Isaiah: The Commissioning of Isaiah.

8 “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ 10 Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” 11 Then I said, “How long, O Lord?” And he said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste, 12 and the Lord removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. 13 And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump.” (Isaiah 6:8-13)

Isaiah 6:8-13 not only reveals God’s commissioning of Isaiah ben Amoz to the office and responsibility of prophet but also God’s revelation as to what message and oracle the prophet will proclaim. Essentially, Isaiah will proclaim and reveal the will of God for the Nation of Judah in the 8th century B.C. The oracle Isaiah will proclaim will be fulfilled in 605, 695, and 586 B.C.

Chapter Two of The Westminster Confession of Faith states that God works all things according to the counsel of His own immutable will (Ephesians 1:11). It was the will of the LORD to judge Judah for its sin and it was also His will for Isaiah to communicate this oracle of judgment.

Dr. R. C. Sproul comments that “Here we have a summary statement about the working of God’s will. God works all things according to the counsel of His own will. He does not work things out according to my will of your will or popular opinion. He does not rule by referendum. The Ten Commandments (not suggestions) express God’s own will. What He wants determines how He works. That is fundamental to our understanding of God. Even Jesus, in His agony in Gethsemane, prayed, ‘Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done’ (Luke 22:42), because He understood that God does what is best and righteous. God’s choices and actions are determined by His omniscience, righteousness, holiness, and the rest of His attributes. He will act not according to a lesser being’s desire, opinion, or counsel but according to His own counsel.”

Let’s begin to unpack today’s text. To begin with, after hearing the Seraphim proclaiming the LORD’s holiness, Isaiah now hears the voice of the Yahweh. 8 “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” The pronoun “us” may well be a biblical evidence of the Trinity (Genesis 1:26; 11:7). Isaiah promptly replies, “Here am I. Send me.” even before the LORD tells him what his prophetic ministry will involve. This demonstrates Isaiah’s trust in, commitment to, dependence upon and worship of Yahweh. In short, Isaiah’s response demonstrates his faith.   

 Yahweh then gives Isaiah His instructions. ““Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ 10 Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

 Dr. John MacArthur explains that, “Isaiah’s message was to be God’s instrument for hiding the truth from an unreceptive people. Centuries later, Jesus’ parables were to do the same (Matt. 13:14–15Mark 4:12Luke 8:10; cf. Isa. 29:9–10; 42:18; 43:8Deut. 29:4John 12:40Acts 28:26–27Rom. 11:8).”

 Isaiah responded by saying, ““How long, O Lord?” Because of Judah’s rejection of God’s message, Isaiah asked how long he should preach this message of divine judgment. The LORD’s response was, ““Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste, 12 and the Lord removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. God replied that it must continue until the cities are desolate (v. 11) and the people have gone into exile (v. 12).

 However, the LORD always has a remnant. 13 “And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled. The holy seed is its stump.” Dr. MacArthur concludes that, “Though most will reject God, the tenth, also called “stump” and “holy seed,” represents the faithful remnant in Israel who will be the nucleus who hear and believe.”

 Take time today and thank God that He has made you a part of the faithful remnant. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, repent of your sins and trust Christ alone as your Lord and Savior.

Soli deo Gloria!

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