I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne … Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:1,8 (NIV)
by Paul D. Bramson
The Lord called Isaiah to look in four directions.
Look upward. Isaiah saw the King of glory seated upon a throne, and heard the seraphim proclaiming, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (6:1-3)
Look inward. Experiencing the indescribable splendor and intense purity of God’s presence caused Isaiah to confess his own sin and shame, and that of his guilty and defiled nation. (6:4-5)
Look forward. Foreshadowed by an innocent lamb ablaze on the altar, and fulfilled seven centuries later by the sinless sin-bearing Lamb of God on the cross, Isaiah’s guilt was taken away and his sin atoned for. (6:6-7; 53:5-7)
Look outward. Then the voice of the Lord called out on behalf of the Triune God, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Isaiah volunteered and the Lord commissioned him to broadcast His way of righteousness to a spiritually dull and blind people. (6:8-13; 51:1-8)
Next, the Lord foretold how the Messiah would come to earth and who he would be. “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (7:14) In this prophecy, God revealed in a single word the heart and theme of his Word from Genesis to Revelation:
And who was it that Isaiah saw exalted on the throne? The gospel of John tells us: “Isaiah … saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about HIM.” (John 12:41)
This Christmas season, may we not miss Jesus’ call to see HIM, display his glory, and declare his gospel in our dark and defiled world.