Isaiah saw the Holiness of God and His response was humility because he realized he did not deserve, nor could he earn to be in the presence of God. “Woe is me” is the only thing Isaiah could say because he knew that he deserved death because he was a sinner in front of a Holy God. God did not leave Isaiah where he was but God took away his sin and his guilt something that Isaiah could not remove on his own accord. Because of the mercy and grace of God our response should be lives that are Holy because God is Holy.
Many people are looking for purpose for their lives and many people ask questions like what is my purpose, why do I live in this city and why am I at this job? God has bigger purposes for us than just the temporary situation we are in right now and God has a bigger purpose than making our short lives on this earth better. Isaiah experience with a Holy God and the forgiveness and mercy he received made him see that his life is not what is important but the assignment to do whatever God has asked of him.
Assignment: trusting someone with a certain task or responsibility.
God has given us all an assignment that He is entrusting us with and because of that all of us have a purpose for our lives that goes beyond this world and that will last for all eternity.
Isaiah 6:8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
1) The Assignment is from God
“Who shall I send and Who will go for us? This is plural because it is God speaking to the Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and some say even those who are gathered around His throne. The word “Send” is used because an assignment or task has to be done on God’s behalf. Do you see yourself as being sent by God to go to others for Him or do you just see God as someone who should bless your life? Christians have always been known to be sent people.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
These verses are known as the great commission or command from Jesus. Barna Research says that 51% of church goers do not know the term the Great Commission. The great commission is just our assignment from Jesus Himself and we need to know it.
- A) Make disciples by telling them about Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on our behalf.
- B) Baptizing which is a time when people declare their loyalty to Jesus in public
- C) Teaching them how to live as a follower of Christ.
This is the responsibility of every person who calls themselves as Christian not just for those who are in full time Christian ministry.
2) The Assignment has to be accepted
“Here am I send me” It was after Isaiah realized how full of sin he was and after he received the grace and mercy from God by having his sins taken away that it did not matter what God asked him to do he was going to do it. Today we hear mostly about how God is going to bless me so instead of “Here am I send me” we say “We say Here am I bless me” The reason for this is because we have the wrong view of God and the wrong view of ourselves.
Instagram Christian pages sound like fortune cookies. Here are a few examples of what Christianity has turned into.
“There’s about to be a shift in your life. Get ready for your blessings. You’ve been through enough and a breakthrough is on the way.”
“God has not forgotten about you. You are next in line for a miracle. Claim it and receive it.”
“That job application that you thought has been overlooked, has been approved! Expect a call any day now! Get ready for your blessings and breakthrough.”
“I speak abundant blessings over your life. I speak unusual favor that will promote you to the next level of your destiny. I declare that open doors and opportunities this weekend will chase you down. Type “It’s my season.”
One of these sights on Instagram is from trustgodbro and has 1.3 million followers ant giftofgod_jesus has 18 thousand followers. Because of these false teachings about God existing for us even Christianity has turned into a group that no longer comes to serve God but looks for God to serve and bless them. All these sayings are about me not about others or the will of God other than if it is Gods will to bless me. Jesus said everything boils down to love God and love others as yourself. (Matt 22:37-40)
Isaiah does not hesitate and at this moment and he does not even know the assignment that God will give him because it did not matter because God forgave him of his sins. Isaiah went from being a spectator of the Heavenly vision to being an active participant. Is your response to God “Yes Lord” or “tell me what you want and I’ll let you know Lord?” One of the ways to make sure you respond properly to God is to first understand the grace and mercy that you received and that will only happen as you understand the Holiness of God. You will serve God more willingly when you focus on His love, mercy and grace after you realize the separation you had from God because of your sin.
Isaiah 6:9-13 And he said, “Go, and say to this people, “‘Keep on hearing,[a] but do not understand; keep on seeing,[b] but do not perceive.’10 Make the heart of this people dull,[c]and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.” 11 Then I said, “How long, O Lord?” And he said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste,12 and the Lord removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. 13 And though a tenth remains in it, it will be burned[d] again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.” The holy seed[e] is its stump.
3) The Assignment does not always have positive results
“Keep on hearing but not understand” Jesus quoted this passage in Matthew 13:13-15. The people that Isaiah was trying to warn had become so spiritually dull that they no longer could hear what God was trying to say to them but Isaiah was supposed to keep telling them. God was giving the people every opportunity so that when they denied Him and spent eternity separated from Him they could only blame themselves. Hearing the word of God is never a neutral exercise it’s either positive or negative. According to the Bible the hardening of the heart comes from God and the individual. Does God harden hearts? Yes and do people harden their own hearts? Yes.There is nothing in the Isaiah passage or the passage from Jesus that says people did not have an opportunity to repent but it does say the more they hear and the more they see the less likely they will repent and be healed. What happens is over time and the longer you ignore the word of God the more callous you will become toward it therefore hardening your heart.
Telling others about Jesus Christ also becomes a judgment against them just like a speed limit sign becomes a judgment against the one speeding. God was telling Isaiah that he is going to have the opposite reaction that Jonah experienced. Jonah told them to repent and they did but God warned Isaiah you will tell them and they will not listen, at least not all of them. Our job is to speak the truth no matter what the outcome.
Mark 4:3-9 Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Our Job according to 1 Corinthians 3:6 is to plant and water. Maybe you have been sharing about Jesus Christ with family or with coworkers and friends and you have not seen the results you would like. Your job is to be faithful and keep sharing.
“Yahweh is determined to maintain his integrity and holiness. To be sure, healing is graciously offered, but only on divine terms and in God’s way. If these are rejected, then neither the prophet nor the ongoing prophetic ministry of the church has any right to modify the message of judgment until its terms are acceptable to a human audience.” (Isaiah, John L. Mackay, Pg 180)
How long, Lord? God has given the people many chances to repent of their sin but because they continued to ignore Him and His warnings His wrath will be poured out on them from armies He will send. Isaiah wants to know how long this is going to last. This is not him backing down from his assignment but a concern for the people and the destruction they are getting ready to face. How much time do I have Lord to share your truth? God will pour out his wrath because of the rebelliousness of the people but God always does so with a hope for the future Some assignments last longer than others but we know wherever God has assigned us that He has a purpose and a plan for what we are doing. We cannot be so result oriented that we deny what God has called us to do. You may be in a “how much longer Lord”, place in your life but know that your job is to be faithful to Him and faithful to your assignment because judgement is coming.
4) Our Assignment has eternal significance
“The Holy Seed is its stump” God reminds Isaiah that He has not forgotten the promise of the messiah to come and take away the sin and guilt of everyone. The Holy seed is the promise God gave in the garden (Gen3:15) and again to Abraham(Gen 22:18) that Jesus would come and take away our sins.
Judgment of God is coming and the only ones that will remain are the ones who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It will be total destruction for everything and everyone else. We need to make sure that we are focused on what is most important and that is things that will last for eternity. Your job, your sports career, your bank account and your house do not matter unless they are used for eternal purposes.
Matthew 6:19-21 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Have you ever asked yourself why you are following Jesus? Are you following Him for what He can do for you physically or are you following Him for what He can do for you spiritually? Isaiah’s life was changed because no matter what he faced he knew his sin and guilt was removed so that he could be in the presence of a Holy God. Many people follow Jesus as long as the miracles are right and the food keeps coming but as soon as He does not do those things then they walk away. We are called to an assignment with eternal significance because peoples eternal lives are at stake simply because they accept or reject the good news of Jesus Christ. Never underestimate the importance of your assignment no matter how difficult it may be. Your family, work, school, neighborhood and extracurricular activities are not just things you do but are assignments by God with eternal significance. Isaiah understands what you are going through and you may even be asking “How long” but for their sake hang in there and keep planting seeds in their lives.