Isaiah is considered the greatest Old Testament prophet. He was quoted at least 50 times in the New Testament and his ministry spanned the reigns of five kings of Judah
Isaiah’s story is told in 2 Kings 19:2—20:19. He is also mentioned in 2 Chronicles 26:22; 32:20, 32; Matthew 3:3; 8:17; 12:17–21; John 12:38–41; Romans 10:16, 20, 21.
Be a well balanced leader
Isaiah’s messages—some comforting, some confronting—are so dissimilar that some have guessed they came from different authors.
The message of judgment and condemnation
Isaiah 1:5Why do you continue to invite punishment? Must you rebel forever? Your head is injured, and your heart is sick. 6You are sick from head to foot—covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds—without any ointments or bandages….9 If the Lord Almighty had not spared a few of us, we would have been wiped out as completely as Sodom and Gomorrah.
The message of love and forgiveness
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us argue this out,” says the Lord. “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool. 19 If you will only obey me and let me help you, then you will have plenty to eat.
Isaiah’s testimony reflects the character of the one from whom the message came from. The one who is capable of being perfect in justice as well as in mercy—God himself.
As leaders, our own dealings with others also need to be guided by these two characteristics of God. If we overly emphasis one at the expense of the other, we cannot become good leaders. If we are totally condemning of others, no one would want to follow us. On the other hand, if we are totally tolerant of sin and are afraid to speak up even if our followers have done something wrong, then we are also not the kind of leader that God has called us to be.
Let’s examine our leadership style. This does not just apply to Christian leaders. It could apply just as well to parents who need to lead their children. Are we balanced in our leadership? Are we only critical and not forgiving? Or the other way round? Let’s ask God to help us to be more balanced in our leadership.
Are we mindful of our position before God?
By the time King Uzziah died, Isaiah may have been established as a scribe in the royal palace in Jerusalem. It was a respectable career, but God had other plans for his servant. Isaiah’s account of God’s call leaves little doubt about what motivated the prophet for the next half century. His vision of God was unforgettable.
Isaiah 6:1 In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. 2Hovering around him were mighty seraphim, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with the remaining two they flew. 3In a great chorus they sang, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” 4The glorious singing shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire sanctuary was filled with smoke. 5 Then I said, “My destruction is sealed, for I am a sinful man and a member of a sinful race. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord Almighty!”
People, who consider themselves morally good and not in need of God’s forgiveness, do not place themselves in proper perspective. They have compared to men more evil than themselves and have not compared themselves to God who is perfectly holy. We often feel great when we compare with rapists, murderers and robbers but when we put ourselves in proper perspective before God the whole situation changes.
When Isaiah had a glimpse of God’s holiness, the first thing that comes to mind was his own sinfulness. He said, “My destruction is sealed, for I am a sinful man and a member of a sinful race.” People who are always critical of others have not been impacted by the fact that they too are sinful in God’s eyes.
Are there people we have been criticizing lately? List them out. Ask God to forgive you for being critical and ask Him to make you mindful of your own inadequacies so that there will not be this tendency to want to criticize others. We can also turn the situation around for good. Every time you feel like criticizing someone for a weakness, take this as a reminder to pray for that person that God will help him to overcome that weakness.
Do we avail of ourselves to God?
“Then I heard the Lord asking, ‘Whom should I send as a messenger to my people? Who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Lord, I’ll go! Send me’” (Isaiah 6:8).
God is not looking for ability; He is looking for availability.
If we avail ourselves before God, He can give us the ability. But if we refuse to avail ourselves before Him, He normally does not go against our free will to force us to do things. He wants us to serve him out of the desire of our heart.
Christians are sometimes afraid to do something for God because they feel they are inadequate. This is right thinking. Thinking that we alone are adequate for the task would be pride. We are inadequate. But if we stop here in our thinking, we miss something. We are inadequate but with God’s help we can be adequate for the task.
God, throughout history, has shown us that he work best with little or nothing. He created the world out of nothing. He fed five thousand people with only a few pieces of bread and fishes, nothing compared to what a big crowd needs.
Do you feel that you are inadequate for the task you know that God has called you to? List out what those things are. Believe that you can do it with God’s help for nothing is impossible with God.
Carried out a consistent ministry even though there was little positive response from his listeners
Isaiah’s ministry spanned the reigns of five kings of Judah. He persisted even though there were little response from God’s people. This teaches us that we have to be persistent in our efforts to reach others.
Are you presently in the process of trying to reach some people for Christ? Do you see little results? Persevere on because God promises that if we do not lose hope, in due time we will reap the rewards.
Gal 6:9 So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.