Proclaiming with Hope (Isaiah 6:8–9) - Radical

Proclaiming with Hope (Isaiah 6:8–9)

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.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people, keep on hearing but do not understand; Keep on seeing but do not perceive.”
– Isaiah 6:8–9

The reason I read not just Isaiah 6:8–9, which is maybe one of the most famous verses in Isaiah and one of the most famous chapters in Isaiah. I love this chapter. There’s so much we could talk about from Isaiah 6:1–7, before this. A vision of God and all of his glory and all of his holiness and confession of sin and Isaiah’s life and God’s grace and mercy toward Isaiah. And then God saying, so now we pick up in verse eight, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?”

Which what an honor, right? To represent God. To go with the word of God on behalf of God. Isaiah says, “Here I am. Send me.” And then Isaiah 6:8–9. So this is the part that’s often left off so many sermons and studies in Isaiah 6:8–9. And God says in Isaiah 6:8–9, “Go and say to these people keep on hearing, but do not understand, keep on seeing, but do not perceive.”

And you keep reading on in the rest of Isaiah 6 and you realize that Isaiah was being called by God to go and speak God’s word to a people who would not understand it and would not believe it. Their eyes wouldn’t be open to the truth and the beauty of God’s word. And the reason I read this verse is that we all need to realize. And the reason I read both of these verses as one, to remind all of us in a way that leads us into prayer.

Isaiah 6:8–9 Reminds Us that Sharing the Gospel is an Honor

What an honor we have been given to have the gospel, the word of God, to share that, to proclaim that on behalf of God to people right around us today, and to people all around the world. We have been sent by God. God help us to be faithful in that. And secondly, to realize and remember that no matter what we say apart from the power of the spirit of God, to open eyes and open hearts. We cannot bring people to a relationship with God.

Only God can do that by the power of his spirit. And so let’s pray accordingly. We praise you for your grace in our lives that all of us who are praying right now, who are in Christ, find ourselves in Isaiah’s position, actually in greater ways than Isaiah could have experienced with this cold touching his lips before these verses we just read. God, we praise you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, for his blood, covering our sins, for washing them totally away, for the good news we have in our hearts.

Isaiah 6:8–9 Encourages People to Turn from Sin

Anybody around us that we see today and anybody around the world who trusts in you, who turns from their sin and believes in your love for them and you as Lord of their lives, they can be forgiven of all their sins too. They can be reconciled a relationship with you. God, we pray you’d help us then to be faithful representatives of yours. Please help us to faithfully proclaim this gospel today, right around us and to people around the world as you lead us. God, we pray for the spread of this gospel to 3 billion people who are unreached. We pray that you would open their eyes. God do what only you can do. I think about people, friends, and family members and coworkers or neighbors that we’ve shared the gospel with before.

This Verse Asks God to Open Eyes and Hearts

God, please open their eyes to see the beauty, truth, and love of Jesus and to receive him. Help us to trust him with their lives. God, we pray that you would do that. And God, we pray that you would do that with millions of people in Afghanistan. God, we pray that you would open the eyes of millions who are blinded to Jesus.

W pray that as we boldly share your word. Lord, help us that your spirit would open eyes to believe that your spirit would transform hearts. We pray they might see who you are even as we see who you are. God, we pray you’d help us like Isaiah to carry out this commission faithfully. This commission that you’ve entrusted to us with total dependence. We depend on your spirit in us and your spirit working through us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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