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. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 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.
Do not let the sequence of events in Isaiah’s vision escape you. Isaiah saw God in all his holiness. This lead to him seeing himself and his people in all their sinfulness. This lead to his confession, which lead to his cleansing. Now that He had been cleansed there was a call.
Notice that the call came from God Himself. Verse 8 contains his first words in the vision. Notice both the words “I” and “us” in verse 8. That the word “I” refers to God Himself is certain, but who is he referring to when he talks about “us?” Some have said that the answer is referring to those present to whom he seeks council. I do not think this is correct. I think that this is a reference to the Trinity. You have the singular “I” and the plural “us” in the parallelism of the question. “Who shall I send and who will go for us?” This is not referring to a need for two different people, but rather one. There is one God and He exists in three persons, all co-equally God.
Now that Isaiah has a proper view of God, a proper view of Himself, and has been cleansed based on his confession, He is now able to respond to the call of God. Salvation should always lead to sanctification, and sanctification should always lead to service and sending.
Now, though it would be nice to stop here, we must read on to verses 9 and 10. When we do, we begin to realize that God’s calling is not always easy. What God calls and commissions Isaiah to do is no easy thing. He essentially tells Isaiah to go to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Isaiah’s message to them was that they were a people that can hear but don’t understand, and that can see but don’t perceive. He tells Isaiah that through his preaching most people will not listen, obey, convert and be healed.
We can learn to very important truths about our own personal ministry here.
- God honoring ministry can not and does not avoid this pattern. We must be cleansed so that we can hear God’s call and be commissioned. God desires to use clean vessels for His use.
- God honoring ministry can be very difficult. Not everyone will respond the way we desire them to respond. This does not always mean that we are doing something wrong. God is faithful, and we must remember that faithfulness is what is required of us.
Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.1 Corinthians 4:1-2
When we faithfully steward our gifts, abilities, and calling, God will come through on the results, whatever they may be.
- Every believer is called to be a witness and minister in their own world. Are you in a place where you can be used of God?
- Are you discouraged because of a lack of “ministry success?” I’d love to encourage you. Email me so I can be an encouragement to you.