Scripture Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8
Then I heard the voice of God saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8)
Before you can respond to God and say as Isaiah said, "Here am I. Send me!" you must confess all sins, be purged from your sins and then you will be able to hear God and respond.
A careful reading of Isaiah 6:1-8 reveals that Isaiah did not hear from God until he confessed that he was a sinner. God purified him and then he was ready to serve.
In response to the painful purifying by hot coals on his lips, Isaiah submitted himself totally to God's service. Before we accept God's call to speak for Him, we must confess our sins, be cleansed and submit to God's control. Allowing God to purify us may be painful, but we must be purified so that we can truly represent God, who is pure and holy.
At first glance, one might think Isaiah accepted his calling by saying, "Here I am. Send me!" He said no such thing. He said "Here am I. Send me!" And there is a difference. It is not just a matter of semantics. It is a matter of syntax. The way in which words are put together to form a sentence has a lot to do with a deeper meaning. His eagerness to go is indicated by the way he responded.
To say, "Here I am" is to answer the question, "Where are you?" God didn't ask Isaiah that. He asked, "Whom shall I send?" Isaiah raised his hand and said, "Here am I. Send me!" He placed emphasis on the fact that there might be a million people available, but I want to be sure God knows that I want to be sent. Whenever the verb comes before the subject, more emphasis is given to the sentence. Under normal circumstances, one would say, "Here I am" placing the verb after the subject. Isaiah had experienced a definite change while in God's presence. He didn't hesitate to answer God by saying, "Here am I. Send me!" The way he responded indicated his openness and his willingness.
Isaiah was expressing his availability rather than acknowledging his position at that particular time.
Meditate on how you would have answered.
You are invited to read and reflect on the Lenten lesson for Day 25.