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Read Isaiah 6

Isaiah’s Commission

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

He said, “Go and tell this people:

“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
    be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
    make their ears dull
    and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”

11 Then I said, “For how long, Lord?”

And he answered:

“Until the cities lie ruined
    and without inhabitant,
until the houses are left deserted
    and the fields ruined and ravaged,
12 until the Lord has sent everyone far away
    and the land is utterly forsaken.
13 And though a tenth remains in the land,
    it will again be laid waste.
But as the terebinth and oak
    leave stumps when they are cut down,
    so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”

Go Deeper

The word “holy” is defined as “exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness.” Holiness is most accurately defined in who God reveals Himself to be. We see in this chapter that our God is a holy one. The first time the word “holy” is seen in scripture is in Genesis where God blessed the sabbath day and made it “holy”. The seventh day was set apart from all of the other days. Similarly, God is set apart from everything that has ever existed. He is not like us. God’s holiness is core to who He is. He is holy because He is God. 

We see in this chapter that Isaiah has a vision of God. In this vision, God is sitting on His throne, high and lifted up, with the hem of His robe filling the temple. The seraphim, which are angelic beings, covered their faces before God. The only thing the seraphim could say when they were in God’s presence was “holy, holy, holy” is the Lord. The word “holy” isn’t used just once, but three times. This is important because in Hebrew, words are often repeated to show their significance. If a person wanted to emphasize something, it was said multiple times. The seraphim were accentuating the beauty of God’s holiness in a song. 

In this vision, we see Isaiah’s confession, the atonement for his sin, and his commission to prophetic ministry. In the presence of God’s holiness, Isaiah declares “Woe to me! ….“I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty” (v. 5). He is aware of his sin in the presence of God, because he realizes how broken he is in comparison to a God who is holy, righteous, and pure. The seraphim then go and place a hot coal on Isaiah’s lips and say to him, “Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for” (v. 7). Before that took place, Isaiah felt unworthy as a messenger of God. But when he confesses, he is forgiven of all his iniquity. Note that Isaiah could not get rid of his sin on his own, it was only made possible at the altar–the place of sacrifice. From there, the Lord asks who He can send to speak to His people. Isaiah replies “Here I am, send me” (v. 8). There seraphim touched his lips specifically, so that he is able to be an acceptable minister of God’s words. Isaiah is then commissioned to go into prophetic ministry. 

God’s holiness leads to Isaiah’s obedience. When Isaiah got a glimpse of Heaven, it changed everything. This is true of us today. When we fix our eyes on eternity, our perspective shifts to the things that are above. The way we view eternity determines the way we live today. God’s holiness should lead to our trust in Him and our obedience to do whatever He calls us to do, no matter the cost. Heaven is filled with continuous worship of God, as He is high and lifted up on His throne. “Holy, holy, holy” is the song we will sing for all of eternity. He is worthy of our worship, our praise, and our complete devotion every day. Let it be today that we join in on the hymn of Heaven!


  1. What holds you back from saying to God, “Here I am, send me”? 
  2. We are called to be holy because God is holy. What are areas of your life that you lack a pursuit of holiness?
  3. How can you spend time meditating on Heaven every day?

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5 thoughts on “Isaiah 6”

  1. As we grasp God’s holiness, we begin to understand that like Isaiah, we are sinful, and apart from God’s kindness to us we are headed for destruction. In and of ourselves we are incapable of measuring up to his standard of holiness. God’s greatest revelation of his grand plan to rescue us was the sacrifice of Jesus in his death, burial & resurrection. Placing our belief, trust and faith in Christ, our sins are forgiven, and we are called to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth. It’s the ultimate privilege to take up our cross daily and follow him into the world where we don’t go alone, but the Helper goes with us, equipping and enabling us to be pinholes of light in a dark & desperate world.

  2. It makes me want to shout and do all sorts of WOOHOO dances to even think about being before God to be able to praise HIm HOLY HOLY HOLY LORD!! When I read this my mind is crazily thinking why are all “christians” not shouting from the roof tops for the people to not be left behind, we can NOW serve and be in a semi-presence of God ‘Holy Spirit” and worship Him daily with our lives but NOTHING like it will be. I love God with all my heart soul mind and strength to the best of my ability and fall short daily but OH how I LOVE HIM and long to be with HIM!!!! I am sooooooooo excited about worshipping Him and maybe it wont be like I think but what I do know is that it makes me super excited and even while typing this I think well why aren’t you shouting it from the roof tops? Everyday I am working on coming out of my comfort zone of not wanting to (ugg) offend anyone. Even when I woohoo in church, it is not for any man it is because I am truly so excited about GOD but I don’t want to offend someone. I know this is and isnt what chapter 6 is about but when I read about God’s train filling the temple, whoosh I want to be there, I can so visualize what I can only imagine and it makes me WOOHOO!!!!!
    Thank You God for beautiful imagery Your word paints and my brain then sees. Thank You for being able to sing, say and practice HOLY HOLY HOLY now to You LORD God Almighty!!!! I know there will be “work” when You gather us together but the worship will be way better than anything this world has to offer and I know that beyond a doubt and I am so excited to worship You!!! Thank You for being able to open my mouth to tell the world what an awesome Father You are and how they too can be apart of Your family in Jesus name amen

  3. The message Isaiah is commissioned to go and deliver isn’t a fun one. To be a prophet for the Lord means sometimes you’re given a message that’s not easy to share w/ others. What keeps me from sharing with people most often is my fear of man. I’m worried they won’t like what I have to say or they’ll be offended by the Truth. To be obedient, I need my fear of the Lord to be greater than my fear of man, but so often it isn’t.

    I’m reminded in this passage of where an accurate, healthy fear of the Lord comes from; it comes from picturing Heaven w/ seraphim unable to stop praising God’s holiness, eyes covered because they can’t bear to look at His beauty. When I’m reminded of truly how powerful and holy God is, I’m filled with awe. That awe leads me to fear the Lord & obey Him- wherever He sends me.

    To obey God, I need a right understanding of who God is first. That understanding comes from glimpses we get of God like these in Scripture. Praying that as I renew my mind on who God truly is that I will walk in obedience and in the fear of the Lord today.

  4. I’ll never forget the first time I was taught the significance of the phrase, “holy, holy, holy.” While in English we might say, “holy, holier, HOLIEST,” the Hebrew language uses repetition to create the superlative.

    God is indeed, the Holy-EST!”

    Furthermore, as I understand it, holiness is the ONLY attribute of God exalted to this level. Clearly, we are to take very special notice of God‘s holiness.

    As Isaiah goes on to confess and affirm, we are to present ourselves before God that we too may experience this “set-apart-ness.”

    This is such a powerful reminder of the high cost of sin and the significance of righteousness! 2 Timothy 2:21 reminds us, “if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, SET APART, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work” (Emphasis added mine). I want to be both acceptable to God and acceptable for God – useful to the Master, living in such a way that my life honors him and blesses those around me.

    “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

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