal to
wash and have their sins turned to purity in chapter 1 is0106.
There we saw that He did everything possible for His people but thy rebelled.
We have here the Lord's granting their wish. "Isaiah, tell them not to
listen because they are hardened and would not be happy converted." 2th0210.
Some would listen however as we see in verse 13.
11 - How long? If the people would not listen and the cause was going to be lost why would God send Isaiah? v13, 1ki1918. Also le2631, is0119f, je0407, je0734, je0911, mi0312.
12 - Remove The people would be taken captive.
13 - Tenth ... shall return Israel would be oppressed and taken into captivity by Assyria. The righteous would be "eaten." But their seed would survive. Perhaps the verse is predicting further apostasy after the restoration of old Jerusalem. Compare the remnant at the end of time re1217b.