The Revival of a Great Prophet-6
The Speakers and the Listeners-2
It is an amazing truth that a prophet of God also needs continuous cleansing. It is equally astonishing that the prophet of God cries out loud declaring the unworthiness of his unclean lips. Unclean lips come from the unclean heart which is the seat of all evil and wickedness. But we do not know if Isaiah expected a fiery and painful cleansing like that which he experienced in the Throne room. We must realize that God cleanses with fire and not with detergent. This heavenly cleansing is part of the burning off of the wicked tongue which pronounces woe on people without realizing own wickedness and wicked tongue. All preachers ought to take this matter very seriously and live in continuous repentance and cleansing. Along with that, we ought to be fearful of how and for what we might pray because we do not know how God is going to answer our prayers.
God also teaches Isaiah that if he is cleansed and if it subsequently results in a ministry of cleansing the people with God’s Word and His Spirit, then only will there be a spiritual revolution among the people. Often such a spiritual revolution is not taking place among the people of God because of such a revolution, renewal, and revival is not taking place among those whom God has appointed to lead and guide His people.
It is very interesting to see that when a servant of God repented and cried out for cleansing, even the seraphs understood his confession. They were the administrators of grace in the Kingdom of God and they quickly took the initiative to help Isaiah with the cleansing process. It follows that Isaiah’s repentance was acceptable to God. But there was now the need for a painful, complete, radical and dynamic cleansing process for God’s servant to be renewed, refreshed, revitalized and revived. Isaiah understood that God’s cleansing process is not a self-improvement programme, but a God-directed, God-controlled and God-centered holy cleansing programme where the old self is burned off and a renewed preacher emerges in its place.
For every committed and repentant preacher, there is a burning experience waiting for him. God’s live coal is available and ready to cleanse every preacher provided he is ready and willing to go through the process and bear the cost of cleansing. Why the angel is using a tong to pick up the live coal? It is only to show that what is happening is real and an extremely painful process to handle. It will penetrate, pierce, cleanse, bleach and burn off every stain that is inflicted because of sin.
Why the seraph is flying to Isaiah to cleanse him? It shows the swiftness with which the cleansing process is to be attended to so that the tongue can be of maximum usefulness to the Lord for the longest period of time. No cleansing means no ministry and the servant not qualified to minister.
The seraph is given the privilege to declare the administration of cleansing the tongue of the prophet and commission his readiness to minister. He is now declared holy and is given the privilege to attribute holiness to the Lord. It included total healing of the sin sickness of the prophet including his tongue, his eyes and the environment in which he ministered. He is now ready to be recommissioned by the Lord and his ministry renewed.
Finally, the Lord Speaks
The last speaker in this scenario is the Lord who has been quietly watching the story unfolds. He is not in a hurry to speak. He is waiting until His servant is ready and prepared to listen. So the Lord awaits true confession and repentance from His choice servants. As He begins to speak, He has something to say to all of us individually. Why he is tarrying is to see if we confess our sins and iniquities to Him. He doesn’t usually speak to people when they have unconfessed sins in their lives. He waits till the hearts are adequately prepared and moved so that His utterances will create an impact in their hearts. He expects a response from each of his listeners and waits for them to be prepared to respond positively. But how will the people become prepared and ready until their prophets, priests, kings and preachers are prepared and renewed?
The Lord announces a call for willing individuals to obey Him and to be sent by Him. He waits for volunteers who are ready to obey Him no matter the consequence. Whoever is willing to obey Him may come and demonstrate to Him that he is willing to be sent by Him.
The utterance from the Lord underscores the powerful statement of the Trinity. It is the call of the Lord and equally the call of the Triune God who is perfectly united in the call. It has to be taken with the greatest seriousness of those who listen to Him (Isaiah 6:8). Everyone everywhere is included in this call and no one is spared. But it is a general call for which specific response is expected from everyone. Those who have grace will only be able to respond to the call. If only a person is sufficiently moved by the glory of the Lord will he want to serve the Lord and obey His call to go wherever He wants to send him?
It is interesting to see how the Lord didn’t give Isaiah the prerogative to decide where to go and do whatever he wanted to do in serving Him. These are decided by the Sender and the servant’s responsibility it is to go as he is sent wherever the Lord is willing to send him. His mission was to declare whatever the Lord wants which had to be communicated to the people as per His enabling. The servant cannot have his personal agenda or scheme to perpetuate, but it has to be solely the Lord’s programme. The only qualification that the Lord expects for the servant is that He is called, sent and enabled by the Lord. Along with the burning of his tongue, the Lord expects all his earthly qualification to be burned off so that whatever the servant does will be solely directed by the Lord and nothing else. The servant is to come with the motto: “Just As I AM”, totally dependent on the Lord and His resources.
A Two-sided call
The Almighty makes two subtle expressions in this call. First He asks as to whom He shall send. This is the desire and will of the Lord for all His servants. This call is open to all who listen, obey and are available to be sent. It is the divine will to send out those who are willing and volunteering to go. At the same time, the call is open to those who commit themselves to go. The command is not to go for the individual’s own agenda. If they are going, they must go for Him and not for anyone else.
Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord and he responded instantly. He heard the commandment that the servant must go and declare a specific message to the people of God. The message is articulated in specific dimensions. It is a message of warning, correction, reprove and counsel along with consequences for disobedience. It is a message which is to penetrate into the hearts and minds of God’s people to accomplish what the Lord wants in and through their lives.
We see Isaiah in a face to face confrontation with the stark reality of a disobedient nation and their concerned Redeemer. The Redeemer waits patiently for the nation to come back and sends His message for them to return through His servant Isaiah. His message to the present world is also the same. He wants committed, prepared and willing servants to ready themselves to go and preach until at least a remnant will come back to Him with a repentant and broken heart.