Then 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 6:8 (AMP)
What led to the declaration of these words? It all started with Isaiah’s primary vision. Isaiah saw God. This was no shallow or superficial view of God. He had a spectacular revelation or disclosure of God being the absolute and supreme ruler and king. This vision of God’s sovereignty was strongly accompanied by seeing God as both being holy and glorious!
I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple… Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts… The whole earth is full of His glory. Isaiah 6:1-3 (NASB)
Greg Haslam, in his book A Radical Encounter With God, says this:
We must rid ourselves of all degraded and diminished concepts of God. If we, as a Church, are to become a force to be reckoned with in the earth then we must see afresh what God is really like.
Following on from his primary vision of God, Isaiah experienced a personal vision. That was where he saw himself warts and all. When Isaiah saw the Lord, he instantly realized that there were problems within his own heart. In verse 5, Isaiah succinctly related his own response to seeing God in his glory.
“Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King and the LORD of hosts. Isaiah 6:5 (NASB)
Isaiah didn’t go, “Wow is me!” He said, “Woe is me.” “Woe” is not really a word you would hear often today as it has almost vanished from our language. But for the Old Testament prophets it was a potent weapon in their arsenal of words and preceded the most serious of announcements. Even Jesus used it of the teachers of the law and the Pharisees. Isaiah’s outward respectability crumbled as he saw his inner decadence. But God forgave him and made him totally clean.
It was then that he perceived the people vision and uttered the following words:
And then I heard the voice of the Master:
“Whom shall I send?
Who will go for us?”
I spoke up,
He said, “Go and tell this people…” Isaiah 6:8-9 (MSG)
Isaiah wanted to be the answer to God’s question. How about us? God is still looking for people who have been so moved by His majesty, and have experienced His mercy on a personal basis, that they will be eager to join in His mission.