A Commission that Demands an Urgent Response

Last Sunday was called a Bloody Sunday: 9 dead, 6 arrested in Calabarzon crackdown on activists. Different reactions came across the social media. Others said that there is a need for United Nations countries to address the deterioration of human rights in the Philippines. But this happened two days after the Philippine President commissioned the police and soldiers to kill or “finish off” communist insurgents in all encounters. They carried this commission with urgency because it is a mandate given to them by the President. In the same way, Christians humbled by grace have a greater duty coming from their Sovereign Master that demands an urgent response.

Isaiah 6:8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

We have learned what Isaiah’s vision of the LORD means on our previous studies. The second portion of the chapter tells us that those who received God’s forgiveness have a certain purpose, to bring His message to the world. Truly, we are not saved to live on our own but to live for God and to advance His Kingdom.

It is God’s commission (an instruction, command, or duty given to a person or group of people) for Isaiah & for ministers of God.

What are the characters of the LORD’s commission?

  1. A commission that demands an urgent response – The calling of the messenger v. 8
  2. A commission that carries a serious message – The message of the messenger v. 9  (next month)
  3. A commission that serves the divine purpose – The assurance for messenger v. 10 (next month)


Before we get overwhelmed with the heavy content of the message, let us see first the calling of the messenger.

Message: The commission of the Sovereign Master demands an urgent response from His humbled messenger.

Why there must be an urgent response when the LORD calls us? It is a call from the Sovereign Master and His humbled messenger will certainly obey.

The Sovereign Master

This is the character of the Caller. He heard the voice of the One whose holy and splendid character was revealed before His eyes. The One whose glory flashed before His eyes now speaks.

A call with Authority

Then I heard the voice of the Lord... 

Note the shift of term, Lord – Adonai –(same in v.1). It is a title of reverence (to substitute for the sacred Name YHWH which is God’s proper name – the Self-existent One). Now he referred to HIM Lord as Master or Owner with authority who has a command that must be obeyed by a slave (Gen 15:2 – first usage, Abram addresses God as Adonai YHWH). It is a conversation between a master and a servant.

Since it is the Sovereign Master who calls him with absolute supremacy, the next words have a tone of authority and not a mere suggestion.

A call for Obedience

“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

Obedience to the Triune God. Consider the use of the plural word “let us”. Some say it is a plural of consultation (1 Kgs 22:19–23). But the shift of the pronoun from singular to plural is so remarkable that it excludes any other being different that is not God.

We see here a glimpse of the plurality of the person of the Godhead (Gen 1:26, and Threefold Holy God, my Lords – Hebrew word Adonai plural of adoni)

The next verse is quoted 4 times in the New Testament.  In John 12:40-41 John says that Isaiah saw Jesus. In Acts 28:25-27, Luke says the Holy Spirit spoke through Isaiah. So, in this chapter we see the Triune God present in commissioning Isaiah.

The point is When you are confronted by the One True God, obedience must be the cry of your soul.

Obedience as the only valid response. Some interpret it to mean that God has some questions that he couldn’t answer: God has some questions of His own, ones that He cannot answer but we can!

However, this is a rhetorical question directed to Isaiah which means there is no other valid response but to obey the Master who called him. And those who truly hear God’s word will respond positively. This is the LORD’s supreme authority. This is echoed by Jesus’ mandate to His disciples (Mat 28:18). Before He commanded them to make disciples, he says that “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.…”

When we hear the voice of the Sovereign Master and LORD, it is not a suggestion that you need to think about, but a mandate that must be carried out.

This is the problem of some churches today, they received Christ as Savior but they won’t receive Him as LORD. The LORD has an unchallenged sovereignty and His call must be obeyed.

Since the LORD Himself is the One who called, what should be our response?

This scene has changed Isaiah’s life forever. Isaiah first saw the Lord from afar (1), but now he is near enough to hear the call of the LORD; he had once been ‘silenced’ by sin and was unable to speak because of His sin (5) but as a redeemed sinner he is now free to speak.

The Humbled Messenger

This is the response of the Called. Seeing all the things that God revealed about Himself and hearing the authoritative voice of the LORD, how did Isaiah respond? Let us also observe that humbled messenger saved by grace is the qualification for the call not fame, wealth, intellect, or anything.

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

An immediate response

As soon as the heard the voice of the LORD, which he only saw, now as forgiven servant, he was given ears to hear, he responded, And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Having seen the Almighty, he was prepared for the ministry.

This is the same response that Samuel had when He heard the voice of the LORD in 1 Sam 3:4.

The Hebrew is not specific in this. But whichever translation you have in English, there are two ways the single Hebrew word hin·nî is translated. ‘Here I am’ emphasizes the location. ‘Here am I’ emphasises you in contrast with others. This means that Isaiah is in the presence of God and he seem to say that if no one else does, behold! I am ready.

A deliberate response

At first, we have seen him seeing His own wretchedness, but when His sin was atoned for, he became bold to present himself to be commissioned by the LORD.

When He heard the voice of the LORD, he responded affirmatively without any question. At first, he cared less as to the content of his commission, what important is to obey the One who commissioned him.

Walter Kaiser observes in his book “The Majesty of God in the Old Testament” that, He did not argue with God as Moses did, nor does he ask for further signs as Gideon did. He is more than ready; and it is more than an honor to do whatever God wants him to do. When someone of a high position calls us, we respond with urgency: an immediate and deliberate response.

The call of the LORD as a master with absolute authority demands immediate and deliberate response.

Have you responded to His call? When you read the Bible today, it is the Word of God, don’t read it like a mere story book! It bears authority and the command must be obeyed! You don’t need to worry about your status, or your background. If you have been forgiven, you are enabled by grace to obey.

We don’t need to be a prophet or a preacher to bring the message. If you are like Isaiah who experienced God’s forgiveness, who have seen the dangerous situation of humanity, and who have seen His Holiness, despite our frailty, we are messengers. All of the redeemed has a message to bring to the world, what is the message that you are bringing to the world? Is it all about yourself? Are you faithful in communicating the message of the LORD to the world?

What a beautiful sequence in this narrative: a vision of the enthroned LORD... it leads to Isaiah’s awareness of his sinfulness... which leads to hearing the Lord call for a messenger, which leads to Isaiah presenting himself for service. In this sense, Isaiah 6 stands as a lasting paradigm for all who would enter the Lord’s service. – Andrew Davis

The call of the Master is a both a responsibility, since it came from the LORD of glory, and a privilege, since the message is entrusted to us though we are unworthy. Like Isaiah, we are bringing a message to a world that hates God, Isaiah was sawn in two, and may we take it to the world no matter what it takes.

Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. You not only have a glorious message to bring to the world but you are commissioned by the glorious LORD who revealed Himself in His Word.

If you are here, and you have not yet repented of your sins and in your hearts you keep on rejecting the gospel, take heed! Are you not concerned of your own soul? If you keep on rejecting the message of the gospel, my friend, the gospel will be a savor of death to you. It will harden your heart more and more. But we beg you, be reconciled to God! The final judgment hasn’t come yet and you are still alive. The message of hope and forgiveness is here for you. Why would you die and suffer eternally? Repent and believe the gospel!


Note: This message was preached at Salitran Covenant Bible Church on March 14, 2021

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

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