Journey Through The Scriptures

Isaiah I

Lesson 2: Isaiah’s Call

(Scripture to Read: Isaiah 5:16:13)

These two chapters of Isaiah are a study in contrasts, built around the six woes of chapter 5 and Isaiah’s plaintive cry, “Woe to me,” after seeing his vision of the Lord (6:5). Isaiah’s long prophetic ministry to Judah involved an announcement of judgment and the future exile of God’s people, and their restoration to the land after the time of exile was ended. Isaiah chose the familiar imagery of a vineyard to describe the nation (Isaiah 3:14; Jeremiah 2:21), whose builder was God Himself (5:7). But even though God did everything to make His vineyard fruitful, in Isaiah’s day it yielded only “bad fruit” (v. 2). The six specific categories of sin that follow the description of the nation detail the ways in which the people were displeasing to God.

In contrast to a people who were insensitive to holy things, Isaiah was awestruck by God’s holy presence. There is another contrast here, although not explicit. King Uzziah acted in pride by usurping the priest’s role, and for his disobedience was banished from the Temple for the rest of his life (2 Chronicles 26:14–21). Isaiah, on the other hand, was able to worship in the Temple. The prophet did not stand aloof from the people and look down on them, but identified with their shortcomings. God provided Isaiah’s cleansing in this dramatic vision, and called him to the difficult work of speaking to a people who would not truly listen. But Isaiah responded immediately with this stirring answer, “Here am I. Send me!” (6:8). Generations of God’s people have been motivated by the prophet’s readiness to do God’s will!

Study Questions

  1. What would be the effect of God removing the hedge from Israel (5:5)?
  2. Who is being described in the disturbing images of Isaiah 5:2630?
  3. Why did the seraphs in Isaiah’s vision use two of their wings to cover their eyes?
  4. Despite the people’s refusal to listen to Isaiah, what reminder of God’s mercy to Israel does the prophet record in 6:13?

Something to Think About

I cannot help but reflect on the many ways that Fellowship friends like you have also answered the biblical call to bless Israel with your own response of commitment through The Fellowship: “Here I am. Send me!” May God bless you for what you are doing.