I could spend a lifetime studying Isaiah. In fact, I have been studying Isaiah for over a year and there is still so much to learn.
Isaiah is a Wonderful book. It is complex and simple at the same time.
Complex because of all the allegory, metaphor, complex language, the ancient customs we don’t understand.
It’s also simple because we see the same themes emerging. Justice. Redemption. Salvation.
I have ten main things I would like to share with you today about Isaiah. I hope they’re I’ll be an encouragement to you, and more importantly that you will go read it for yourself.
1) God is concerned with Justice over Religious Behavior.
2) Isaiah prophesied the future.
Isaiah foretells many things about Jesus that won’t take place for another 700 years. Fascinating!
Examples of this are :
Foretelling his coming : Isaiah 40: 3-5
Prophesying his birth , and specifically by a virgin, in : Isaiah 7:15
His death: Isaiah 52 and 53
Even His future return and reign- things that haven’t happened yet. Isaiah 60: 2-3
3) Isaiah introduces the concept of salvation in the Old Testament.
We get some of the most important theological doctrines from Isaiah.
He literally preaches the gospel- the Good News of Jesus- hundreds of years before Jesus was ever born.
4) Isaiah is about Judgment , and Restoration.
4) you may think Isaiah is all about judgment. It is. But its also all about restoring Israel to right relationship with God, and there are messages of redemption for us as well.
Sure, there are pronouncements of judgment, mainly the impending doom coming from Babylon, which was a direct consequence of their sin.
However the message is consistently balanced with true Hope . Hope of the restoration of Israel in coming generations, and eternal hope in the coming Messiah.
5) God really prioritizes Justice for the poor, oppressed, widow, and orphan.
These are the reasons given for His coming justice. The wealthy were taking advantage of the poor. In this time, your life was agriculturally focused. You lived in the land. Your crops were grown in the land. The land was your house, your grocery store. And for Israel specifically land wars the promise of God to his people. So the land was a gift from God, and an assurance that your were one of His chosen. There is another aspect we need to consider here.
A voice in the community. Only landowners had a say in their local government. When the wealthy came by, sweeping up property left and right, they were denying their neighbors a home, food, a part in God promise, and a say into how their area was run.
God is a God who is constantly advocating for the people who are unable to advocate for themselves. We do well to follow this example. And it is explicitly spelled out for us in Isaiah.
6) We get a clear picture of God in Isaiah 6.
Ever wonder what God looks like? We get a daily decent descriptions the Invisible God in Isaiah . In my humble option, this is one of the most powerful word pictures that we get of God in the Old Testament.
7) Isaiah can be divided into three parts.
This is particularly helpful when we are trying to understand the big picture.
Isaiah 1-39 deal with both kingdoms ( Judah and Jerusalem) , and their impending judgment. We also get to listen in on God’s priorities. Chapter one, verse 16 and 17 , for example :
16 Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.
8) Hope, Restoration and the Coming Messiah .
Continuing to break the book of Isaiah down, if we take the chapters of 40-55 , we quickly see that they are re about the returning of the Israelites to their homeland. Major themes are hope, restoration, and the coming of Messiah.
9) ready for this? Many things in chapters 56-66 are still to come.
The new heavens and the new earth, Jesus physical rule and reign- that hasn’t happened yet. But it will.
10) Isaiah wouldn’t have considered his job description to be telling the future.
In Isaiahs time, prophet meant “messenger”. The Old Testament prophets didn’t See themselves as foretelling the future. Rather they saw themselves as Gos ambassadors to the people. I find this fascinating.
I hope this little blog post on Isaiah has served to encourage you today. Thanks for reading and have a great day!