The prophet Isaiah is the voice that God used to foretell of major things to come. God raised up the prophets during Israel’s time of disconnection to the things of God. After reading about all the mayhem that our ancestors caused and suffered, we are wise to trust that our Father is faithful to every word He speaks. “When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams.” (Numbers 12:6) The name Isaiah means Salvation. He prophesied about the surrounding nations during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and good king Hezekiah.
In the very first chapter, Isaiah wrote “Listen, O earth! For the Lord has spoken: “I reared children and brought them up, but they rebelled against Me.'” (1:2) We are to listen up and make a choice to NOT rebel and suffer! Our heavenly Father revealed much to Isaiah through dreams. Obediently Isaiah admonished God’s people with warnings of Divine Judgment. Isaiah also carefully mingled in predictions for the Hope that was imminently coming.
In the 11th chapter, we find Jesus Christ, our Messiah, our blessed Redeemer. “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.” (11:1) Followed by God’s promise of salvation in (11:10). “I took you from the ends of the earth; from its farthest corners I called you. I said ‘You are my servant; I have chosen you and have not rejected you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.” Isaiah used words of hope like a rainbow to show the beauty and goodness of our Father in heaven, regardless of our rebellion and behavior.
In chapters 21-23 Isaiah denounces false prophets, then in chapters 24-27 he wrote about the misery of the people. Our God uses prophets to warn us. “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands.” (2 Kings 17:13) The prophets appeared when the kingdom of God was divided between Judah and Israel. The Old Testament prophets foretold of the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, the coming of the Messiah, the restoration of His chosen people, and the reign of the Messiah. We are warned not to seek what the fortune tellers say, but we are wise to seek to understand what God says! Through the telescope of God’s prophets we see what He forecasts for our future.
Isaiah lived through the destruction of Israel by the Assyrians. A TIMELINE: In 738 B.C the independence of the Northern and Southern kingdoms were lost as both Israel and Judah began paying peace money to Assyria. During a particular desperate time of unrest God used Isaiah’s voice to save the kingdom of Judah for another 150 years. In 586 B.C. Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple were destroyed by king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He ran the Egyptians out of Syria and he twice attacked Jerusalem. In 539 B.C. king Cyrus conquered Babylon. The next year, Cyrus allowed 40,000 exiles to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Work on the Second Temple was completed in 515 B.C. The walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt in 445 B.C.
Isaiah’s words rattled hearts as he declared how the Messiah would be treated. “Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem. Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (53:1-6)
In other words God foretold the crucifixion of His Son, as the final blood sacrifice for our sins. Our loving Father provided a Savior that will heal our wounds and bring us peace! He is coming for all of us soon. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would suffer and die as a sin offering to our Holy God, then Jesus will see the light of life, come back to life and by His knowledge, Jesus will justify many. (53:10-11)
From the very beginning, our Father’s plan was to redeem us. The One who knows all was not surprised that Adam took a bite of the forbidden fruit. “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Gen 2:7) to the very end of Jesus as man “With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.” (Mark 15:37) and that He would return to fulfill His promise “And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.: (John 20:22)
In this book, as in all books, we come to understand that there is a difference between reading the Word of God and making application by living it. God speaks through Isaiah about our future. “This is what the Lord says – the Holy One of Israel, and it’s Maker: Concerning the things to come, do you question Me about My children, or give Me orders about the work of My hands? It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts. I will raise up Cyrus in My righteousness: I will make all his ways straight. He will rebuild My city and set My exiles free, but not for a price or reward, says the Almighty.” (45:11-13)
Whatever mess people will make, God will reshape it to glorify the power of His plan.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Tim 3:16)
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (55:6-9) The book of Isaiah ends with the vision of new heavens and a new earth. (62:1) That scripture mirrors Revelation 21. For the very best of life on earth, it is wise to filter our thoughts through the Word of God.
“So it was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet…” This phrase was repeated within the message of the New Testament. The telling of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus is repeated in all four Gospels. One by one, people then, and people today agree that God never forces us to believe in Him. God most generously gives us the space, time and grace to enter His written conversations with all the Prophets.
The book of Isaiah has 66 chapters as does the entire Holy Bible have 66 chapters. The prophet Isaiah accentuates the coming King Jesus and the redemption of Israel.
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
All rights reserved.