I love snakes. I even paid someone to let me hold his six-foot anaconda. But I would run in the opposite direction if a huge winged snake (seraph) flew at me holding out a burning coal! I get that this was a sacred moment for Isaiah, but flying snakes with voices so loud that the building shakes seem to be more than a little over the top.
When I read the rest of the passage, it begins to make more sense. God is calling Isaiah to a difficult ministry, to tell the people words that they do not want to hear. This task is so difficult that Isaiah even questions God, asking how long he has to be God’s spokesperson. In the end, Isaiah delivers God’s message that the people will be taken captive by their enemies.
If the book of Isaiah ended with chapter six, it would be a book of sorrow. Thank God that this book goes on to tell how God continues to love the people, comfort the people and bring them home. By chapter 43, the book of Isaiah reminds us that the God who has created us loves us and calls us by name.
Saving God, thank you for not giving up on us, but staying with us through difficult times. Amen. — VSR