I’m quite enjoying recording the thoughts from my studies – it’s good to go back and review what I had found and try to pick out more insights.
Verse 2 – “Above it stood the seraphim; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.” This was certainly one which was interesting to think about. I think the purpose of presenting the seraphim indicates the power and glory of God. In Mormon Doctrine, Elder Bruce R McConkie explained “Seraphs are angels who reside in the presence of God, giving continual glory, honor, and adoration to him. … In Hebrew the plural of seraph is seraphim. … The fact that these holy beings were shown to him as having wings was simply to symbolize their ‘power, to move, to act, etc.’ as was the case also in visions others had received.” Describing this from the vision, Isaiah draws a greater line under the omnipotence of His Supreme Creator, one who we can have great faith and trust in.
Verse 5 – “Then said I: Wo is unto 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.” Notice the contrast between the great glory of the Lord and the great fear and trembling from Isaiah. We find many other examples of fear and trembling before the Lord in scripture – Lehi, the Brother of Jared and Moses to name a few. It is not surprising – I think if any of us were to experience that then I think we would react the same!
Verse 8 – “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said: Here am I; send me.” As mentioned before, one of the most incredible (and occasionally confusing) attributes of Isaiah’s writing is that often he writes things which refer to multiple events, individuals, time periods and groups. Here, Isaiah is referring to a very personal event where he accepts the call from the Lord to, effectively, be a prophet; to testify to the world of the Saviour and His principles. We see a similar scene take place when the Saviour himself is chosen to be our Redeemer. “And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.” (Abraham 3:27) Of course, we all receive moments in our lives when the Lord reaches out to us and calls us to his work. Will we follow the example of the Saviour and Isaiah and accept the call?
Verse 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 be converted and be healed.” This was always a little confusing for me. From this verse it sounds that the Lord wants Isaiah to share the Gospel to the people to make it so they are more resistant. This will then avoid them understanding and being healed. Obviously more study was needed. I read in the Book of Mormon Institute Student Manual it said “He was advised that his preaching to a wayward people would generally not be received. Their hearts would “fatten” against the truth and their ears would be “heavy”…Isaiah was not commissioned to make the people resistant to the truth; rather, he was advised of the difficulty of the mission.” The Lord was warning that not many would hear. Not many would reflect a change in heart and try to understand as said in Proverbs 2:2 “So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;” If we have desire to learn, we can turn our hearts to the Spirit to help us gain that understanding.
Verse 13 – “But yet there shall be a tenth, and they 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.” This ‘holy seed’ is representative of the House of Israel. The tenth is the remnant cast away and the seed shows a regeneration of new life out of scattered Israel.