Isaiah’s Vision – Isaiah chapter 6
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see a vision? In my whole life I can think of only two occasions when God has intervened in my mind to reveal or experience something which was supernatural. One was in a dream which I had about 25 years ago, which I believe was prophetic, but very personal, and the other was an experience in a normal prayer meeting about 50 years ago, which I can only describe as a quick look into the heavenlies. Neither of these in any way compares with the vision which Isaiah had described in this chapter.
This vision wasn’t a sort of idea that came into his mind, but a detailed picture which in some ways defies description. He says “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne …” Now although the word ‘Lord’ used here is not the usual translation of Yahweh, but the Hebrew word Adonai, which does not necessarily imply divinity, I still believe that in the context it is referring to Almighty God, Yahweh. So in his vision Isaiah looked up, and there, in all His glory, was God, high and lifted up. The train of His robe filled the temple! Imagine that! Above the throne stood seraphim. It does not say how many, but the whole scene must have been so magnificent and glorious. Each seraph each had six wings, two to cover his face, two to cover his feet, and two to fly with. Perhaps they were covering their faces because of the brightness of the glory, or perhaps through humility in the presence of God. And they covered their feet because they were in complete submission to God, and would only go wherever He wanted.
But this was more than a vision! The seraphim cried to one another … They didn’t whisper or speak quietly, they ‘cried out’! What did they cry?
“Holy, holy, holy is Yahweh Sabaoth
The whole earth is full of His glory!”
What was the result? “The posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.”
What was Isaiah’s reaction? What would your reaction have been? I am sure that Isaiah fell on his face. We are only told what 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 Hebrew word translated ‘undone’ is ‘dawmaw’, which literally means ‘speechless’ or ‘lost for words’ or as we may say ‘gobsmacked’. But it implies more than that, to be ‘cut off’ or ‘silenced’ or even ‘destroyed’. That was what Isaiah felt! Having seen and felt the incredible glory and holiness of God, what immediately came to his mind was his own uncleanness and unworthiness.
God had the answer! Amen! One of the seraphim came with a live coal of fire from the altar and touched Isaiah’s mouth! Ouch! I wonder if Isaiah felt the pain – after all, the seraph had used tongs to hold it! What was the result? “… your iniquity is taken away and your sin purged.” God had prepared Isaiah for the work He had for him. Then came the message from the Lord:
“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”
Isaiah’s response was “Here am I! Send me.”
Isaiah’s new commission was given to him. He was to bring a message of condemnation to God’s people. Their sin had been so great that there seemed to be no way back for them.
Hearing, but not understanding.
Seeing, but not perceiving.
So they cannot return and be healed.
“Lord, how long?” asked Isaiah.
Until the cities are destroyed.
People taken far away.
Just a stump remaining of the tree.
“The holy seed shall be its stump.”
Sometimes we don’t understand how God can judge people in this way when He is a God of love. But God is also a Holy and Just God, and He had done so much for the children of Israel over the centuries, and they had had ample opportunity to repent and return to Him, but they had refused. He has made a way for us to receive forgiveness and to be set free from the power of sin and satan through the death and resurrection of Jesus, so we must not turn our back on Him and refuse His offer of eternal life.