Sight & Sound

Isaiah 6:8 “Then said I, Here am I; send me.”

Before us is probably one of the most familiar and most loved verses out of the book of Isaiah. It is a challenge to the hearts of God’s people to yield in total surrender to the will of their Heavenly Father! While meditating upon various passages within the Word of God, this particular passage fell upon my heart and I paused to open my Bible and read through it again. I too, desire to have my heart softened to the leadership and lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ! As I pondered the events leading up to Isaiah’s declaration of surrender, I begin to notice the importance that sight and sound played upon Isaiah’s decision. It was then that the Holy Spirit reminded me of the monumental affects that sight and sound have upon not only our conversion, but our consecration. In fact, it was not until Isaiah began to see and hear the right things that he was motivated to respond in the right way. When one pauses to carefully meditate upon the events leading up to Isaiah’s surrender, there appears to be three natural divisions of sight and sound.

(I) The Sight and Sound of the Monarch – vs.1-4

Isaiah was experiencing a divine interruption! Previous to this event, it had been church as usual; that is until now. God used the death of Uzziah to cast the scales from Isaiah’s eyes and open his ears to the sovereign Monarch of all things. There was the sight of the Monarch’s Splendor, “sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” Isaiah had been in the presence of royalty before; but none like this. There before him was a majestic monarch upon an elevated canopied throne and the borders of his royal garment fill the temple. Captivated by the splendor, Isaiah remained spellbound until his gaze was interrupted by the sight of the Monarch’s Servants, “Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.” They too were captivated by the splendor of the solitary figure upon the throne! He alone was the object of their attention and the subject of their actions. Suddenly, the sight was followed by the sound of the Monarch’s Worship, “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts.” In an aggressive manner they declared one to the other that the majestic monarch is “Holy.” Their repetitive praise emphasized the sound of the Monarch’s Worthiness, “the whole earth is full of his glory.” Unlike those that have occupied the temporal throne of an earthly suburb, the awesome splendor of this Eternal Monarch has engulfed earth in its entirety! There is none like Him and He alone is worthy.

(II) The Sight and Sound of the Man – vs.5

While the first thing that Isaiah saw and heard generated reverence, the second produced remorse. He could not help but contrast the two; “for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” There before him was the sight of Man’s Corruption, “I am undone . . . I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.” While the sight of the Monarch resulted in worship, the sight of man generated “Woe.” As Isaiah viewed self in the light of the Sovereign he became speechless with respect to man’s defense. Man was corrupt in his fountain, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34) and corrupt in his family, “I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.” The sight is followed by the sound of Man’s Confession, “Then said I, Woe is me.” In a spirit of remorse and lamentation, Isaiah’s heart erupts with the violent utterance of “Oh!” Isaiah has not only been enlightened to his depravity, but the depth of his corrupt nature demands that he express it in light of the splendor of the Monarch!

(III) The Sight and Sound of the Ministry – vs.6-8

But just as there was remorse at the sight and sound of the man in contrast to the monarch, there is rejoicing at the sight and sound of ministry which comes through the experience of ministry; “Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away.” An exuberant spirit now surges through every fiber of Isaiah’s being at the sight of Ministry’s Example, “Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth.” Ministry is all about bringing the sinner into contact with the sacrifice upon the altar. Sin had brought separation, but an acceptable sacrifice would once again give the sinner open access to the Sovereign. Paul emphasized this truth when writing to those of Corinth; “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (II Corinthians 5:20). There was not only the experience of ministry and the example of ministry, but Isaiah would hear the sound of Ministry’s End, “thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” The end of ministry is not only to bring man to, but leave man in righteous state in which his moral perverseness is covered and the habitual acts of sinfulness is beheaded. The heavenly servants have exemplified true ministry as they have brought man into right relationship to God by means of an acceptable sacrifice.

As a result of the sight and sound of the Monarch, the Man, and the Ministry; Isaiah’s remorse has turned to rejoicing! Through no merit of his own, Isaiah occupies a righteous position before a Holy God; “There is therefore now no condemnation” (Romans 8:1). Knowledgeable of the need, “I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”; the object of ministry delights in accepting the opportunity of ministry, “Then said I, Here am I; send me.”