Sunday, April 27, 2014

Here Am I, Send Me

 Here am I, Send Me
Isaiah 6:1-8
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!" And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.  So I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts." Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged." Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." 

Isaiah Chapter 6 follows closely behind Chapter 5. In Chapter 5 the sad condition of things described existed in King Uzziah’s reign. In that Chapter, Jehovah God has given to Isaiah the Song of the Beloved. What happened to the beloved Vineyard is true both in the life of an individual and a Nation. God had given the beloved vineyard all the protection and advantages and chances it deserved and required for effective service but it had yielded unworthy and worthless fruit. When God looked for grapes it yielded wild fruits and when God looked for justice, it gave oppression and deprivation. So God had to give the desired and most appropriate reward: death.

That was the situation of Israel during the reign of King Uzziah. Now King Uzziah is dead and Israel is celebrating the fourteenth Jubilee since Israel occupied the land of Canaan. Isaiah, the prophet, a man who has maintained an unhindered relationship with God, was given a vision of the Lord’s glory in contrast to the nation’s shame.

The vision was that of God – the absolute Sovereign Lord, sitting upon a Throne; high and lifted up. Isaiah saw the Seraphim that stood in attendance to the Lord. God made Isaiah to see the vision of the glory of God as set in contrast to the dishonour done to God by the ways and doings of Israel. The effect upon Isaiah was to bring him down before the Lord in the realization of his own natural state and in acknowledgement of his identification with his nation in their evil condition. What a difference it would make if we all would identify ourselves in our natural state and seek that God raises us to where He would want us to be!... And what a difference it would make if we Christians would, like Isaiah, identify with our nation in its evil and deplorable condition!

So should it ever be with us. The more we apprehend the facts and character of the atoning sacrifice of Christ and the glories of His person, the more deeply we realize our own sinfulness. The nearer we are to the Lord the greater the sense of our utter unworthiness. Further, in this our own rightful attitude before Him, we learn to identify ourselves with the condition of those fellow-members of the Body of Christ who have proved unfaithful and have lapsed into evil ways, and to confess their sins, as ours. Only so can we really be prepared to give an effectual testimony. When we confess the sins of others as our own sins we are ready to be used of the Holy Spirit for real blessing among them.

The vision of the glory caused Isaiah to exclaim “Woe is me for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts.” Uzziah had been cut off and had to cover his lips and cry “unclean, unclean” (Leviticus 13:45) Now Isaiah feels himself in like condition spiritually. No man could see God without suffering death (Exodus 33:20). For his contrite heart God gave an immediate remedy – a cleansing from the altar of sacrifice. So will it be with any tonight who in a contrite heart acknowledges his/her sinfulness. There is cleansing and forgiveness in the blood of Jesus Christ.

The whole vision and the divine dealings were the appointed preparation for the solemn testimony he was to deliver. This was not the beginning of his witness. If we are to engage in any particular service for the Lord, we can render it effectively only as we freshly appropriate to ourselves the efficacy of the atoning sacrifice of Christ for the cleansing of our hearts from sin. For each occasion, we must come to the Throne by way of the Cross. We must come to the Mercy Seat (Christ Himself) that we may obtain mercy.

All is now clear and the prophet hears the voice of the Lord saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” The question was directed to the heart of Isaiah, who the Lord had already prepared for the purpose. The response was immediate. Isaiah was standing in unhindered communion with His Master.

Today, there are hearts that God is preparing for service to individuals in the country as well as to this nation. Such hearts must first come to the “Mercy Seat” – Jesus Christ Himself!; By the way of the Cross that they may obtain mercy and cleansing. It is only then that their beclouded hearts and eyes would be cleansed and they would establish an unhindered communion with God their maker. It is only then that they would hear the voice of God calling “Who would I send to the lost sheep – to the teeming millions walking about like sheep without shepherd” Who would go for us? Are you here today and would want to answer “Here am I send me?” or would you want to answer “Here am I send my brother?”

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