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Volume 30 - Page 89 of 179 Index | Zoom | |
The Prophetic Vision and Commission (6:).
pp. 169 - 176
While we do not suggest that one chapter of this mighty prophecy may be of greater
importance than another, because to do so would merely be comparison according to our
view of what is important, we can assert that Isa. 6: contains material demanding
profound attention. The chapter marks a spiritual crisis in the prophet's own life; it
throws light upon the purpose of the ages; it contains a passage that is quoted by the
Lord at the time of his rejection by Israel in the Land (Matt. 13:), and by Paul at Rome of
Israel in the dispersion (Acts 28:). Moreover it concludes with a pledge of Israel's
restoration couched in terms that demand careful analysis.
First we will examine the chapter to discover its place in the ministry of the prophet.
Are we to understand that after he had uttered the prophecies of chapters 1:-5:, he saw
the vision of Isa. 6: and confessed his uncleanness? That is the considered opinion of
some. We learn from the opening verse of chapter 1: that Isaiah's prophetic ministry
was exercised in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. The total period of
the last of these three reigns is sixty-one years, so that it is extremely improbable that
Isaiah prophesied during many years of the first of the three. There are scriptural reasons
for believing that this sixth chapter of Isaiah discloses the call and commission of the
prophet, and that that call was received in the last years of Uzziah's reign.
If we compare the account of this call with the features that are recorded in connection
with the call and commission of Jeremiah and of Ezekiel, we shall find confirmation of
the opinion that Isa. 6: is the initiatory vision of the prophet's commission. Let us see
JEREMIAH'S COMMISSION.--The touched lips. "Then the Lord put forth His
hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold I have put My words in
thy mouth" (Jer. 1: 9).
EZEKIEL'S COMMISSION.--The Cherubim. "The word of the Lord came
expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the
river Chebar . . . . . the likeness of four living creatures . . . . . every one had . . . . . four
wings" (Ezek. 1: 3-6).
ISAIAH'S COMMISSION.--The touched lips and the Seraphim (Isa. 6: 1-7).
It is probable that the vision of Isa. 6: was not made public during the lifetime of
Isaiah; it was initially for his personal satisfaction and was not made known until the
whole of Isaiah's prophecies were written. In the same way we do not read in Acts 9:
what the Lord said to Paul himself on that occasion, but only what the Lord said to
Ananias about Paul, the actual words uttered by the Lord to Paul himself not being made
known until Paul was imprisoned (Acts 26: 16).