Isaiah 6 paints a beautiful picture of God’s majesty. After King Uzziah died in 740 B.C., about 18 years before the Assyrians would conquer the northern kingdom of Israel, Isaiah saw the true King magnificently surrounded by angels. Isaiah is stunned at God’s Holiness and his own sinfulness. In response Isaiah confesses his own sins and the sins of the people. Isaiah receives the comfort of atonement and responds to God’s invitation for someone to go as His representative to the people. When Isaiah accepts the invitation, God gives a message of judgement to proclaim to Israel, which I would paraphrase: keep ignoring your senses.
How have they ignored their senses? They have ignored the warnings of prophets, their moral declension, and the ways their internal strife has weakened them as a nation. Isaiah wants to know, then, how long he will have to carry such an antagonistic message. God informs Isaiah his task will be long, and much sorrow will accompany his work. Cities will be destroyed, houses vacated, and God’s people exiled until a remnant set aside to continue God’s purposes will be all that remain.
Isaiah is tasked with delivering terrible news to the people he loves. It will be Isaiah’s vision of God’s glory at the beginning of this chapter that sustains Him in this labor. Let me ask, then, “Do you have clarity about the greatness of God’s glory?” Such clarity and wonder at God will sustain us in hard times and in any hard work God gives us.