Vision and Mission

KEY VERSE: “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


OUR lesson concerns the Lord’s appointment of Isaiah to be one of his special servants, a prophet to the nation of Israel. We believe the vision described in the first four verses reveals to the prophet the exceeding greatness and glory of the Lord. This vision was in the setting of the Temple, with the interposing veils removed to allow him to have an unobstructed view into the Holiest of Holies. In the vision he was able to discern the wonderful character of God, and the manifestation of his attributes in his dealings with the nation of Israel and eventually to the whole world of mankind in the kingdom.

This glorious vision of the Lord overwhelmed the prophet, causing him to realize how much higher were God’s thoughts than his. He was humiliated because of his own smallness in the sight of God’s glory, and by the standard of righteousness, justice, and love revealed to him, he became aware of his own sinfulness. He was greatly dismayed.

The effect of the vision on the prophet apparently was what the Lord wanted to see, for he immediately had one of the seraphims take “a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” (Isa. 6:6,7) This does not mean that Isaiah received justification in the sense that a Christian receives justification during the Gospel Age. The justification of the Christian results from faith in the application of the blood of Christ, which produces sonship. The justification of Isaiah and all the other faithful servants of the Lord in the prior ages resulted from their faith in God “to believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6) God then accepted them as servants.—Heb. 3:1-6

The live coal placed on Isaiah’s lips pictured his cleansing and acceptance by the Lord. Having come into this relationship, the Lord gave Isaiah a portion of the Holy Spirit so that he could understand and carry out the instructions that would be given to him. Isaiah was then asked if he was willing to perform this dangerous and very unpopular service, and Isaiah responded, “Then said I, Here am I, send me.” (Isa. 6:8) This is the heartfelt response of all the Lord’s people in any age who have been privileged to see the vision of God’s plans and purposes.

Because of their continued disobedience, the Lord instructed Isaiah to deliver this message to the nation of Israel, “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.” (Isa. 6:9,10) These texts are quoted several times in the New Testament with the application being made to the Jews of that time. “In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your. ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”—Matt. 13:14-17

The Apostle Paul, in discussing Israel’s position with the Lord at the beginning of the Gospel Age, stated, “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” (Rom. 11:25-27) The apostle explains further, speaking to the Gentiles, “For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief.”—vs. 30

Dawn Bible Students Association
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