What Did Isaiah See?           

Isaiah 6:1-7



     How many times have you read Isaiah 6 and said to yourself, "What did Isaiah see?" How many times have you heard sermons about the prophet's vision and gone away asking the same question? I cannot tell you all that he saw, but you can be certain of this? ISAIAH SAW THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IN HIS REDEMPTIVE SAVING GLORY (John 12:37-41). A revelation was made in his heart of the preincarnate Son of God as the sinners' almighty, effectual, sovereign Substitute.

1. He saw THE MERCY-SEAT OF GOD (v. 1) with Christ upon it. Having redeemed his people, Christ has been exalted as Lord over all things. He rules the world from the mercy-seat! The throne from which our God exercises his total sovereignty is the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16).

2. God showed Isaiah THE MESSENGERS OF HIS GRACE (v. 2). The seraphims represent gospel preachers, whose hearts burn with zeal for the glory of God, so that they swiftly fly to preach the gospel of his grace and glory in Christ wherever they are sent.

3. Then Isaiah heard of THE MAJESTY OF GOD, his transcendent holiness, his glorious dominion, and the revelation of his glory in all things (v. 3).

4. In the light of all these things, this man saw THE MISERY OF HIS OWN CONDITION before God (v. 5). By nature he was a sinful wretch, justly condemned, without hope before the great and holy God. Once a sinner is brought to the confession of his depravity, guilt, and just condemnation before God, mercy is on its way!

5. As soon as Isaiah confessed his sin, he saw THE MYSTERY OF REDEMPTION (vv. 6-7). "Then" - after Christ revealed himself and exposed Isaiah's sin - "Then flew one of the seraphims unto me," one of God's preachers, "having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from off the altar." That live coal represents the everlasting gospel of redemption accomplished by Christ himself. This is the message all God's servants carry with them (Isa. 40:1-2). "And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and they sin is purged." The gospel preached in the power of God the Holy Spirit is effectually applied to the heart. And the proclamation of sin forgiven purges the consciences of all who believe.


Don Fortner