Let’s read those verses.  Isaiah 6:8-13 says, “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.”

It is in this chapter that Isaiah tells of seeing the Lord “sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.”  It was the sight of the Lord in His glory that caused Isaiah to realize his own sinfulness and he confessed, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.”  Upon this confession, he was cleansed by one of the seraphim touching his lips with a hot coal.

Notice in verse 8, when the Lord announced He was looking for someone to send with a message from Himself that Isaiah did not announce that he would go.  No, in humility and a spirit of obedience, he asked the Lord to send him.  So, the Lord sent Isaiah unto a people that would hear, but not understand; that would see, but not perceive, or know.  Who were these people who could not understand or know the Lord?  Certainly they were Israelites, but not the complete nation of Israel.  The Lord has always maintained a remnant of people who would listen and obey His words.  Why were they not able to know?  Let’s consider the words of the Lord Jesus in John 7:17, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”  For a person to be able to understand and know the Lord, he MUST have a heart that is willing to do God’s will.  To just acquire knowledge without understanding is a most dangerous thing.  As the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 8:1, “Knowledge puffeth up…”

When the Lord Jesus was asked why He so often spoke in parables, He said in Matthew 13:13-15, “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”  The Lord’s comments indicated that some would not be able to understand because they did not have a willing heart to obey.  In making that point, He refers to our portion in Isaiah 6.

Isaiah asked the Lord how long would this blindness to the truth continue?  They will remain headstrong and stubborn until the land is completely destroyed by divine judgments. Still the truth is to be proclaimed, though it is known it will have no effect in reforming the nation. This refers, in part, to the destruction that was accomplished by the Babylonians when they took Israel into captivity.  However, that condition continues today.  We read in Romans 11:25, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”  The ‘fulness of the Gentiles’ will be completed at the rapture of the church, then the Lord will begin dealing with Israel once again and a remnant of those people will turn to the Lord.  (191.2)