Those who are to teach others the knowledge of God must themselves have the vision of God.
Those are fittest to be employed for Him who, having heard His voice,
have been humbled before Him in the sense of their own vileness and are made deeply sensible of their own weakness.
1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 ¶ Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
9 ¶ And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
12 And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.
13 ¶ But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.
Isaiah 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Isaiah 6 – A Call to Heroic Service
Kings die; Jesus lives. See John 12:41. We are here reminded of Acts 22:17-18. How great the contrast between the worship of these seraphim in the Unseen-Holy and man’s perfunctory rites! Six wings—two for meditation, two for humility, and two for service. Service should take only a third of our energy. One cried unto another—one inspired spirit will awaken others. The threefold repetition of the word holy, implies the Trinity. If door-posts tremble, much more should the hearts of sinful men! Isaiah, in the previous chapter, had uttered six woes against others, but his seventh and sorest woe is against himself. The sinner, like the leper, cries, Unclean! Leviticus 13:45. The seraph did not wait to be told; he knew that there was only one cure for such need as the prophet’s, Isaiah 6:9-13. When men refuse God’s offered grace, every refusal hardens. It is either “the savour of death unto death” or of “life unto life,” II Corinthians 2:16. The life of the oak and the terebinth only seems to become extinct in winter; there is revival in the spring. Is it winter with you? Pray for the springtime! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Isaiah 6:2—Each one had six wings.
Seraphim signifies “burning ones,” to designate their essence, their dazzling appearance, or their intense devotion. But whatever the symbol stands for, they needed the six wings. With twain each seraph covered his face—for reverence, he dare not look upon God. With twain he covered his feet—for humility, he recognized that he was unworthy. With twain he did fly—for service and obedience to the Divine commands.
It may be that we are taught that a third part only of our time and energy should be expended in activity; two-thirds to reverent fellowship and communion. Probably with most of us the proportion is in the other direction; and we give two-thirds to flight for God, and one-third only for fellowship with God.
The service that springs from such communion is directed by deep sympathy with the mind of God. The seraph did not wait for the Lord to send him to Isaiah with a live coal from the altar; but spontaneously the son of flame sped to do the required office, as though instinctively he realized that there was nothing else to be done for a man who had confessed himself to be vile. The seraphim have heard that confession made so often, and have so often administered the same restorative to fainting hearts, that they do not need to be directed what to do. They know God’s thought before He speaks a word. A notable emblem this of service!
“One cried unto another” (Isaiah 6:3). Holy beings love to stir each other to higher themes, to worthier praise. Thus one bird may awake a woodland into minstrelsy; and one Luther an age. Is your heart full of burning love?—then seek to set others aglow. —Our Daily Homily