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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

HERE AM I, SEND ME

Isaiah 6:8 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.

Chapter 6, of this great book of prophecy, tells of the calling of Isaiah as God's prophet to Israel. As verse one indicates, Isaiah's calling began after the death of King Uzziah, approximately in the year 740 B.C. A vision of God came to Isaiah and he saw God sitting on His throne. Above God were seraphim. These angelic or celestial beings are mentioned only here in the sixth chapter of Isaiah. They had three pairs of wings; with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet and with two they flew through the air. In this vision, they seem to have the task of conducting the worship of God in heaven. The root word of seraphim means "to burn with fire". Hence, seraphim are thought to have a flaming appearance that corresponds to their role in purification. It is appropriate, then, that one of these celestial beings took hot coals from the alter and purified the lips of Isaiah as noted in verses six and seven.

This purification resulted from Isaiah's confession of his sins when he 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 (vs. 5). This confession seems to have resulted from Isaiah's vision as he came into the presence of God. And in God's holy presence, Isaiah realized his sinful condition. It was at this time that one of the seraphim flew over and took a live coal from the ever-burning alter, touched the lips of Isaiah, and said to him, behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged (vs. 7).

In God's quest for a prophet to send to His erring people, Israel, He asks, Whom shall I send, and who will go with us? Isaiah's reply was the lesson text, Here am I! Send me. God answered, Go and tell this people... . Isaiah was commissioned by God to take His message of salvation to Israel. The message, as told in the balance of Chapter 6, was that, with their present, arrogant attitude, Israel would hear, but not understand, see but not perceive. When asked by Isaiah, Lord, how long this would continue, God's reply was, Until the cities are laid waste an without inhabitant, ...and, the land is utterly desolate. Only a small percentage, a tenth, of the Israelites would hear, believe, and obey Isaiah's message from God. The remnant of Israel was small, but it was through the, still prospering tribe of Judah, that the promised lineage of Jesus Christ would be preserved.

It seems the children of Israel refused to hear the voice of God on many occasions. David makes reference to one incident as they were returning from Egyptian bondage. He wrote in Psalm 95:7-9, ...today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness, when your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My work. Many, many passages could be cited, in both the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, how mankind has refused to hear the voice of God.

Not only did God speak to His people in previous ages, He speaks to us today in the Christian dispensation. In Matthew 17 we find the description of the transfiguration of Christ is recorded. It was here that God spoke these words about His Son Jesus Christ. In verse five we find the voice of God coming out of a cloud saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye Him. Jesus taught great truths in His Sermon on the Mount, and in many other teachings recorded in the Bible. Jesus also commissioned the apostles, and other disciples, to teach the word of God as they were lead by the Holy Spirit.

God's voice is just as relevant today as it was during the days of the call of Abraham. His voice is just as relevant as the Psalms of David and the Proverbs of Solomon, or just as relevant as the call of His Son, Jesus Christ. His voice is just as relevant as the call of Peter and the other apostles on the day of Pentecost, and as relevant as the call of Paul, the apostle, of Cornelius, of the Philippian jailer, or of Lydia and her household. The voice of God is as close as our Bible. He is calling you and me into His service. Like Isaiah, we need to hear His voice and obey His commands. We need to reply, Here am I, send me!