8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
9 He said, “Go and tell this people:
“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”
11 Then I said, “For how long, Lord?”
And he answered:
Yesterday we heard God calling for someone to go and speak for him, and maybe like Isaiah we answered ‘me Lord, send me’. But before we get carried away with the glamour of being God’s messengers, let’s hear the rest of the passage. It’s a strange passage, which I don’t entirely understand. God sends Isaiah, knowing that they will close their ears to what he has to say, because if he doesn’t go, they might repent and be healed. Sounds a little like an inverted Jonah (check the story out if you don’t know what happens, and make sure you read beyond the big fish to what happens at the end). Odd, there must be more going on than this – maybe in some way the rest of Isaiah which reveals God’s glorious redemption plan requires this delay. For now, however, perhaps for us there is a reminder that people don’t always get what we have to say. Why bother then? Our passage’s final word. How long will they not respond cries Isaiah – God response? Until. It is our job to share our stories of God until time is right and they respond, but that’s between them and God, that’s his area of responsibility, not ours. We’re just called to be faithful and tell.
Spirit, help me to be faithful and keep telling my stories of you, Father, Son and Spirit.