Here am I; send me

Isaiah 6

Uzziah lived for some time shut up as a leper. The year in which he died was the occasion of one of Isaiah’s visions: that eminent prophet exercised his ministry in this and the next three reigns.

Isaiah 6:1

Isaiah saw the Messiah, as we learn from John 12:41. His glorious apparel and magnificent state filled the Holy of Holies with splendour.

Isaiah 6:2

Above it stood the seraphims:

Those holy ministers stood around the throne of glory, adoring, and waiting as servants to obey their King’s behests:

Milton thus poetically describes a seraph:—

 

“Six wings he wore to shade

His lineaments divine; the pair that clad

Each shoulder broad, came mantling o’er his breast

With regal ornament; the middle pair

Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round

Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold

And colours dipt in heaven; the third his feet

Shadowed from either heel with feathered mail

Sky tinctured grain.”

 

Isaiah 6:5

A sense of the Lord’s presence humbles even the best of men: we cannot see the glory of God and continue to glory in ourselves. Humility is an indispensable preparation for the Lord’s work. Isaiah must first feel his sinfulness before the live coal can touch his lips.

Isaiah 6:6-8

When a man’s lips have felt the sacrificial flame, he is bold to go upon the Lord’s errands, though it were to the world’s end.

Isaiah 6:11, 12

On account of their sin the people could find no blessing in the ministry, but even the voice of God was a savour of death unto death unto them.

Isaiah 6:13

As a tree has life in it when the leaves are gone, so would the nation still live on, to be in due season restored to its former glory.

John 12:37-41

The evangelist John applied these words of Isaiah to the times of our Lord, and in that connection they were solemnly fulfilled.

 

Sovereign Ruler, Lord of all,

Prostrate at thy feet I fall;

Hear, oh, hear my earnest cry;

Frown not, lest I faint and die.

 

Vilest of the sons of men,

Chief of sinners I have been:

Oft have sinn’d before thy face,

Trampled on thy richest grace.

 

Justly might thy fatal dart

Pierce this bleeding, broken heart;

Justly might thy angry breath

Blast me in eternal death.

 

Jesus, save my dying soul;

Make my broken spirit whole;

Humbled in the dust I lie;

Saviour, leave me not to die.

 


Sinful, sighing to be blest,

Bound, and longing to be free,

Weary, waiting for my rest;

“God be merciful to me!”

 

Holiness! I’ve none to plead,

Sinfulness in all I see;

I can only bring my need;

“God be merciful to me!”

 

Broken heart, and downcast eyes,

Dare not lift themselves to thee,

Yet thou canst interpret sighs;

“God be merciful to me!”

 

There is One beside the throne,

And my only hope and plea

Are in him, and him alone;

“God be merciful to me!”

 


Thou art my refuge, Lord, I flee

From other safeguard unto thee;

Now by thy hand of power divine,

Sustain this feeble soul of mine.

 

Uphold my feet, so quick to fail,

And in thy strength I shall prevail;

Go thou before me, lead me on,

Until the heavenly home be won.

 

Thy wisdom every day I prove,

And learn thy endless, quenchless love!

By grace upheld, by grace restored,

Thou knowest that I love thee, Lord.

 


A good High Priest is come,

Supplying Aaron’s place,

And, taking up his room,

Dispensing life and grace.

Woe to the man who dares pretend

His sacrifice with Christ’s to blend.

 

He died; but lives again,

And by the altar stands;

There shows how he was slain,

Opening his piercèd hands.

Our Priest abides; ’tis he alone

Who can for guilty man atone.

 

I other priests disclaim,

And laws, and offerings too,

None but the bleeding Lamb,

The mighty work can do.

Away, ye base pretenders all,

Ere yet the vengeance on you fall!

 


O thou who didst the temple fill

With thy resplendent, awful train,

The glory of thine Israel still,

Appear in those bright robes again.

 

Thrice holy, holy, holy Lord,

Thou art by seraphim adored;

And, while they stand around thy seat,

They veil their faces and their feet.

 

Lord, how can sinful lips proclaim

The honours of so great a name!

O for thine altar’s glowing coal

To touch my lips, to fire my soul!

 

Then, if a messenger thou ask,

A labourer for the hardest task,

Through all my weakness and my fear,

Love shall reply, “Thy servant’s here.”

 


I will praise thee every day!

Now thine anger’s turn’d away,

Comfortable thoughts arise

From the bleeding sacrifice.

 

Jesus is become at length,

My salvation and my strength;

And his praises shall prolong,

While I live, my pleasant song.

 

Raise again the joyful sound,

Let the nations roll it round!

Zion shout, for this is he,

God the Saviour dwells in thee.

 

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