Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8
I love this question for several reasons.
- God knows the grammatically correct way to use “whom” and “who”.
- The Lord combines two questions here — “Whom shall I send?” and “Who will go?” Because sometimes we’re sent, but we don’t go. In other words, He’s looking for someone who will say, “Sure, I’ll go” and then actually goes.
- God is speaking for a group, namely the Trinity. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit were alive and well in the Old Testament. They communicated with each other and decided to put out the call for volunteers.
I love this response for several reasons.
- Isaiah just experienced a threshold-trembling, foundation-rattling, smoke-filled vision, complete with six-winged creatures flying around God Almighty’s throne. I’m impressed that Isaiah was able to speak at all.
- Isaiah didn’t give a list of reasons why he wasn’t qualified. He didn’t ask for details about the job before signing up. God just said, “I need somebody” and Isaiah said, “I’m your man” even though he was the only man in the room.
- The exclamation point! Isaiah is like the kid in the back row of the 3rd grade classroom who desperately wants to be the first one to give the answer to the teacher. He shoots his hand up in the air and almost falls out of his seat, saying “Ooo, oo, oo, me! Send me!!! Pick me!!!” God must have loved that.
I love Isaiah for several reasons.
- Being a prophet was a hard calling. They were persecuted, misunderstood, mistreated and often killed. The hard truth they spoke was not usually well received.
- They were asked to do some pretty weird things to make a point. Hosea had to marry a prostitute and keep taking her back every time she was unfaithful to show how God felt about Israel’s unfaithfulness to Him. Isaiah had to walk around naked for three years to be a visual example of how Israel was going to be stripped down to nothing by their enemies. (It’s right there in Isaiah 20:3.)
- God told Isaiah up front that he was going to fail. His assignment was to preach to people who wouldn’t respond. In fact, his preaching would only serve to harden the hearts of the people, making God’s righteous judgment sure.
I’m not sure I’d sign up for that. I’m afraid I would have been the one in the back row, hiding behind the kid in front of me, being careful not to make eye contact, whispering, “Please don’t pick me, please don’t pick me.”