Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.” [Isaiah 6:8 (NLT)]
In Biblical days, being a prophet was a little like being God’s press secretary. A prophet spoke for God and conveyed His message to the people. Unlike press secretaries of today, however, there would be no quibbling about the meanings of words nor would a positive spin be put on negative news. Prophets didn’t speak off-the-record, never received faulty information from their boss, and didn’t use alternative facts or half-truths. God’s prophets spoke only the unadulterated and often unpopular truth. Like today’s press secretaries, however, their messages were often more confrontational than comforting and they often were ignored. While a bearer of glad tidings is popular and welcome, prophets, as the frequent bearers of sad tidings, were not. Being God’s prophet was difficult, lonely and often dangerous.
Why anyone in their right mind would choose to be a Presidential press secretary (for any president) is beyond me. At least it offers fame, fortune and the possibility of a “tell all” best seller in the future. Why anyone would choose to be God’s prophet is even harder to understand. There was no plus side to being the one who brought a message of judgment and destruction to the people of Judah, Israel and the surrounding nations. Indicting people for their sins is no way to win a popularity contest. Nevertheless, Isaiah reported for duty when God called and took on a job that no sane person would want.
Isaiah answered God’s call because he trusted that God would provide him with the necessary words. He knew that God didn’t bring the Israelites to the edge of the Red Sea only to have them drown in the waters or be captured by the Egyptian soldiers and God didn’t part the waters only to have his people die from starvation or lack of water in the wilderness. God didn’t put Noah and the animals on that Ark only to have them never reach dry land and He didn’t send David out to meet Goliath without providing him with those five smooth stones needed for his sling. Confident that God would provide, Isaiah answered His call. Even though God warned Isaiah that most people wouldn’t even listen to him, let alone heed his words, Isaiah still said, “Here I am. Send me.”
When God calls on us, rarely will it be a request as difficult as being one of His prophets. He does, however, expect us to be His messengers. When He calls, do we answer or do we ignore the call? Do we trust Him to provide us with whatever we need or do we doubt and reject Him? When called, Isaiah said, “Here I am. Send me.” When God calls us, do we say the same?