In the sixth chapter of Isaiah, the record gives revelation of changing times in Jerusalem. In the year Uzziah the king died, Isaiah envisioned the Lord sitting on a throne with seraphim giving highest praise to Him. Praise with the cry “holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts”(v 3). Praise glorifying the Lord who controls all the host of Heaven and all the earth. Interestingly in the vision smoke fills the house either from the powerful cry of praise, or from the altar of which the “live coal” is taken and put to the mouth of Isaiah purifying him from sin. What sin or sins, inspiration does not reveal. What is revealed seems to indicate a time of preparation, setting right Isaiah that he may be qualified to speak for the Lord.
“Whom shall I send and who will go up for Us?”is the clarion call from the Lord. The “Us” being the same as the “Us” of “Let Us make man in our own image” (Gen 1:26). The august being, the Lord of hosts, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit – the Godhead. In the presence of this Heaven and earth shaking event, Isaiah responds “Here am I! Send me.” The charge: “Go and tell this people”(v 9). With the glory of the Lord and the purity of His majestic existence, earthly impurity was realized by Isaiah, leaving him feeling “undone” with “unclean lips”(v 5). With the purification from above, he was ready to answer the call of duty. Through the purification of the Lord, he had holy lips.
Once the prophet was prepared, he was ready to declare the message of the Lord. A message to convict a people who had become complacent and lazy in service to the Lord of hosts. They were apathetic in mind and ear, refusing to see properly the things of God. Though hearts were dull, ears heavy, eyes shut, the Lord still wanted the message declared desiring that all would see and obey (v 9). How long should declaration be made? Until the judgment of the Lord was executed. Holy judgment which ultimately will separate to Himself the faithful few [1/10] (v 13).
In the portals of glory, God receives pure praise. On earth he expects no less. The contrast here cannot be clearer. Even the messenger needed what some have called holy smoke and the purifying live coal to prepare him. Hypocritical service is not acceptable to a pure and holy God. The truth of God’s nature demands hatred of a lie (Pr. 6:17). The long-suffering nature of God yields opportunities to hear and do better. The free moral design of God in his created men/women gives freedom to make a choice. The fearful thing is that His call will be rejected for so long that hearts become hardened, ears stopped up, and eyes closed to the call of salvation. With rejection comes ultimately destruction, and God shows no partiality (Rom. 2:11).
How long should the message be carried? First, the messenger must be introspective. Is his/her heart right with God? Are the lips pure and holy? If not, then the penitent call starts with the messenger. It’s with pure lips the call is made to all – hear the words of the Lord. Many reject Him as they did in Isaiah’s time, but remember the tenth who will hear and obey. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool ” (Isaiah 1:18).