Daily Devotional Bible Verses
And 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.’
Make the heart of this people dull,
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.” (Isaiah 6:8-10 ESV)
“Here I am! Send me.” These words are among the most popular of Old Testament texts. Often, they are taught in a motivational light in an attempt to inspire people to step up and serve.
Sadly, what is frequently left out is the mission that Isaiah was volunteering for. But God doesn’t try to hide our mission and message from us before we’re sent; he’s straightforward.
Essentially, God instructed Isaiah:
“Tell your countrymen,
Listen, but the words will go in one ear and out the other.
Look, but you’ll never realize what you’re looking at, never get it.
Your hearts are going to be hard, your ears shut, and your eyes blind.”
The commentator Matthew Henry wrote of this passage, “there are many who hear the sound of God’s word, but do not feel the power of it.”
There are a few hard lessons to be learned here. For starters, God’s word doesn’t only soften us, it also hardens us. Those to whom Isaiah was called to speak God’s words to were going to be willfully obstinate and therefore hard toward the truth.
What do you think his conversion rate was? By our standards today would we hold Isaiah up as a picture of ministerial success? Or would we cast him aside as unloving and non-anointed?
What this encounter with God should teach us, is that first and foremost our success should be judged by obedience, and not by immediate results.
Obedience to God will most certainly produce fruit, but we may not always be able to see it right away. Isaiah’s work and message may seem grim, but tomorrow we will look at its beautiful fruit that bloomed 700 years later.
Let your life be defined by obedience rather than expedience.