Israel suffered a series of ‘bad’ kings: all but two were assassinated and one lasted only a month. During this time, God sent a series of prophets (including Hosea) to warn them, but to no avail.
Isaiah started in the year King Uzziah (of Judah) died. He reported his first encounter with God as follows:
Isaiah 6:1-4I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other,
‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!’
Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.
Having experienced that, Isaiah was then commissioned to take a hard message back to Israel: there would be close to nothing left, just a stump:
Isaiah 6:13But as a terebinth or oak tree leaves a stump when it is cut down, so Israel’s stump will be a holy seed.