Isaiah Responds to God’s Call
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.
In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah was permitted in vision to look into the holy place, and into the holy of holies in the heavenly sanctuary. The curtains of the innermost sanctuary were drawn aside, and a throne high and lifted up, towering as it were to the very heavens, was revealed to his gaze. An indescribable glory emanated from a personage on the throne, and His train filled the temple, as His glory will finally fill the earth. Cherubim were on either side of the mercy seat, ... and they glowed with the glory that enshrouded them from the presence of God.... These holy beings sang forth the praise and glory of God with lips unpolluted with sin.
The contrast between the feeble praise which he had been accustomed to bestow upon the Creator and the fervid praises of seraphim astonished and humiliated the prophet. He had, for the time being, the sublime privilege of appreciating the spotless purity of Jehovah’s exalted character.... In the light of this matchless radiance, that made manifest all he could bear in the revelation of the divine character, his own inward defilement stood out before him with startling clearness. His very words seemed vile to him.
Thus when the servant of God is permitted to behold the glory of the God of heaven, as He is unveiled to humanity, and realizes to a slight degree the purity of the Holy One of Israel, he will make startling confessions of the pollution of his soul, rather than proud boasts of his holiness. In deep humiliation Isaiah exclaimed, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips.” ...
This is not that voluntary humility and servile self-reproach that so many seem to consider it a virtue to display. This vague mockery of humility is prompted by hearts full of pride and self-esteem. There are many who demerit themselves in words, who would be disappointed if this course did not call forth expressions of praise and appreciation from others. But the conviction of the prophet was genuine.... How could he go and speak to the people the holy requirements of Jehovah? ...
While Isaiah was trembling and conscience-smitten, because of his impurity in the presence of this unsurpassed glory, he says, “Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having 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. 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.”—The Review and Herald, October 16, 1888.
From Reflecting Christ - Page 339