“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.” (Isaiah 6:8 KJV)
This has to be one of the most sought after and simultaneously frustrating passages that I know of! What an honor! What glory to have seen with your own eyes (see the first seven verses of this chapter). What an opportunity to have that firm of an understanding of the realness of the mission you are about to go on! To be atoned for with a coal from the alter by a Seraphim! And where does God send you? To a people who will not listen, will not understand, cannot see, and have no perception whatsoever! Not a people who are lost and simply have not heard. Not even a people who are searching but require an extra special effort to guide their understanding. Even a people who are really remote and need a great deal of untangling in their philosophies would make a better mission field. In all likelihood these people may have been there, done that, and are still wearing the t-shirt; and they do not want any part of it. They have so intentionally hardened their hearts, closed their eyes, and ruled out any possible “God” in the scientific search for understanding that even God is asking the question, “...Whom shall I send...”! The poor guy who volunteers for that position. There is a similar sympathy as to a guy who just got sucker punched.
The follow up question reveals a great deal. “Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,” (Isaiah 6:11 KJV) The mission is obvious even to the one sent. There is a great destruction in the making for these people. They simply are not yet ready to receive it in the fullest measure. Woe to us should our hearts ever become too hard to see when God's Spirit is moving and at work. Pray that our agendas never treat a good devotional as spam, in our hurry we never overlook someone who needs a hand, and our filter which is set to defend against bad doctrine never get so thick that we cannot let fresh perspectives in. When we hear a good word, encourage the one who sent it. When we see a need, search for a way to fill it. When we see bad doctrine ask the Lord for a way to untangle it in genuine humility and love. The words that Elisha spoke in quite a different situation can have application in so many areas, “...thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.” (2 Kings 7:2b KJV) May what we see in the body of Christ, we take and eat that it would enter us and change our countenance. As we eat may we remember Him who paid a great price for us. To see something that God is doing and never be able to taste it is truly a tragedy that has befallen shortly before judgment.
“And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” (Isaiah 66:23-24 KJV)