Our next portion is Isaiah 6:6-13
v6: Note: These next few verses are foundational for teaching us about the grace of G-d.
- Altar: The place of sacrifice. A place of provision. Isaiah is in an unclean state. He is impure and unable to manifest the glory of G-d. In this state he cannot be tolerated in the Kingdom of G-d – this Kingdom that manifests the full glory of G-d on this earth (Isaiah 6:3). Isaiah is going to be made to be Kingdom material, Kingdom appropriate.
v7: He: One of the Seraphim.
- Iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged: This all speaks about the outcome of grace. The instrument being used here to dispense grace is one of the Seraphim. Only those who have had their iniquity removed (by the grace of G-d) are fit for the Kingdom of G-d.
v8: Whom shall I send and who will go for Us?: The L-rd is speaking to Himself but Isaiah overhears what He is saying.
- Us: A reference to the Trinity (as far as the Christian scholars and not the Jewish scholars are concerned)
- Send me: Isaiah wanted to be used for the purposes of G-d. When we understand G-d’s Kingdom program – to fill His creation with glory – we will want to participate in His plan. However, it is only through redemption that we become appropriate or fitting to serve G-d, to play a privileged role (participate with Him) in establishing His Kingdom. Isaiah volunteers for this privilege.
v9: Go: Isaiah receives his call.
- This people: The context is Israel.
- (Certainly) hearing … (certainly) seeing: The words for hearing and seeing are repeated twice in the text. This means that they will completely and utterly hear and see. They will have no excuse.
- Not understand… not perceive: They will not understand or know because they will be careless with what they have heard and seen. They misappropriate the significance of G-d’s revelation in their lives. G-d was not displeased with His people because they lacked revelation. They had all the revelation from G-d that they needed. G-d was displeased with them because they did not want to see, they did not want to understand. They were careless with the revelation that G-d had given to them.
v10: Heart: Proverbs 23:7 tells us that we think/understand with our hearts. These people don’t want to think, they don’t want to perceive what G-d is doing. They are dull in regard to the things of G-d. They are not listening. They are not watching. They are not thinking appropriately.
- Dull (literally: fat): That which is not functioning properly, that which is fat or heavy.
- Shut: Their eyes are closed, they are dim when it comes to G-d’s revelation.
- Return: This is a word of repentance.
- Return and be healed: The best way to understand this is to remember the parable that Yeshua taught about the seeds and the sower (Matt 13:3-9, 13-23). One of the examples Yeshua gives is of seed that falls on rocky ground. This seed sprouted and started to grow but as soon as the sun came up (hard times, persecution) it shrivelled up and died without producing any fruit. Often people hear the message (or part of it) and they respond to it and say it is good, but they don’t really understand what it means for their lives – they do not give it full consideration. When difficult times come, they quickly give up and walk away. This shows a lack of understanding and a carelessness with the Word of G-d. These people are only committed to the things of G-d for the short term, when the times are good. They thought responding to G-d was in their best interest. The instance they were called on to suffer a little for their faith they walked away. This is what G-d was concerned about regarding the children of Israel. He wanted Isaiah to speak in such a way that the people heard that a massive commitment was required of them. G-d wanted them to know what His expectations for them were. G-d wanted them to bear fruit worthy of repentance (Luke 3:8). It is implied in Luke 3:8 that repentance is followed by fruitfulness. These people did not take repentance seriously. G-d does not want a half-way repentance, or a repentance based on selfish thoughts, He wants a sincere repentance.
v11: How long (Until when): The rabbis teach that this phrase always has last days significance.
- Laid waste: Destroyed. In Hebrew this is the same word as the word we translate “holocaust’ in English. It is a word that speaks of an unbelievably great disaster, complete and utter destruction. In the context of Isaiah this is referring to the Babylonian captivity – the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple and being carried into exile into Babylon. This also foreshadows the utter destruction that was going to occur at the hand of the Romans many years after Isaiah’s time. This also foreshadows the utter destruction that is going to happen in Israel at the hands of the antichrist – a time yet future (the time of Jacob’s trouble – Jer 30:7). It is only at this final and end time that Israel will eventually respond rightly – as she is meant to respond.
- Without inhabitant: No one living in the houses.
v12: Removed men far away: An exile prophesied.
- Forsaken places: This exile was going to be characterized by the people departing, forsaking. They forsook the law and the Word of G-d (Isaiah 5:24) so they are going to also forsake and depart from the land of the L-rd (Much like the fall in the Garden of Eden… Adam and Eve departed from G-d’s Word and as a result they had to leave the garden that G-d had created especially for them. Same principle at play here).
v13: Note: This is a key verse in helping us to understand the end-time implications to this chapter.
- A tenth: This tenth could mean that a tenth of Israel’s peoples remain in her (a remnant). However, the rabbis speak of this tenth as ten kings – from the time of Uzziah, 10 kings ruled in Judah until the Babylonian captivity took place (Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim and Zedekiah. Zedekiah was the last king of Israel. No other kings have reigned over Israel since this time. The next King of Israel is going to be Messiah –Messiah Yeshua).
- Consuming: This is the word for being burnt up.
- Terebinth…oak: In autumn a tree drops its leaves and goes into a kind of hibernation. During this time, although the tree it still alive, it produces no fruit (there is no visible evidence of life in this tree). Like this tree, Israel was going to cast forth her leaves (shed her glory and her beauty) and she was going to go into exile. It was going to appear as if Israel was no more, but it was just that Israel was going to go into a season of unfruitfulness.
- Stump: This is a word that speaks of a position or a stand. It is a word that implies stability. Something causes this to remain, to stand. It is also a word that is related to a memorial stone or to a tombstone. It is a marker that causes one to remember and not to forget.
- Holy seed: Most of the rabbis agree that the ‘holy seed’ is a reference to Messiah. ‘Holy’ is a word that refers to the purposes of G-d. Yeshua reveals the purposes of G-d to us – He is the Promised Seed of Abraham – Gal 3:16)
- The holy seed shall be its stump: Messiah brings life. He is the ruler who is going to bring a remembrance of the covenantal purpose and the promises of G-d to Israel and to the world (to fill the world with blessing and, through blessing, to manifest His glory). He is going to bring stability. Messiah Yeshua is going to stand Israel in her position once more.