Isaiah 6: Isaiah-The LORD’s Prosecuting Attorney.
Like all true prophets, Isaiah stood in the council chamber of the Glory-Presence, when he saw the LORD and received His word (v. 1 Cf. Jn. 12:41; Rev. 4:2-3; 21:11). Here the seraphim served, as one called out, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” (vv. 2-3 Cf. Nu. 14:21; Ps. 72::18-19; Ezek 1:11; Rev. 4:8) The place shook and the house was filled with smoke (v. 4). Isaiah roots this event at a specific time in history-the death of king Uzziah in 740 BC. This is the same Uzziah who was stricken with leprosy when he presumed to be able to also serve as a priest by offering incense before the altar of the LORD (II Chron. 26:16-23). Sinful pride was his downfall. Other kings would turn to other gods, but Uzziah’s sin was in thinking he could serve at the altar when he had not been called to do so (v. 16). It was at this time that Isaiah saw that the tabernacle and temple on this earth was only a copy of-“the Lord sitting on His throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.” (v. 1)
Isaiah also got a revelation of himself in this encounter. He was an undone man with unclean lips, living in the midst of a people with unclean lips, for his eyes had seen the King, “the LORD of hosts.” (v. 5 Cf. Ex. 6:12, 30) Then one of the seraphim (or “burning one) touched his lips with a hot coal and proclaimed his sin purged. Isaiah knew that the words of he and the people were nothing but iniquity as he stood in the council of the Glory-Presence of the LORD. It was the purification from the heavenly altar that would make him acceptable as a minister of the word of the LORD (vv. 6-7 Cf. Jer. 1:9; Dan. 10:16). Isaiah then heard the voice of the LORD saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (v. 8) To this Isaiah offered up himself saying, “Here I am! Send me.” He knew he was now ready. “The LORD invited Isaiah to listen in on the sessions of the royal, heavenly court. From this moment on Isaiah is a servant of God’s court and proclaims God’s message to kings and people alike (cf. I Kin. 22:19, 20; Jer. 23:18, 22)” (NGSB, p. 1033)
We cannot be sure at this point if the message Isaiah was given was really one he wanted to deliver. How many today, even in the reformed biblical community, say only preach the gospel of forgiveness and peace. But why preach forgiveness if the people do not see their sinful condition or need? However, this message even seems to go further-the LORD did not want them to see or hear, otherwise they would “return and be healed.” (vv. 9-10) We also see this finding fulfillment in the new covenant era (Cf. Mt. 13: 14-15; Mk. 4:12; 6:1-6; Lk. 8:10; Jn. 12:40; Acts 7:51; 28:26-27; Rom. 10:1-4; 11:8). The purpose seems to be that it was the LORD’s will that the remnant alone should be saved. The cities would be laid waste and men removed from the desolate land, until all that remained was the stump of “the holy seed.” (vv. 11-13 Cf. 5:9; Dt. 7:6; Mic. 3:12) From a stump a terebinth or oak tree could sprout again. This is the remnant, a tenth or tithe offering, as it were, so that even Isaiah could deliver some hope.