Isaiah 6

God chooses Isaiah to be a prophet

1 In the year when King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord God. He was sitting high up, on a throne. The ends of his long coat filled the temple. 2 Above him there were seraphs. Each one had six wings. Two wings covered the seraphs' faces. Two wings covered their feet. With the other two wings they were flying.

3 The seraphs called out to one another. They said, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty! The whole earth is full of his great glory.’

4 When the seraphs spoke, the foundation of the temple shook. And the temple became full of smoke.

5 Then I said, ‘It is bad for me! My life is at an end! I have lips that are unclean. I live among people with lips that are unclean. With my own eyes I have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’

6 Then one of the seraphs flew towards me. In his hand was a piece of burning coal. He had used a tool to take it from the altar. 7 He touched my mouth with the piece of coal. He said to me, ‘Look! This has touched your lips. It has taken away your sin. You are no longer guilty.’

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord God. He said, ‘Is there anyone that I can send with my message? Who will go on our behalf?’ I said, ‘I am here. Send me!’

9 The Lord said, ‘Go! Tell my message to those people:

6:9God was sending Isaiah to speak to the Israelite people in Jerusalem and in the other towns of Judah.

“You will continue to listen,

but you will never understand!

You will continue to look,

but you will not see anything!”

10 Make them refuse to understand. Cause their ears to be deaf and their eyes to be blind. If you do not do that, they might use their eyes to see. They might use their ears to listen. They might use their minds to understand. Then they might turn back to me so that I would make them well again.’

11 Then I asked the Lord, ‘For how long will this be, Lord God?’

He replied,

‘It must continue until enemies destroy their cities.

Their houses will become a heap of stones

and nobody will live in them.

Their land will become useless

and nothing will remain there.

12 I will send all the people far away.

The whole land will be empty and useless.

13 Even if only one tenth part of the people remain in the land, enemies will continue to destroy it. It will be like they are cutting down a great oak tree. But the base of the tree with its roots will still be there. From the part that remains, a holy branch will grow.’