Isaiah was the Bob Dylan of the eighth century BC. He was a protest singer. I can see him sitting on a dimly lit stage, bottles and plates clinking in the background, his acoustic guitar propped up on one knee. He leans into the microphone and strums song after song built on the only four chords he knows. Every tune sounding a lot like the one before it – the verses are different but the chorus is always the same: WOE IS YOU! WOE IS YOU! WOE IS YOU!
Just read the first five numbers in his songbook and you get a good idea of what Isaiah’s repertoire was like. One big finger wagging session. He wouldn’t get much radio play today, if he could even get a record deal, and he definitely wouldn’t sell many t-shirts or CDs after the show, if anyone stayed to the end.
Isaiah’s job was traveling around on God’s behalf pointing out what everyone else was doing wrong. And he did it well. Then God’s troubadour watched the angels cover their feet, cover their eyes and scream about His holiness and a new kind of song was written. Isaiah stood before holy glorious God and he was reminded what an unholy worm of a man he was. And for the first time on record Isaiah cried out “Woe is me.”
“Woe is me! I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”