Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
1. Isaiah, about 740 BCE, has a vision wherein he saw the LORD (Yahweh) sitting on a throne, which is set in the most majestic sort of Temple, where he also saw seraphim, or flames, that had great power.
2. The seraphim called to one another, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” The holiness of God is set above all the glories of God and it is this holiness by which we know God.
3. Isaiah then, beholding this incredible otherness cries out “Woe is me!” This is always the first experience we have when suddenly we behold the absolute holiness of God, which is intended to lead us to repentance as we behold the awfulness of our sin.
4. Isaiah’s guilt and shame are removed by the burning coal delivered by a seraphim, that flame, that burns away and forever our sin: our sin is atoned for and completely taken away.
5. Isaiah can now respond to the question, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (notice the plural “us”) Isaiah responds, “Here I am! Send me.”
6. The LORD then provides the message Isaiah is to proclaim. Then He tells him his ministry will fail as no one, or very few, will listen and obey. Isaiah is shocked and asks how long will the rejection go on.
7. The LORD’S answer is enigmatic, mysterious indeed, as to the question “how long” yet Isaiah learns that despite it all there will be what we call a remnant, or a tenth, that will emerge out of the devastation. This is the holy seed, which has been identified over the centuries as the real Israel, the Church called out and redeemed by God alone.