The mission of the prophet Isaiah is described in Isaiah 49. In this chapter we learn specific things concerning Isaiah’s message, and its importance to those living in the last days.
1 LISTEN, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;
In the first two verses, we learn that Isaiah was known of the Lord before his birth. He was expected and chosen for a specific assignment that was planned out even before he was born. Likewise, in verse 2 we learn that the Lord made Isaiah’s mouth like a sharp sword. Thus Isaiah’s message, or “his mouth,” will have the effect of a sharp sword in that it will help in the conversion of the Lord’s people to the right way, or to the correct path. What we also learn, however, is that Isaiah’s message is hidden. So, Isaiah’s message is a sharp sword with an important purpose, but it has been hidden from the understanding of the people by the Lord himself: “in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me.” The Lord has hidden the message of the prophet Isaiah through the use of symbolism.
4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God.
In verse 4, the prophet Isaiah laments the fact that his message is hidden in symbolism. It takes so long before the Lord decides to reveal his message, that Isaiah feels that perhaps he has “spent [his] strength for nought, and in vain.” But he humbly resigns himself to the will of the Lord to use his message when he is ready. In the next verses, the Lord reassures Isaiah what his purpose is, and the affect his message will have:
5 ¶ And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.
6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
In verse 5 we see that Isaiah’s message will come forth in its power at a time Israel is still dispersed and not completely gathered. Isaiah’s message will help “bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered.” So, it will come at a time when the Lord is working to convert Israel back to the true fold of God. Likewise, Isaiah has a special mission regarding the Gentiles: “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” While Isaiah’s message may also be of use to the Jews, it is specifically targeted to the Gentiles or non-Jews , to bring them to the restored Zion.
8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.
In a time acceptable to the Lord, Isaiah’s symbolic framework will enhance the message of restored Zion. It will be a powerful tool to help convert those who are seeking true doctrine. The children of Jacob will be drawn away from the places where they are held captive in falsehood. And, they will be guided and helped by the Lord directly through personal revelation, “for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them–or with the still small voice of revelation. Thus, the mission of Isaiah is really to enhance and hasten the missionary efforts of restored Zion in the latter days. Isaiah’s message will clarify doctrines and prophecies that are contained in the Bible, which were once hidden in symbolism.