Prince of Prophets - Isaiah

August 31 2022
Book: Isaiah

Micheal Angelo among artist

Micheal Jordan among basketball

Beethoven among composers

Lincoln among presidents

Krzyzewski among coaches

Isaiah is among prophets

Most educated, most articulate, most influential

Greatness often accompanies being
misunderstood

5 areas we want to look at tonight

Who wrote the book?

As is the case with nearly all the books of “the prophets,” the book of Isaiah
takes its name from its writer.
Isaiah was married to a prophetess who bore him at least two sons (Isaiah
7:3; 8:3).
He prophesied under the reign of four Judean kings—Uzziah, Jotham,
Ahaz, and Hezekiah (1:1)—and he likely met his death under a fifth, the evil
King Manasseh. K
Christian tradition as early as the second century identifies Isaiah as one of
the prophets whose death is described in Hebrews 11:37, specifically the
prophet who was “sawn in two.”
Isaiah likely lived in Jerusalem, given the book’s concern with the city
(Isaiah 1:1) and his close proximity to at least two significant kings during
the period of his prophecy (7:3; 38:1).
Much of scholarship for the past two centuries has assigned multiple writers to Isaiah, dividing the book into three sections:
1–39, 40–55, and 56–66
However, these divisions come out of a scholarly denial of predictive
prophecy.
This position not only limits the power of God to communicate with His
people but also ignores the wide variety of specific, predictive claims about
Jesus Christ scattered throughout the book.
Where are we?
Isaiah prophesied from 739–681 BC to a nation that had turned a deaf ear
to the Lord.
Instead of serving Him with humility and offering love to their neighbors, the
nation of Judah offered meaningless sacrifices in God’s temple at
Jerusalem and committed injustices throughout the nation.
The people of Judah turned their backs on God and alienated themselves
from Him, which created the need for Isaiah’s pronouncements of judgment
—declarations made in the hope that God’s chosen people would return to
Him.

Why is Isaiah so important?

The book of Isaiah provides us with the most comprehensive prophetic
picture of Jesus Christ in the entire Old Testament.

It includes the full scope of His life: the announcement of His coming
(Isaiah 40:3–5),

His virgin birth (7:14),

His proclamation of the good news (61:1),
His sacrificial death (52:13–53:12)
His return to claim His own (60:2–3)
Because of these and numerous other christological texts in Isaiah, the
book stands as a testament of hope in the Lord, the One who saves His
people from themselves.
What’s the big idea?
Isaiah’s overall theme receives its clearest statement in chapter 12:
“Behold, God is my salvation, / I will trust and not be afraid” (Isaiah 12:2).
This echoes the meaning of Isaiah’s name, which means the “salvation of
Yahweh.”
Having read the book, you might wonder about the strong presence of
judgment that runs through the first thirty-nine chapters when the theme is
salvation.

How can the two coexist?

The presence of judgment indicates its necessity for salvation to occur.
Before we can have salvation, we must have a need for it!
So the bulk of those early chapters in Isaiah detail judgments against the
people who have turned their backs on the Lord, showing us that those
who persist in their rebellion will receive judgment.
On the other hand, we also see God’s faithfulness to His promise.
He will preserve a small remnant of faithful believers, those who will
continue on into the glorious renewed world He has prepared for His
children in the end times (65:17–66:24).

How do I apply this?

Because of its scope, Isaiah contains one of the clearest expressions of the
gospel in all the Old Testament.
Even from the first chapter, it is clear that the people have turned away
from God and failed in their responsibilities as His children (Isaiah 1:2–17).
Yet God miraculously holds out hope to this unrepentant people, offering
cleansing of sins and the blessing that comes with faith and obedience in
Him (1:18–20).
Salvation lies only in God—the only question is whether or not we will
accept His offer.
In addition to its gospel message, the book of Isaiah clearly articulates the
sins of God’s people—dealing with others unjustly which resulted in their
offering hypocritical sacrifices to God.
Do you see anything in your own life that might fall under Isaiah’s critique
of injustice—treating family, colleagues, or even strangers with unkindness
or even prejudice?
Isaiah’s message is also a call for believers to come back to purity in our
love for God and for our neighbors (Luke 10:26–28).

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