Isaiah Called to be a Prophet

Robert Moffat, Scottish missionary to South Africa, came back to recruit helpers in his homeland. One night he was very discouraged when there were only ladies in his meeting, as he had chosen as his text Proverbs 8:4, “Unto you, O men, I call.” In his constern … More


In the passage Isaiah recounts his call to the ministry:

  1. He saw the Lord (vv. 1-4) - King Uzziah dies. He had been a godly king, in spite of his sinful intrusion into the priests office ten years prior to his death (2 Chron. 26:18-21). With the death of Uzziah, Isaiah recognized Israel was in trouble, so he went to the temple to cry out to God. God in a vision gave Isaiah a renewed concept of who the Lord was.
  2. He saw himself (v. 5) - Having seen God in the full light of His holiness he sees himself as he really is and says, “Woe is me” (v. 5). His convictions led to confession, and confession led to cleansing (l John 1:9), although, physically, he remained leprous until he died.
  3. He saw the need (vv. 6-8) - There was no doubt that his nation needed the Lord. The Lord wanted someone to minister to the people and so Isaiah volunteered.  He did not discuss his call with the Lord as Moses did (Ex. 3:11) but accepted the appointment immediately and spontaneously - “Here am I; send me” (v. 8). His vision was his commission.
  4. He saw rejection - (vv. 9-13) - His ministry for the most part will fall on deaf ears. However he is to proclaim the Word no matter how people respond for the test is not success but faithfulness.


I want to be the type of person who stands ready to answer the call whenever the Lord speaks to me. Do we need to wait for some kind of personal call as God has already told us “To go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone.” If I am not obeying this command I am not obeying God.

Isaiah 6:1-13 (English Standard Version)

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!" And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for 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 burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for." And 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." And he said, "Go, and say to this people: "'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed." Then I said, "How long, O Lord?" And he said: "Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste, and the LORD removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled." The holy seed is its stump.

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