Isaiah’s Commission Is. 6: 1-13 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Here is a good outline of this portion of Isaiah 6 along with some general comments to go along with the audio recording of this lesson.
God revealed himself to Isaiah – v.1-4 – Last week we learned that Isaiah saw a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus in v.1. He was accompanied by the seraphims:
- They are not angels because angels don’t have wings; they always appear as men [Gen 18-19]
- They are not cherubims because cherubims have four wings each and four faces each [Ezek 1:6, read the entire chapter with Ezek 10 for a full description]
- These match the beasts of Rev 4:6-8, yet Isaiah doesn’t describe their faces because they are covered by their upper two wings
One of these seraphims praised the Lord in v.3, as they do in Rev 4:8, and when he did the temple posts shook and the building was filled with smoke [Rev 15:8; Acts 4:31].
God purged Isaiah’s iniquity – v.5-7 – When Isaiah saw God, immediately he was humbled and proclaimed his uncleanness [comp. Job 42:5-6]. So, one of the seraphims took a live coal from the altar and, by touching Isaiah’s lips with it, purged Isaiah’s sin [v.6-7] – the work of sanctification in men is always painful.
God called Isaiah to go – v. 8 – The Lord asked whom he could send and Isaiah responded, “Here am I, send me.” Notice the plural noun “us” as in Gen 1:26 and Hos 12:4 revealing our triune God.
God gave Isaiah a prophecy – v.9 – Hear but understand not; see but perceive not. This prophecy reveals that God will continue to speak to Israel and show them signs but that Israel, as a nation, won’t understand what he is saying or perceive who he is [Lk 16:29-31].
God gave Isaiah a commission – v.10 – Make Israel’s heart fat; make Israel’s ears heavy; shut Israel’s eyes – lest they see and hear and understand and convert and be healed. This commission is to the nation, as a whole, rather than to every individual Jew. For instance, Israel, as a nation, rejected Jesus Christ as her Messiah, but many individual Jews believed him and received him. The prophecy and commission are quoted in Jn 12:37-42, Matt 13:13-16 and Acts 28:24-28. In every context, though there is a national rejection of Jesus, some individual Jews still believed.
It is evident that the reason Israel became blind, deaf, hard-hearted and stiff-necked is that she had turned to idols. According to Ps 115:4-8, when people turn to idols they become just like the idols they worship.
This national “’blindness” remains on Israel to this day [2 Cor 3:11-16; Rom 11:25, 8] and will not be lifted until the end of the Tribulation at the Second Coming of Jesus [Rom 11:26-27] when God fulfills his new covenant with Israel [Jer 31:31-34; Heb 8:10-12].
Unfortunately for our country, this national blindness is very similar to the reprobate mind of Rom 1:28. The consequent sins of Rom 1:29-31 accurately represent America’s immoral conduct today as evidence that we, as a nation, have been turned over to a reprobate mind.
God set a time limit on this prophecy – v.11-12 – The national blindness in Israel will run through the Tribulation [Zech 14:1-3] when Israel is nearly ransacked. At the Second Advent, the Lord will institute the new covenant for Israel and they will be saved and healed, see Jer 17:14 with Jer 30:7, 17.
God showed Isaiah the end of his prophecy – v.13 – as Israel is being reduced to a remnant, they will be eaten as sacrifices to the devil in Jerusalem [Ps 14:4, 27:2]. The remnant [Is 1:9] will be the substance from which the entire nation will be repopulated after the Lord’s return. This is pictured by an oak, which loses all of its leaves in the spring, and then immediately produces the new ones to replace the ones cast off.