By Vance Drum
Sunday was Installation Sunday at Sunset, and we were blessed to install four new elders and deacons on the Sunset Board, praise the Lord.
The pastor brought a message, “Here Am I. Send Me,” about the call of the great prophet Isaiah, from Isaiah 6:8: The Lord said, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And [Isaiah] said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Did you ever have a job that needed somebody — a volunteer — to step up to the plate and do? If anything gets done in the world, somebody is putting forth their time, energy, money and other resources to get the job done.
The pastor made four points: (1) Isaiah’s Vision; (2) Isaiah’s Response; (3) God’s Remedy; (4) God’s Commission.
(1) Isaiah’s Vision. It was crisis time in Jerusalem. Good King Uzziah had died, after reigning 52 years and doing “what was right” in the eyes of the Lord [2 Chronicles 26].
Now there was a power vacuum, and God needed someone to speak His word to his people. Isaiah wrote, “I saw the Lord, seated on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of his robe filled the temple.” God in the vision was exalted, almost inapproachable.
Angels were flying back and forth and calling to each other: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” God is set apart from us—he is holy. The voices of the angels shook the temple; it was filled with smoke—an awe-inspiring scene.
(2) Isaiah’s Response. Isaiah saw this, and was filled with terror: v5, “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.” Isaiah realized that he had been in the presence of the most holy God, and that he — Isaiah — was very unholy, and lived among unholy people.
(3) God’s Remedy. When God has a job for us to do, he will always provide grace to do it. One of the angels flew to him, v6, “with a live coal in his hand…. With it he touched my mouth and said, ‘See, this has touched your lips, your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.’”
Isaiah was a man who worshipped and served God. He was a sinner, as we all are, and he was terrified as a sinful man to be in the presence of a holy God. God knew that, so he provided forgiveness for Isaiah’s sins, so that Isaiah could be the kind of holy spokesman for God that he needed to be.
When God calls us, he equips us to fulfill our calling. Where He guides, he provides.
(4) God’s Commission. What was God’s commission for Isaiah? It was not an easy task. It was to speak for the Lord to a rebellious people. God said, V9: “Go and tell this people: ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving….”
The people’s hearts were spiritually dull because of their long practice of rebellion against God. Sometimes we think we can run our lives well without any guidance from our Maker. Sad mistake!
Isaiah said, “For how long, O Lord?” God replied: “Until cities lie ruined and without inhabitant….” Until there’s no one left to preach to.
God has called us to do our work in his field here. God’s work has always been challenging. He will always provide grace to get the job done.
God calls us to be faithful, not necessarily to succeed in what the world sees as success.
Leadership makes a difference. Isaiah and the good King Hezekiah in prayer held off the Assyrian army at the gates of Jerusalem.
We may do the same as we act and speak for God in our generation in Houston County and America.
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.” [1 Timothy 1:12]
May God who calls us also equip us to do his will — our prayer for you from your friends at Sunset Christian Church.