In the year that King Uzziah died (742 BC), Isaiah received a call from God to be a prophet. He saw a vision of the LORD sitting on His throne surrounded by seraphim proclaiming His holiness and glory. Confronted by such power and majesty, Isaiah cried aloud,
“Woe is me! For I am lost; for 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 LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6.1-4).
Seeing the LORD changed Isaiah’s life forever. He realized his own sinfulness and also that of the people among whom he lived. Because he recognized his own sinfulness he was able to deal with their sins as well. David, earlier made aware of the gravity of his sins when confronted by Nathan the prophet, pled with God,
“Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!…Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
Having acknowledged his sin, like Isaiah, he promised God,
“Then I will teach the transgressors Thy ways, and sinners will return to Thee” (Psalm 51.2, 7, 13).
Isaiah heard the voice of the LORD saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” He responded, “Here am I! Send me.” Isaiah was ready to accept God’s commission to go to God’s people with His message of conviction and deliverance.
This incident is more than the record of Isaiah’s calling; it also reveals the essence and result of true worship:
- By faith we see God
- Understanding God’s holiness enables us to recognize our own unworthiness
- God cleanses us
- God empowers us and assigns us a task
- We accept God’s task and go out to serve
Because God is worthy of our worship, He is also worthy of our obedience.
– Cecil May, Jr.