A Voice in the
" Here am I - Send Me "
"And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who
will go for Us? Then I said, Here am I! Send me." (vs8)
What is the call of God's prophet? Does one go to Bible school and
seminary, and at the end of the studies, sit down with the guidance
counselor, lay out on a table the -various- 'options' now available, and
with the aid of psychological profiling, come to a conclusion which way
to -choose-? On other occasions I have postulated the same question and
exhorted: If this has been your path to ministry, CHOOSE SOMETHING ELSE.
If this is the extent of your "call", DO NOT GO INTO MINISTRY..!! If you
are using such "carnal" means to MAKE a DETERMINATION for your 'career',
GOD DID NOT CALL YOU!
"Cry aloud, do not spare; lift up your voice like a shofar, and declare
to My people their transgression, and to the house of Jacob their sins."
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God
for pulling down strongholds," (2Co10:4)
For the prophet of God it is not one's -personal- 'choice'. Like we've
said on other occasions, if there is anything else you would do, DO NOT
go into ministry. When God calls His messenger there is NO OTHER CHOICE.
As Jeremiah found...
"Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak in His name any
more. But His Word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my
bones, and I was weary with holding it in, and I could not." (Jer20:9)
Some prophets were led by God as though kicking and screaming, like
"So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness,
in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of Jehovah was strong upon me."
Others would argue at their own inability like Moses, "I am not a man of
words...I have a heavy mouth and a dull tongue" (Ex4:10) or Jeremiah, "I
do not know how to speak, for I am a youth" (Jer1:6-7); and God would
But then there are those like S/Paul, "Lord, what do You have in mind
for me to do?" (Ac9:6) and Isaiah, "Here am I! Send me." Ready and
willing when first called; like those in Judges who "willingly" gave
themselves (Jdg5:2,9) to effect victories for Israel.
But what were the steps in Isaiah's call? Each prophet's call is
slightly different, in accordance with the prophet's personality and
circumstances, and the nature of the ministry to which they are being
called. But they all have certain similarities. Certain basics.
In keeping with part of Isaiah's ministry to reveal God to Israel
"Who is God?", and also the
nature of Messiah and His coming, God first reveals Himself to Isaiah.
How does one explain to others that which he, himself, has not seen? He
"..the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up" (vs1)
But what is God's character? What one thing, above all others, defines
the Most High?
"Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His
For this to make any sense, we must properly understand what it is to be
"holy". The word is "qadowsh" coming from "qadash": to be set apart,
consecrated, tabooed, to be apart and separated. There is nothing here
to suggest 'unity' and 'oneness'. It is like what a butcher or cook
might do with a cut of meat... take the sharp knife and cut the fat away
from the meat; the meat goes into the meal, the fat is thrown away. The
meat, thus, is "holy" from the fat. Certainly, from other accounts in
Scripture we know that God's throne is dazzlingly bright. But "holy" has
nothing to do with 'halos'. Those are the imaginations of the heathen,
and traditions of Babylon as they worship the sun...but have nothing to
do with the Almighty.
And so, what is Isaiah's response to God's glory? To stand up, raise his
hands, babble in gibberish and 'PRAISE' THE LORD? I've seen the Lord!
"Then I said, Woe is me! for I am undone! for 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, Jehovah of Hosts" (vs5)
Now let's stop here a minute and consider... If you've been reading
along the previous four articles, the chapters that precede this
incident (if you didn't stop reading already in disgust at all the 'negativity' and 'judgmentalism') are chapters describing in detail the sin, corruption and filth of Israel, the church and the world. There is
nothing complementary; nothing to promote self-esteem; nothing to
suggest how kind, good and wonderful humanity is. It is -all- 'bad'. As
Isaiah will say later in the book...
"But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are
like a menstruation cloth. And we all fade as a leaf; and our
iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Is64:6)
It is in that context that God, now, reveals Himself to Isaiah. And what
does Isaiah do? Rise up, pat himself on the back, and smuggly feel good
about himself? No! The difference is such a -HUGE- gulf, that it would
seem there is no redemption available.
So the seraphim takes a "live coal" from the altar and "applied it to"
his mouth: "Lo, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken
away, and your sin is purged" (vs7)
Please read "Touched vs Applied" [link]
God's cleansing was 'applied' to Isaiah. Isaiah was now clean. Not only
was he 'washed' -off-; but the cleansing was now PART OF Isaiah's
essence. When payment is 'applied' to a loan, the debt is now PAID IN
FULL. There is no more debt. The contract and title are FREE-and-CLEAR.
After Isaiah is cleansed, -now- he is ready. It is at -this- point that
God issues the call, "Whom shall I send...?" (vs8) Knowing that Isaiah
is going to reply: Send me! Here I am, at Your service.
And I can attest to this from personal experience. This testimony has
been shared in depth [link]
When my life was in compromise, which also led me to become unequally
yoked, I continually struggled to find that 'niche' for service. I
-wanted- to serve the Lord, but did not realize that I was not a -fit-
vessel. I needed to be made "holy". I needed to have separation from
those things that had corrupted me. I needed to have God's cleansing
'applied' to me. Once that was taken care of, then I was able to work in
God's Word. What I am doing now is nothing even remotely what -I- would
have thought 20-30 years ago. But it is what -God- called me to do.
Now... WHAT IS THE MESSAGE? What is going to be his "success" in
ministry? How will he be received? Are people going to be "blessed" by
- Isaiah has been made acquainted with the filth of Israel
- God and God's holiness is revealed to him
- He fully -understands- his own state mixed in amongst the filth
- God cleanses him
- God calls him, and
- Isaiah willingly offers himself to God.
"And He said, Go, and tell this people, You listen to hear, but do not
understand; you look to see, but do not perceive. 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
hearts, and turn back, and be healed." (vs9-10)
WHAT??? Isn't this backwards? Isn't the -purpose- of preaching to
-SAVE- them? Israel, according to the extreme descriptions in the first
five chapters, is -TOTALLY- corrupt. Isaiah's preaching is not -to-
them, but -against- them. Their sins are so extreme...
"But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your
sins have hidden His face from you, that He will not hear." (Is59:2)
God -will- no longer hear. It seems to be an earlier case like will be
again in the end times...
"And he said to me, Do not seal the Words of the Prophecy of this Book,
for the time is at hand. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he
who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be
righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still. And behold, I am
coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according
to what his work shall be." (Re22:10-12)
Jeremiah was exhorted...
"Do not pray for this people for their good. When they fast, I will not
hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I
will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, and by the
famine, and by the pestilence." (Jer14:11-12)
Ezekiel was commanded...
"Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious
nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have
transgressed against Me to this very day. For they are impudent and
hardhearted children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to
them, Thus says the Lord Jehovah. As for them, whether they hear or
whether they forbear; for they are a rebellious house; yet they will
know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be
afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns
are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their
words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house.
You shall speak My Words to them, whether they will hear or whether they
will forbear, for they are most rebellious." (Ezk2:3-7)
If you are going into the ministry in order to "win souls" and have a
"successful" ministry, you are going into the wrong business! We've
already seen the opening chapters. The world today is every bit as
corrupt and evil as it was in Isaiah's day. The so-called "revival" is
NOT happening; but is happening as prophesied...
"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart
from the faith, being devoted to corrupting spirits and doctrines of
If they are "never able" to know truth, preaching to them is going to be
a "failure". There will NOT be many "decisions" made for Christ. Church
people are going to resist the message; they are going to attack the
messenger, calling you "judgmental" and your messages "hate speech".
"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men
will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural
affection, unyielding, slanderers, without self-control, savage,
despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure
rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its
power. And from such people turn away. For of this sort are those who
creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down
with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning, but never able to
come to the full true knowledge of the truth." (2Ti3:1-7)
But remember? What is God's #1 character? He is "holy". And what is
holy? A -separation- from evil and corruption. And if the accompanying
conditions are the information that, the hearers will reject, the
prophet's ministry will seem to have been a "failure". God did not call
His prophets to be "successful" (nor popular), but to be "faithful".
"Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful."
Isaiah asks, "How long?" (vs11)
In terms of Israel in his day: Until everything is destroyed and nothing
is left. (vs11-12) Some commentators speculate that the USA has scarcely
three years left, before it ceases to be what it has been. This nation
is nose-diving off the edge of the cliff, and those in power are not
content to let 'gravity' do it's work, but are jumping on top and
-pushing- it even faster to its demise.
In Isaiah's day when Israel was decimated God said that a "tenth" would
remain. Perhaps a "tenth" also has double meaning if we see from Revelation that 90% of humanity will be decimated, leaving 10% (as is also the goal of Agenda21)? Of the future, when the end comes, only a third of Israel will
"And it shall come to pass in all the land, says Jehovah, that two parts
in it shall be cut off and perish, but the third shall be left in it.
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and I will refine them
as silver is refined. And I will try them as gold is tried. They shall
call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, It is My people,
and they shall say, Jehovah is my God." (Zec13:8-9)
Even though judgment is promised, will come, and God's servant must faithfully proclaim it...
God's hand is "stretched out still" (5:25, 9:12,17,21, 10:4)
"And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Deliverer will
come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this
is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins." (Rom11:26-27)
Other Isaiah Studies