Isaiah 6 contains Isaiah’s dramatic vision of the Lord resulting in his being called and send as a prophet to Israel. It came in the same year as King Uzziah’s death (v.1). Uzziah reigned a very long time and under his reign, the nation saw much prosperity. His death would have been a great loss, but it was at the same time that Isaiah saw the King of kings, high and lifted up. Sometimes, God uses times of great loss to show us how great
The main impression of the vision of God is His holiness (v.2-4). Even the seraphim that surround the throne are covering their faces and feet out of respect. They are crying, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory.’ Just as God’s glory filled the temple caused the posts to shake the house to be filled, so we should be daily shaken and filled with an awareness of God’s great holiness. There is no one like God, and we should fear and honour Him with all our hearts.
Seeing God’s holiness has a profound impact on Isaiah (v.5). He is completely overwhelmed and so aware of his own sinfulness and his people’s sinfulness. The woes pronounced in Isaiah now very personal, ‘Who is me!’ When we really understand who God is, it will have a profound humbly, breaking, and convicting impact on us. It will show us our own sinfulness and need for cleansing.
God hears Isaiah’s cry for cleansing and one of the seraphim comes with a life coal from the alter and puts it on his tongue, saying your iniquity is taken away and your sin purged (v.6-7)! What a beautiful picture of grace and salvation. We cannot cleanse ourselves, but God makes a way for us to be cleansed. He provides for us through Jesus Christ and His death for us to be made totally clean.
Isaiah is cleansed and now ready for service (v.8-12). The Lord asks if he will go for Him and preach a message of warning to the people. Isaiah is willing to go, even though God tells him that instead of listening to him, they will instead harden their heart to His message. But Isaiah is to keep preaching until the judgment comes. This teaches us that we are saved to serve. And we should faithfully carry out God’s mission regardless of how others respond to it.
Judgement will come on the people, but God will keep a remnant (v.13). Like the stump of a tree, God will bring the people back. There is always hope with the Lord. Judgment and chastening may have come on your life, but He can forgive and restore and save. Look to Him for grace!