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Isaiah 6 - Call Me! Call Me!
I was a summer missionary while I was in college. Even though a relatively new Southern Baptist, I knew the mission motto was “Here I am Send me!” I always pictured a brave soul standing up with military stiffness reporting for duty. When I studied Isaiah’s call indepth, I soon discovered that God was nto even talking to Isaiah when He asked someone, “Who can we send out?” Isaiah was eavesdropping on a conversation between the Father and someone else in this heavenly scene. Instead of standing at attention...Isaiah was just picking himself off the floor after the angel cleansed his lips. I picture Isaiah like an enthusiastic child in a classroom trying to get his teachers attention, “Oh Oh Call on me...please call on me!” God took him up on his offer.
Then what happens next would discourage any new mission recruit. Imagine going down front in your church and surrendering to the call and the pastor saying, “Great! But you are going to fail. I will see to it.” Sounds cruel, but that is exactly what God said to Isaiah. Isaiah 6:9 records God telling him to go but they won’t hear you and they won’t see because I am going to make them blind and dumb to you—they won’t get it—count on it.” I don’t know about you, I would have quit right then. Maybe that is why God doesn't give us too many answers to our questions—we really don’t want to know.
There is a seriousness about surrendering the call to full time ministry. I was at a youth camp a few years ago when my son was a freshman in High School. Everyone knew John was called into the music ministry, but he had yet to make a formal decision. The young man who was to preach the service that was to call forward the youth who felt God leading them into ministry asked the leaders to pray. He said he had to deliver a hard message and did not expect many takers. He was to tell these youth that if they surrendered to th call to ministry at this time in history, they would likely have to suffer for their faith and possible be martyred. He had a message from God. Usually less than ten teen come forward and they expected fewer because of this message.
We prayed and at the invitation, I went to my counseling position in the foyer. After a long time—my son came to me and not the male counselor. He sat there shaking and told me he needed to go up front. He is a man of few words—but his body spoke volumes. The other youth knew he was supposed to go down...he was literally shaking so hard the other chairs in the row were rocking before he finally went forward.
After we talked we went back into the auditorium while the preacher called the names of those who went forward. Most of the teens bounded down the stairs and up on stage—obviously excited about what they decided. Not John, he was one of the last to go up front. He went down those stairs painfully slow, almost stumbling as he went. He was terrified. I wanted to say, “Bold the side doors—here comes Jonah!” He made it up there with 40 other teens
Breaking It Down
Read Isaiah 6:1
WHO WERE THE INFLUENCES IN ISAIAH'S LIFE?
Think about the fact that Isaiah grew up with Uzziah as king. He was likely someone he looked up to. He could have been his great uncle as well. Understandably Isaiah would have been grieving.
What is the first thing Isaiah sees while he is in the temple?
Read Isaiah 6:2-9.
Notice what happens as soon as Isaiah’s lips are cleansed. What does he hear? You may even circle the word “Then” in verse 8.
Isaiah did not hear God speaking until his lips were cleansed. What did God say and who was He talking to?
After Isaiah’s enthusiastic surrender—what was God’s charge to Isaiah? List God’s points below:
Building it Up
After giving Isaiah the bad news, God lets him know that there will be a 10th who remain faithful.
What is the significance of this fact? (Read 6:13)
What does it mean that the “holy seed is in the stump”?
Evangelists claim that there may be only 5% of the people in the pews of the average church who are believers. The rest are playing church.
A wise old man asked me the other day why I think churches have so much turmoil. I think this is the reason—the enemy plants a lot of weeds among the wheat. The weeds look like the ones in my yard. The weeds look just like the good stuff.
A prophets calling is not a fun one—they can’t help themselves—they have to speak truth and they hate hypocrisy. Prophets call it as they see it. Prophets are not popular. Isaiah spoke woes to Judah while they we experiencing wealth and prosperity as a nation. They did not see what Isaiah saw coming beyond their lifetime. Wicked King Manassah hated Isaiah’s message so much, tradition tells us that he chased Isaiah into a hollow log an Manassah order it sawn in two. (Hebrews 11)
It is not fun to feel what a prophet feels. They often feel isolated and are certain they are crazy. A real prophet is never the life of the party and often stand alone as they offer their opinions. They are called names or just avoided. But they need the body of Christ—so befriend a prophet. They need you. If you know a REAL prophet—pray for them right now. They need you.
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