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Book of Isaiah
Isaiah Chapter 6
It seems that Isaiah is outside, near the altar in front of the Temple. The doors are thought to have opened, and the veil hiding the Holy of Holies to be withdrawn, giving him a vision of Almighty God on His Throne (1 Ki.22:19), with a robe and flowing train (a badge of dignity in the East), which filled the Temple. This statement that he had seen God was, according to tradition (not authorized by the pretext for sawing him asunder in Manasseh's reign Heb.11:37). Visions often occurred with the other prophets as well (Isa.Ch.22; Jer.1:11, 13; Eze.1:3, 12-14; 2:9; Ch.8 & 9; 10:1-7; Ch.23; 37:1-14; 40:48; 47:1-12; Dan.7:9-27; Ch.8 & 10; Amos 7:1-2, 4, 7-8; 8:1-2; 9:1; Zec.1:8-11; 3:1-5; Ch.4; 5:1-4; 6:1-8).
This vision in Isaiah is attended by seraphims, and marked by characteristic clearness and simplicity. It is a vision of the glory and majesty of Christ Jesus, the mission and commission of the prophet Isaiah, and the destruction of the Jews. Isaiah tells when this happened in verse 1. Isaiah saw the LORD’S seraphim ministers around Him, giving honor and glory to Him that sat on the Throne.
I think that the vision which Isaiah saw was intended, #1. To confirm his faith, that he might be totally satisfied of the Truth of those things which would afterwards be made known to him. #2. To work upon his heart-felt feelings, that he might be possessed with such a deep respect and reverence for God, that would both hasten him and ready him to serve. Those who teach others the knowledge of God must be well acquainted with Him themselves.
As I said, the vision is dated, for the greater certainty of it. It was in the year that king Uzziah died, who had reigned, for the most part, as prosperously and well as any of the kings of Judah, and reigned a long time, over fifty years. Near the time that he died, Isaiah saw this vision of the LORD upon His Throne.
Theme: The call and commission of Isaiah to the prophetic office.
Chronologically, as well as logically, the Book of Isaiah begins with this chapter, which sets up the crisis in the life of Isaiah and brings him into the prophetic office. Prior to this, we have no record of his life or relationship to God. Isaiah’s ministry began at the death of King Uzziah.
The Vision of the Lord Seen By Isaiah (6:1-10)
In verses 1-4, we are told the time, place, Person, glory and holiness of the LORD in the vision seen by Isaiah.
Isaiah 6:1 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. (KJV)
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up . . . the year that Uzziah died . . . this could be either his literal death, or his civil death when he ceased as a leper to exercise his functions as king (2 Chron. 26:19-21). This is not the beginning of Isaiah's prophecies, but his induction to a higher degree of the prophetic office (vs.9), and implies the tone of one who had already experienced of the people's stubbornness. The LORD (vs.5), Christ Jesus is meant (vs.10), according to (Jn.12:41). Isaiah could only have SEEN the Son, not just the divine essence (Jn.1:18). The words in verse 10 are credited by Paul (Acts 28:25-26) to the Holy Ghost. I believe that the Trinity in unity is implied; and also by the Holy, holy, holy (vs.3). Isaiah mentions the robes, temple, and seraphim, but NOT the form of God Himself. Whatever it was, it was different from the usual Shekinah. The word shekinah (theophany) does not appear in the Bible, but the doctrine clearly does. It simply means a divine Presence or dwelling of the Lord God on this Earth (Ex.13:20-22).
And his train filled the temple . . . His train, or His royal and judicial robe; for He is represented as a Judge (Isa.11:4; Jn.5:22, 27; Rom.2:16; 2 Tim.4:8; Rev.19:11). Train, robe, skirts, hem (Ex. 28:33-34; 39:24-26; Jer.13:22, 26; Lam.1:9; Nah.3:5). In the East, long robes indicated grandeur and majesty.
Filled the temple . . . His glory seemed to reach down to the bottom of the Temple, and was spread all through the Temple, which was clear evidence of a MORE than ordinary majesty.
Seven Facts about God's Grace
#1. God is spoken of as sitting on a throne 14 times (Isa.6:1; 1 Ki.22:19; 2 Chron. 18:18; Ps.9:4; 47:8; Dan.7:9; Rev.4:2, 10; 5:1, 7, 13; 6:16; 19:4; 21:5).
#2. It is now in Heaven (Ps.11:4).
#3. It is called Thy throne (Ps.89:14; 93:2; 132:12).
#4. It is called His throne (Ps.97:2; 103:19; 132:12; Dan.7:9; Rev.1:4; 3:21; 12:5).
#5. It is called the throne of God (Mat.23:22; Heb.12:2; Rev.7:9-17; 21:1-3).
#6. It is called the throne of grace (Heb.4:16).
#7. It is called the throne of His majesty (Heb.8:1).
*****What Temple is referred to here is not stated, but it seems it was Solomon's Temple and the room was the holy of holies, for there is not the slightest reference to Isaiah going to Heaven to see God in His own Temple there, as John was taken to Heaven to see God in (Rev.Ch.4 & 5). References to Earth (vs.3) and people of the Earth (vs.9-12) indicate that the vision was here on Earth.
Isaiah 6:2 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. (KJV)
Above it stood the seraphims . . . the seraphims were as ministers attending their LORD, waiting to receive and execute His commands. The seraphims were special, holy and blessed angels. Their nature is bright and glorious, intelligent and pure, and spiritual, like fire. Their fervent zeal is for God's service and glory, and their office and employment, was to execute God's vengeance upon the Jews, and to burn them up like dross. Seraph means to burn; implying the burning zeal, and dazzling brightness (Eze.1:13) and serpent-like rapidity of the seraphim in God's service. Maybe Satan's form as a serpent (Gen.3:1) in his appearance to man has some connection with his original form as a seraph of light. Stood, not necessarily the posture of standing; but instead they were in attendance of Him, hovering on stretched out wings.
Each one had six wings . . . special notice is taken of their wings, and of no other part of their appearance, because of the use they made of them. Each seraphim had six wings, NOT stretched upwards as those whom Ezekiel saw (Eze.1:11). Four wings were used as a covering, the two upper wings, next to the head, covered their faces, and with the two lowest wings they covered their feet, or lower parts. This indicates their great humility and reverence in their attending God, for He is greatly feared in the assembly of the angels and the saints (Ps.89:7). They not only cover their feet, the members of the body which are less honorable, but even their faces, even though angel's faces, no doubt are much fairer than those of the children of men (Acts 6:15), yet in the Presence of God, they cover them, because they cannot bear the dazzling brilliance of His divine glory (Ex.34:29-34; Mat.17:1-6; Lk.9:29; Rev.1:13-17), and because, they were aware of the infinite distance from the divine perfection, they are ashamed to show their faces before the Holy God. IF angels are this humble and respectful in the Presence of Almighty God . . . does this not tell us with what godly fear that we should approach His Throne? IF we do not, we do NOT do the will of God as the angels do. Yet Moses, when he went into the mount with God, he took the vail off his face (Ex.34:34).
With twain he covered his face . . . two wings covered his face, out of a deep reverence, knowing full well the immeasurable distance between God and him, that he dare not look directly on Him, and judging himself neither able nor worthy to look on the brightness of the LORD’S awesome glory (Ex.34:29-34; Mat.17:1-6; Lk.9:29; Rev.1:13-17),
And with twain he covered his feet . . . two wings covered his feet, either his secret parts, which sometimes come under that name (Ex.4:25; Deut.28:57; Isa.7:20; 36:12). This may be done to teach us modesty and chastity.
And with twain he did fly . . . two wings were used for flying; when seraphim are sent on God's errands, they fly swiftly (Dan.9:21), more swiftly with their own wings than if they flew on the wings of the wind. I think this tells us to do the work of God cheerfully and willingly, as God’s angels do.
*****Isaiah sees Seraphim are around the Throne of God in his vision. This is one of the few mentions of these created intelligences in Scripture. Nearly nothing is known concerning them. Seraph means to burn. It is the word used in connection with the sin offerings and judgment. The seraphim are NOT the same as the cherubim mentioned in Ezekiel Chapter 1. It seems that the seraphim search out sin, and the cherubim protect the holiness of God. Never is the word seraph connected with the sweet incense or sweet savor offerings, those offerings which speak of the Person of Christ. The seraph is active, and the cherub is inactive. We will find both of them in the Books of Ezekiel and Revelation as the living creatures (Eze.1:5, 13; 15, 19; 3:13; Rev.Ch.4 & 5).
The seraphim in Isaiah's vision are protecting the sacredness (holiness, purity) of God, for He is high and lifted up (Isa.6:1; 12:4; 57:15; Ps.46:10; 83:18; 97:9; 108:5; 113:5; 138:6). God will NEVER compromise with evil, because evil and sin is what brings misery and sorrow in this world. Sin is what breaks up homes and lives and fills the grave. One day the LORD shall destroy it and remove it from this Universe. God has always moved boldly, promptly and steadily against sin. He will never accept the white flag of surrender from it. He is high and lifted up and He hates sin!
When Isaiah saw God on that majestic Throne, he fell down on his face. Oh, that people would just consider just how high and lifted up the Lord really is, and how desperately they need to consider His love, grace and mercy, but also His holiness and His absolute righteousness . . . AND His wrath! Because God is holy, He moves in judgment against sin . . . and He has never apologized for His actions, nor will He ever! God’s holy wrath shall punish sin, and He will punish those who engage in it. Dear one, we all will bow before Him one day! Are you ready? If you are a TRUE child of God, you shall experience His love and mercy, but if you are His enemy, you shall experience His wrath! http://www.godcannotlie.org/true_children_of_god.htm
God’s wrath against Israel: (Deut.29:28; 2 Ki.22:13; Ezra 5:12; Ps.78:21; Eze.22:20-22; Zec.8:14; Lk.21:23).
God’s wrath against His enemies, unbelievers: (Ps.21:9; 79:6; Isa.59:18; Nah.1:2; Jn.3:36; Rom.1:18, 24-32; 2:8; Eph.5:6; 1 Thes.2:14-16; Rev.14:9-10).
Isaiah 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. (KJV)
And one cried unto another . . . the seraphims are singing the praises of their Lord. Isaiah does not say how many seraphim there are.
And said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts . . . holyis repeated three times, either, #1. To indicate the Trinity of Persons united in the Divine essence (Mat.3:16-17; 28:19; Jn.14:16-17; 15:26; Rom.5:506; 8:11, 16-17; 1 Cor.12:4-6; 2 Cor.13:14; Gal.4:4-6; Eph.2:18; 4:4-6; 5:18-20; 1 Thes.1:2-5; 2 Thes.2:13; Tit.3:4-6; 1 Pet.1:2; 3:18; 1 Jn.4:2; Jude 1:20-21); Or, #2. That He was unquestionably holy in His present work of judgment, and in all His ways.
The whole earth is full of his glory . . . not only in Canaan, to which the Jews did vainly and arrogantly confine the Presence of God, but in ALL the world; which seems to have a reference to the conversion of the Gentiles, which did accompany the complete and last execution of this judgment here threatened against the Jewish nation (vs.10), as is evident by comparing this with Mat.13:14-15; and Acts 28:26-27. Full of his glory, of the effects and demonstrations of His glorious holiness, as well as of His awesome power, wisdom and goodness.
*****This pictures the absolute holiness and glory of our awesome Triune God.
He is high and lifted up (Isa.6:1; 12:4; 57:15; Ps.46:10; 83:18; 97:9; 108:5; 113:5; 138:6); and, if people would see Him today in that majestic position, they would be delivered from low living. It would also deliver some people from their easy familiarity that they think they have with the LORD Jesus, who IS Almighty God, who indeed IS high and lifted up, NOT some human buddy that they could speak to in any way low and degraded way! http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_is_jesus_god.htm
Dear one, you cannot enter into the high and lifted up Presence of God, with no thought of WHO He really is! He does NOT allow it! You must come to God the Father only through Christ Jesus, His only begotten Son (Jn.1:18; 3:3-8, 16,18; Heb.11:17; 1 Jn.4:9). Jesus is the ONLY Way to enter the Presence of Almighty God, on His Throne in Heaven (Jn.1:12-13; 8:24; 10:7, 9; 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Pet.2:4; 3:18; 1 Jn. 2:23; 5:12; 2 Jn.1:9; Rev.20:15). JESUS is the only Way to approach His Father! You can never come into the Presence of the Father because of who YOU are. You come into His Presence because of who you are in Christ (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8, 15-18, 36; 5:24; Rom.5:1, 10; 6:23). John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV) . . . IF you are His child, you can come with boldness to the Throne of grace, but you CANNOT come to Him, any other way!
Isaiah 6:4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. (KJV)
The posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried . . . the whole house was shaken, not only the door, but even the posts of the door, which were firmly fixed, moved at the voice of him that cried, at the Voice of God, who called to judgment (Ps.50:4), and at the voice of the angel, who praised Him. Such violent motions were commonly symbols of God's anger.
Him that cried . . . meaning the angel which cried (Isa.4:3).
Filled with smoke . . . which elsewhere is a token (symbol) of God's Presence (Ex.40:34; 1 Ki.8:10-12; 2 Chron.5:13-14; 6:1), but here, it is of His anger, as (Ps.18:8). The vision is dated, for the greater certainty of it. It was in the year that king Uzziah died, who had reigned, for the most part, as prosperously and well as any of the kings of Judah, and reigned over 50 years. About the time that he died, Isaiah saw this vision of God upon His Throne.
*****Consider the marks and symbols of terror with which the Temple was filled, in this vision of the divine glory. The entire house was shaken; not only the door, but even the posts of the door, which were firmly fixed, moved at the Voice of God, who called Israel to judgment, and at the voice of the seraphim, who praised Him. There are ample voices in Heaven sufficient to drown all the noises of the many waters in this lower world (Ps.93:1-5). The violent shake-up of the Temple indicated God's holy and righteous wrath and displeasure against the people for their sins. It was an earnest (2 Cor.1:22; 5:5; Eph.1:14; a preview of the coming judgment), of the destruction of the Temple and the city by Babylon first, and afterwards by the Romans. Walls and posts tremble before God (Job 26:11) . . . shall we not also tremble?
Isaiah 6:5 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. (KJV)
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone . . . there is NO woe to a good man, ALL woes are to the wicked . . . but I think all good men may think himself wretched and miserable, deserving of a woe, partly because of his own corruptions, the body of sin and death he carries about with him . . . and partly because of wicked men, among whom he dwells (Rom.7:24).
For I am undone . . . a good man cannot be undone, or be lost and perish. He is lost in Adam with all the rest of humanity; but in his calling (Rom.8:28-30), he knows of his lost and undone state . . . but under the power of belief (Jn.6:29; Rom.10:9-10), he can never perish, nor be lost, nor be undone forever.
Because I am a man of unclean lips . . . Isaiah knew he was a sinner, in many other ways besides his lips, but what came from his lips was what concerned him most because the words which came from his lips, were in a special manner consecrated to God because of his prophetical office, and should have been devoted entirely to the LORD . . . but, sadly, his speeches, either to God in prayer, or from God in preaching and prophesying to the people, were mixed and defiled with carnal fear, dullness, distraction of thoughts and affections, irreverence, and other infirmities, that he dreaded the thoughts of appearing before the judgment-seat, which seems refer to here. Isaiah was just a man, and he was concerned that he speak right and proper words to the people. He had been a prophet before this time (Isa.1:1), but was now called, not in general to his prophetical office, but to the delivery of this special message.
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips . . . such were the Jews, not only in Isaiah's time, but in the times of Christ and His apostles, who criticized Him, as if He were a wicked Person, condemned His miracles, said He was a Samaritan, and had a devil (Jn.8:48); they taught for doctrines the commandments of men (Mat.15:9), and opposed and blasphemed the Truths of the Gospel of Christ. Isaiah lived among men of filthy speech and lifestyle, which is a deep concern to a good man.
For mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts . . . the same divine and glorious Person described in verse 1, is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, King of kings, and Lord of lords (Rev.19:16), King of saints (Rev.15:3), and Lord of the armies, in Heaven and in Earth. Isaiah had seen the LORD in the vision. We too can SEE the Lord by faith, in the glory and beauty of His Person, and in the fullness of His grace; such a lovely sight it is; spiritual, embracing, very endearing, glorious and delightful!
*****Isaiah was God's man before he had this experience, but the vision had a tremendous effect on him. The reaction of Isaiah to such a vision is major, for he now sees himself as he really is in the Presence of God . . . sinful and undone. If we do not walk in the light of the Word of God, we cannot see our REAL selves. That is what John is talking about in the first chapter of his first epistle: 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (KJV) . . . When we walk in the light of His Word, we will see exactly what Isaiah saw . . . that we are sinners, undone, people of unclean lips. IF you feel that you are worthy or have some special claim on God . . . you are SO wrong! You have never really SEEN the Lord.
There were others who had the same reaction when they came into the awesome Presence of God as Isaiah did. The apostle John on the Isle of Patmos, wrote: Rev.1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: (KJV)
Daniel also had this experience: Daniel 10:8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. (KJV)
Ezekiel too felt this: Ezekiel 1:28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake. (KJV)
Ezekiel 43:3 And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. (KJV)
That was also the experience of Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul the apostle. After Paul met the Lord, he no longer saw himself as a self-righteous Pharisee, but as a lost sinner in need of salvation. Only then could he say: Phil. 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. (KJV)
Isaiah 6:6 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: (KJV)
Then flew one of the seraphim unto me . . . when Isaiah had confessed his sin, what follows after is the application of pardon; the seraphim had an order from the Lord to publish the doctrine of it . . . it is God's act ALONE to forgive sin . . . man CANNOT forgive sin, NO priest can forgive sin! NO way! But it is the job of pastors to preach forgiveness of sin to sensible sinners; who when they are made aware of sin, and distressed by it, the Lord comforts them, by letting them know that their iniquity is forgiven. God tells us He remembers our sin NO more (Ps.103:12; Isa.43:25; Jer.31:34; Mic.7:18-19; Heb.8:12; 10:17), when we are sincere about our repentance of sin (1 Jn.1:8-9; Rom.3:26; 5:1, 10).
Having a live coal in his hand . . . a live coal is symbol for the Word of God, which is compared to fire (Jer.5:14; 20:9; 23:29; Rev.11:5), and for the light (Ps.19:8; 43:3; 119:105; Pro.6:23), which it gives both to saints and sinners, and for its purity and purifying nature (Jn.13:10; 15:3; Eph.5:26).
Which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar . . . the altar of burnt offering, is where the fire was always burning; this altar was a type of Christ, and His Sacrifice on the cross; and this shows what specific doctrine of the Word it was that the seraphim took, and delivered in this vision . . . it was the doctrine of pardon (forgiveness) which was founded upon the Sacrifice and Satisfaction of Christ. The altar of burnt offering was in the court of the priests near the porch, and which always had coals of fire upon it (Lev.6:12-13). The seraphim took a live coal, to show that men are to expect purification and pardon of sin ONLY by the ONE and ONLY Way (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12) that God the Father has prearranged, that being Christ Jesus, His only begotten Son (Jn.3:16), whom that altar did clearly represent (Heb.13:10).
*****The live coal came from the burnt altar where sin had been dealt with. In the next chapter we will see the prediction of the birth of Jesus Christ, but it is NOT the incarnation of Christ that saves us, it is His death on the Cross. For this reason, Isaiah needed the live coal from the burnt altar, which symbolizes Christ's death. This living coal represents the precious Blood of Christ (1 Pet.1:18-19), that cleanses us and keeps on cleansing us from all sin.
Isaiah 6:7 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. (KJV)
And he laid it upon my mouth . . . because Isaiah had complained of the impurity of his lips (vs.5), the live coal symbolized the cleansing of his sinful lips, and that his mouth might be filled with praise and thankfulness . . . it means the comfort of the Gospel of Christ, as a means of the application of the pardoning grace of God. He laid it upon my mouth . . . ever so slightly, so as only to touch my lips, and not to burn them.
And said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips . . . this live coal, was a symbol of the Word of God. Lo, or behold, is prefixed to this statement, meaning to pay attention for it was a matter of importance, and as expressing something wonderful, and declaring something sure and certain . . . all of which the pardon of sin is, and which is spoken of in the next words.
And thine iniquity is taken away . . . iniquity (sin) was/is in God’s eyes abominable, it is hated by Him. Sin was the cause of Isaiah’s distress; mainly the iniquity of his lips, that he mourned over, and when he confessed them, the burden was taken away, as by the Sacrifice of Christ, away from the sight of God, and from his own conscience, by the application of pardon.
And thy sin purged . . . atoned for, or covered, which is done ONLY by the merits of the precious Blood and Sacrifice of Christ Jesus.
*****Isaiah is a man of unclean lips, and the condition for cleansing is confession:
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (KJV) John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (KJV)
The live coal is symbolic of the Word of God, but I also believe that this glowing coal is a symbol of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was the One high and lifted up on the Throne, and He was the One lifted up on the Cross. It was absolutely necessary that He be lifted up, because He came down to this earth and became one of us (Jn.1:14) that He might become the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (Jn.1:29).
The lips of Isaiah were cleansed. It seems that the act of putting the live coal on his lips was an exterior display of what happened in the inner man. It is what proceeds out of the heart of a man that goes through the lips; and, when the lips are cleansed, it means that the heart is cleansed also (Mat.15:18-19).
There was a man in the New Testament who also was undone. His name was Paul, and he cried out: Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (KJV) . . . When Paul said this, he was not a lost sinner but a saint of God, learning the lesson from God that he needed to walk in the Spirit (Gal.5:16,25), because he could never live for God on his own. Living for God can only be accomplished by grace of God (Eph.2:4-9; Tit.3:4-5). It is our responsibility to confess our sinfulness and our inability to please God, and this happens over and over again in our lives (Rom.7:14-25). Even when we try our best to do good, we mess up . . . so we need to have the redemption of Christ applied to our lives again and again and again. http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_romans_ch.7.htm
Isaiah 6:8 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. (KJV)
Also I heard the voice of the Lord . . . I and us . . . I think that the change of number specifies the Trinity (Gen.1:26; 11:7), although some think the plural may indicate majesty.
Saying, Whom shall I send . . . to the people of Israel, to rebuke them for their blindness and stupidity, and to warn them, foretelling about their utter ruin and destruction; implying that it was a difficult thing to burden upon a good person; and that there were only a few (Mat.7:14), that were fit to go on such a mission. The Lord already knew whom He would send; and could very easily qualify anyone whom He chose to send with such a message. I personally know this: IF God chooses you to do a special job, He will absolutely equip you to do it. http://www.hisservantsministry.org/Poems_all_HSM.html
And who will go for us . . . who . . . implying that very few would be willing to bear the self-denial which the delivering of such an unwelcome message to the Jews would require on the part of the messenger (1 Chron.29:5).
Then said I, Here am I, send me . . . Isaiah, who before thought himself undone, and unworthy to be employed in the service of God, now having discovered the application of pardoning grace of God, freely and willingly offers himself to God. This reveals the true nature and effect of the application of pardon. It gives a person freedom and boldness in the Presence of God, and arouses a cheerful, ready and willing obedience to His will, and engages him with the utmost eagerness to serve the Lord!
Here am I . . . a prompt zeal, now that he has been specifically qualified for it (1 Sam3:10-11; Acts.9:6).
*****It seems that up to this time, Isaiah had not heard the call of God. But here, Isaiah hears God's call: Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Isaiah's response was, Here am I; send me. Isaiah heard God's call for the first time and responded to it. What would YOU have done?
Isaiah 6:9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. (KJV)
And he said, go, and tell this people . . . the message Isaiah is told to give this people, is strange, to say the least. This people, is the nation of Israel. The Lord calls them this people, NOT my people, for He disowns them, because they have disobeyed and rejected Him.
Hear ye indeed . . . the words of the prophets sent unto them, and the Words of the incarnate Christ Himself (Jn.1:14), preaching among them; the Great Prophet, like unto Moses, thatwould be raised up among them (Deut.18:15,18). And even though this people would hear the prophet's warnings again and again, they would be doomed, because of their utter stubbornness (Jn.7:16-19). Sufficient light was given to guide anyone who was sincerely seeking to do God's will. This people CHOSE the darkness that left them willfully blind (Isa.43:8; Ps.107:10-12; Mat.4:16; Jn.1:4-5; Eph.5:14; 1 Jn.2:11). So too, in Jesus' parable (Mat.13:13-15).
But understand not . . . Israel heard what the prophet said, but they did NOT understand that Christ Jesus IS the Messiah, nor did they understand the doctrines delivered by Him; which were spoken to them in parables (Mat.13:13-15). Neither did they believe the miracles done by Him, even though they clearly saw them: such as His raising the dead (Lk.7:12-15; 8:49-55; Jn.11:43-44); His cleansing the lepers (Mat.8:1-4; Mk.1:40-45; Lk.5:12-16; 17:11-19); His restoring sight to the blind (Mat.9:27-31; 20:29-34; Mk.8:22-26; 10:46-52; Lk.18:35-43); His causing the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak (Mk.7:31-37); His cleansing of lepers (Mat.8:1-4; Mk.1:40-45; Lk.5:12-16); His healing the paralyzed man (Mat.9:1-8; Mk.2:1-12; Lk.5:17-26); His healing the man with the infirmity (Jn.5:1-16); His restoring the withered hand (Mat.12:9-13; Mk.3:1-5; Lk.6:6-11); His restoring the centurion's servant (Mat.8:5-13; Lk.7:1-10); His raising the widow's son to life (Lk.7:11-16); His healing a demoniac (Mat.12L22-27; Mk.3:11; Lk.11:14-15); He stills the storm (Mat.8:23-27; 14:32; Mk.4:35-41; Lk.8:22-25); He removes demons from two men of Gadara (Mat.8:28-34; Mk.5:1-20; Lk.8:26-39), etc., etc., (Jn.21:25).
But perceive not . . . perceive is to see, comprehend, know . . . that Christ IS the Messiah . . . they refuse to admit it although everything stated in prophecy could point only to Him, and that all the miracles were all done by Him, NOT by Beelzebub (Mat.12:24).
*****The vast amount of the people to whom Isaiah was sent, would turn a deaf ear to his preaching, and willfully shut their eyes against the mind and will of God, which Isaiah was to make known to them. Isaiah’s critical, judgmental message would NOT be welcomed with open arms (Isa.30:10)! Go, tell this people, how utterly foolish they are. Isaiah must, and would, preach to them, and they will hear him . . . but they will NOT pay attention to him, and because of this, they will NOT understand him. There are many in today’s world, who hear the sound of God's Word, but never feel the power of it, because it goes in one ear and out the other one! BEWARE!!!
Isaiah 6:10 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. (KJV)
Make the heart of this people fat . . . fat is stupid and senseless; for the fat which is in the heart makes it dull and heavy (Ps.119:70). This making of their hearts fat is here ascribed to the prophet, as it is ascribed to God in the repetition of this prophecy (Jn.12:40), because God inflicted this judgment upon them by the ministry of the prophet, partly by way of prediction, foretelling that this would be the effect of his preaching; and partly by way of judicial operation, withdrawing the light and help of His Spirit, and giving them over to the power of Satan, and to their own mistakes and lusts, whereby they are easily led to turn from God's Word, while they do other things that lead to sin.
And make their ears heavy . . . make them dull of hearing (Isa.59:1; Zec.7:11; Mat.13:15). They will be become more hardened (Rom.1:28; Eph.4:18). God as purposely gives up sinners to judicial hardening (Rom.11:8; 2 Thes.2:11).
And shut their eyes . . . shut their eyes so they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand (Isa.44:18).
Lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart . . . that they may not be able, as before they were not willing, to see.
And convert, and be healed . . . turn from their sinful practices, and TO God. Be healed of sin, which is the disease of the soul, by remission and sanctification, and of all the deadly effects of sin. ONLY Christ can do this (Jn.14:6)! Sin is a spiritual disease (Isa.1:6; Ps.103:3; Jer.17:14), that only Christ can heal!
*****It seems as if the prophet is being sent to those who are blind, deaf and hardened people . . . but I know that God never hardens hearts that would otherwise be soft. God simply brings the hardness to the surface; He NEVER makes the heart hard, NOR does He make eyes blind, of those who want to see, those who are seeking, but IF He did not intervene, there are those who would never see. Only a fool would foolishly blaspheme, and say that God hardens or blinds.
Isaiah's job was to take a message of light to the sinful people. Light simply reveals the blindness of people. While In darkness, people do not know if they are blind or not. Matthew 13:14-15 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (KJV) . . . God blinds NO one! God hardens NO heart. When the light shines into a person, it reveals what that person really is! That is what Isaiah means, and that is exactly why the Lord Jesus Christ quoted this Passage.
Isaiah 6:11 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, (KJV)
Then said I, Lord, how long? . . . unexpected words, arising from the prophet's great passion and surprise. He wanted to know how long this dreadful judgment will last.
And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate . . . until this land be totally destroyed, first by the Babylonians, and afterward by the Romans. Until (Isa.5:9) is fulfilled first with the Babylon captivity, and more fully at the dispersion under the Roman Titus.
Isaiah 6:12 And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. (KJV)
And the LORD have removed men far away . . . have caused this people to be carried away captive into far countries.
And there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land . . . until most houses and lands be forsaken by their owners, either because they fled from the sword into strange lands, or because they went into captivity (2 Ki.25:21). Forsaking . . . abandoning the dwellings by their inhabitants (Jer.4:29).
Isaiah 6:13 But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof. (KJV)
But yet in it shall be a tenth . . . a small remnant reserved, that number being put as unknown, as is usual.
And it shall return . . . from the Babylon captivity, into their own land.
And shall be eaten . . . that returning remnant shall be devoured and destroyed a second time by the kings of Syria, and afterwards more effectively by the Romans.
As a teil tree, and as an oak . . . teil and oak being often understood in the Hebrew, as having been noted again and again, so the sense of the words of the verse seems to be . . . although Israel shall undergo a second and a greater desolation by the Romans, there shall be yet another remnant, not like the one which came out of Babylon, which for the most part was corrupt and degenerate, as appears by the sacred histories and prophecies relating to that time; but a remnant of holy seed, a number of elect and godly Israelites, who shall afterwards look upon Him whom they pierced, and mourn over Him (Zec.12:10), as is said to receive mercy.
Whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves . . . when their leaves are withered and cast off, as in winter, have a substance, or support within themselves, which preserves life in the root and body of the tree, and in due time sends it forth into all the branches. Substance . . . when trees cast their leaves, the trunk or stock remains alive and well (Job 14:7-9).
So the holy seed shall be the substance thereof . . . so the holy seed (Ezra 9:2), shall be the stock of that land. The seeds of life still exist in both the land and the greatly scattered people of Judea, waiting for God's favor (Rom.11:5, 23-29).. According to Isaiah, NOT all Israel, but only the elect remnant alone, is destined to salvation.
*****God always has and always will show unchangeable severity and holy wrath towards sin, but His faithful covenant stands firm in preserving a remnant, and to it Isaiah hands down the prophetic legacy of the second part of his book (Chapters 40-66); the return and restoration of the Jews!
Chapters 40-66 form the crown to the first section of Isaiah (chapters 1-39) by properly preparing the reader. There are three subsections of chapters 40-66 are clear. The 24 chapters are split into three sections of 8 chapters. They are set apart by the way they end, rather than the way they begin.
#1. Chapters 40-48 . . . Isaiah 48:22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. (KJV)
#2. Chapters 49-57 . . . Isaiah 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. (KJV)
#3. Chapters 58-66 . . . Isaiah 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. (KJV)
This should leave a permanent impression on our minds. The ever present reminders of the destruction of the wicked, should increase and intensify our attraction to the beautiful themes of belief, faith, forgiveness, hope, ideals of Heaven and salvation of our souls that our awesome God offers us!
The surprising closing messages in each section confirms that God is not so preoccupied with saving the righteous, that He has forgotten the judgment of the wicked, as many cults try to teach. Isaiah truly wants the repentant sinner to fully enjoy their salvation, but he also repeatedly warns the wicked of the sureness of God’s wrath in their coming judgment.
The last three sections of Isaiah from Chapter 40 to Chapter 66, each in their own distinctive way, direct their message to God’s people in exile.
Is it possible to see God?
Is it really possible to see God? On the one hand, some Passages do indicate that God was seen.
Genesis 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. (KJV)
Exodus 24:9-10 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: 10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. (KJV)
Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. (KJV)
Judges 13:22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. (KJV)
Isaiah 6:1 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. (KJV)
Daniel 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. (KJV)
All these Passages appear to claim that at times God can be seen and was seen.
But, on the other hand, there are other Passages that seem to argue that it is impossible to see God. Consider the following:
Exodus 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. (KJV)
Deuteronomy 4:15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: (KJV)
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (KJV)
John 5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. (KJV)
1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (KJV)
1 Timothy 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. (KJV)
To decide this problem, we must consider that some of these sightings were visions, such as the cases of Isaiah and Daniel. In others, the terms for sight (seeing) stress the directness of access. For instance: Exodus 24:9-11 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: 10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. 11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink. (KJV) . . . Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and the seventy elders did eat and drink in God's Presence, but they describe only his feet and what he stood on. It seems that they were apparently not permitted to look on God's Face.
In another instance, Jacob's access to God is described as being face to face (Gen. 32:30), similar to Moses' later friendship with God (Deut.34:10). The difference may arise from the way the term face of God was used in various contexts. In one, it expressed familiarity beyond previous visions or divine appearances; in others, it referred to knowledge of God which exceeds our abilities and hopes. Others, such as Manoah and his wife, experienced a Christophany or a theophany (shekinah), which means an appearance of Christ or God through a vision or a preincarnate appearance.
Did Moses See God's Back?
Exodus 33:18-23 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. (KJV)
What Moses requests in verse 18, show me your glory, was more than the LORD would grant for Moses' own good . . . but even so, God did allow His goodness to pass in front of Moses and proclaimed His Name in Moses' presence. The LORD denied that which was not fit to be granted, and which Moses could not bear: Thou canst not see my face (verse 20). A full sighting of the glory of God would simply overpower the abilities of any mortal man in this present state, and overwhelm him, even the godly Moses himself. It is the compassion of God that holds back the Face of His Throne, and spreadeth a cloud upon it (Job 26:9). God says that His Face shall not be seen (verse 23), for that is an honor reserved for the future state of the saints.
There is a knowledge and enjoyment of God which must be waited for in another world, when we shall see Him as He is (1 Jn.3:2). In the meantime let us appreciate what we do know about our awesome triune God! Sinful man dreads the sight of God his Judge; but holy souls, being by the Spirit of the Lord changed into the same image, behold with open face the glory of the Lord (2 Cor.3:18).
God's goodness is His glory; but I think that He wants us to know Him by the glory of His love, mercy and grace, more than by the glory of His majesty . . . for we all must fear (respect, reverence) the Lord and His goodness (Hos.3:5). That especially which is the glory of God's goodness is the sovereignty (control) of it, that He will be gracious to whom He will be gracious, for He bestows His gifts on whom ever He chooses, and is not debtor to any, nor accountable to any. Exodus 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. (KJV) Romans 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (KJV) http://www.godcannotlie.org/hos_ch3.htm
So, instead of showing Moses His Person or describing His appearance, the Lord gave Moses a description of WHO He is. The Name of God includes His nature and His character (Ps.20:1; Jn.1:12; 17:6, 26); and standards for living righteously.
God placed Moses in a cleft in the rock (a crevice), and He then caused His glory to pass by. The glory of God refers first and foremost to the sheer weight of the reality of His Presence. The Presence of God would come near Moses, but Moses would not be able to endure the remarkable purity, brilliance and reality of seeing the glory of God Himself. Instead, God would protect Moses from accidental (and apparently fatal) sight of that glory.
Therefore, God would protect Moses from the full effects of looking directly at the glory of God by placing His Hand over Moses' face until His glory had passed by.
Only after His glory, or His Presence had passed by would God remove His gracious, protecting Hand. Then Moses would view what God had permitted. But what was it that was left for Moses to see? Translators say God's back . . . BUT . . . since God is Spirit (Isa.31;3; Jn.4:24), and formless, WHAT would this refer to? The word back could mean the aftereffects of the glory of God that had passed by. This would fit the context as well as the range of meanings for the Hebrew word used. Moses did NOT see the glory of God directly, but once it had gone past, God did allow him to SEE the afterglow that His awesome, exceedingly brilliant, glorious and majestic Presence had produced. Let us be content to see the Lord with our heart!
Commentaries on Old Testament Books
Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible
Isaiah Ch.1 . . Isaiah Ch.2 . . Isaiah Ch.3 . . Isaiah Ch.4 . . Isaiah Ch.5 . . Isaiah Ch.6 . . Isaiah Ch.7 . . Isaiah Ch.8 . . Isaiah Ch.9 . . Isa.Ch.10 . . Isa.Ch.11 . . Isa.Ch12 . . Home Page
JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS . . . . . Isaiah Ch.13 . . Isaiah Ch.14 . . Isaiah Ch.15 . . Isaiah Ch.16 . . Isaiah Ch.17 . . Isaiah Ch.18 . . Isaiah Ch.19 . . Isaiah Ch.20 . . Isaiah Ch.21 . . Isaiah Ch.22 . . Isaiah Ch.23 . . Home Page
ISAIAH’S APOCALYPSE . . . . . Isaiah Ch.24 . . Isaiah Ch.25 . . Isaiah Ch.26 . . Isaiah Ch.27 . . Home Page
ISAIAH'S SIX WOES . . . Isaiah Ch.28 . . Isaiah Ch.29 . . Isaiah Ch.30 . . Isaiah Ch.31 . . Isaiah Ch.32 . . Isaiah Ch.33 . . Isaiah Ch.34 . . Isaiah Ch.35 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Historic Part . . Isaiah Ch.36 . . Isaiah Ch.37 . . Isaiah Ch.38 . . Isaiah Ch.39 . . Home Page
Isaiah Speaks of Messiah's Incarnation. . Isaiah Ch.40 . . Isaiah Ch.41 . . Isaiah Ch.42 . . Isaiah Ch.43 . . Isaiah Ch.44 . . Isaiah Ch.45 . . Isaiah Ch.46 . . Isaiah Ch.47 . . Isaiah Ch.48 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant
Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Isaiah's Redemption Through the Suffering Servant . . . Isaiah Ch.49 . . Isaiah Ch.50 . . Isaiah Ch.51 . . Isaiah Ch.52 . . Isaiah Ch.53 . . Isaiah Ch.54 . . Isaiah Ch.55 . . Isaiah Ch.56 . . Isaiah Ch.57