Prophecies of Isaiah, Pt 1

July 26, 2017 at 2:03 PM

The last month has been filled with activity related to moving and I am just now getting a break enough to be able to do some writing! I hope to be able to put up more audio messages.

In this new series, we’ll be looking at numerous prophecies made by the prophet Isaiah, who lived several thousand years ago. His prophecies surrounded or connected mainly to Israel and more often than not, Judah (what was then the southern kingdom). Yet, at the same time, his prophesies touched other nations as they were often somehow connected to Israel.

Reading through Isaiah can be a bit daunting because of the length of the book, which consists of 66 chapters. Rather than do a chapter-by-chapter commentary on this fascinating book (which would take many articles on this blog), we’ll instead look into just a fraction of all the prophecies from Isaiah.

Most conservative scholars believe that Isaiah was penned somewhere in the neighborhood of 740 – 680 BC. Of course, there is a bit of disagreement here over the exact years. Isaiah’s ministry covered numerous leaders/kings of Israel as stated in Isaiah 1:1

The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. (ESV)

His ministry was rather long and in-depth. Isaiah is filled with warnings, prophecies, doom, and ultimately, renewal for the nation of Israel (including the southern kingdom of Judah).

Isaiah ministered during the reigns of four Judean kings (1:1): Uzziah (792-740 B.C.), Jotham (750-732 B.C.), Ahaz (735-715 B.C.), and Hezekiah (715-686 B.C.). The prophet began his ministry in the year that King Uzziah (or Azariah) died, namely, 740 or 739 B.C. (6:1).

See 2 Kings 15:1-7, 32-38; 16:1-20; 18—20; and 2 Chron. 26-32 for the biblical accounts of these kings’ reigns. Edwin R. Thiele, A Chronology of the Hebrew Kings, p. 75. [1]

The prophet Isaiah’s name means “the salvation of the Lord” signifying that true salvation comes from God, not human beings. God offers His salvation, yet men and women since the fall have sought their own means or methods of “salvation,” which are not salvation at all. The book of Isaiah makes this undeniably clear, yet in spite of the truth found throughout Isaiah and history that proves the merit of Isaiah’s prophecies (as being God-inspired or “breathed”), people continue to reject God’s truth to their own peril and detriment.

In this first article, we’re going to cover the prophecies of Isaiah concerning the birth of our Lord and Savior and Israel’s Messiah, Jesus. Certainly, most Christians are familiar with this subject. Before we do, let’s provide a quick summary of chapters one through six.

Isaiah 1 begins at a gallop barely introducing the prophet (as noted above), then moves right into a terrible exclamatory narrative about Judah (vv. 2 – 20). Verses 21 – 31 zero in on Jerusalem, its wickedness and temporary demise. It is tragic that this city – the city that God established His permanent Presence in for Israel – became so wicked. Kings of Israel after King David were corrupt. Only a few kings over Judah were righteous. We tend to wonder how this can be? Why would God allow this to occur? Put simply, it is allowed because it serves His purposes otherwise it would not exist nor would He tolerate it.

Humanly speaking, it seems clear enough that Satan would do everything he could to attack God’s chosen people. The fact that they are “chosen” does not make them better than anyone else. It simply makes them more responsible for the Light given to them. As we know, Messiah of Israel (and Savior for the lost of this world), came to us through the nation of Israel, which is what Isaiah discusses in Isaiah 7. For this reason and possibly no other, Satan hates Israel. He hates Jews. He hates the fact that God created that nation in order to be able to offer salvation to humanity. If it had not been for Israel, no salvation would be available for anyone. It makes sense then that Satan would want to destroy the very avenue God created through which salvation has become available.

But since Messiah/Savior already came and successfully made salvation/eternal life available to all who will come to Him in faith, why is Satan still trying to destroy Jews and Israel? He plays his part and his wrath knows no bounds when it comes to Israel. The Bible speaks to the fact that Satan will continue his attempts to destroy the Jews up to the time Jesus physically returns at the end of the Tribulation ahead of us.

Isaiah 2 changes direction and moves way down the line to the “latter days” (Isaiah 2:2). The “latter days” are essentially those days during which things are made right, following God’s physical return to earth (in Jesus). Those days are often referred to as the “Millennial Kingdom” but the “latter days” can also include the time before this golden age – the Tribulation, just mentioned.

Chapter 2 points to the fact that the situation during the Millennial will be the exact opposite of what Israel and Jews in general have been experiencing for millennia. War will be a thing of the past. People will go to Jerusalem to worship God from all over. Starting in Isaiah 2:6 to the end of the chapter, Isaiah goes backwards to the time just prior to the near-perfection of the Millennial Kingdom when God/Jesus will return and judge all nations. It is also a call to salvation here. This section is rightly called the “Day of the Lord.” It won’t be pretty because of the level of righteous judgment, but it is necessary before the Millennium can occur.

Isaiah 3 goes into more depth concerning the judgment that God will pour out onto humanity. People will be brought low before God Almighty. Think about all the pride, the hubris, the arrogance that many to most people possess and nurture. It will evaporate during the coming day of judgment. Evil will be seen for what it is – absolute evil and a repugnant stench to God’s nostrils.

Isaiah 4 continues the motif of judgment and just how bad it will be for society in general. Verse 2 to the end of the chapter makes a dramatic shift away from how terrible things will be to how beautiful and wonderful they will become, all because of the Lord’s doing.

In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel. – Isaiah 4:2

The above verse represents the time during the Millennial Kingdom, where Jesus will physically rule for 1,000 years on earth. He has always reigned from on high and currently sits at His Father’s throne in heaven (Hebrews 10:11-14). During this upcoming time of unparalleled splendor, Jesus will reign from His earthly father David’s throne in Jerusalem. With the level of depravity, corruption, and darkened thinking among too many people in society today, it is somewhat difficult to envisage a time when there will be near perfection on earth. Sin will still exist but Jesus will deal with it immediately as it happens.

Isaiah 5 takes us backward to a time when judgment rains down on Israel because of their wickedness and evil. God promises through the prophet to remove the hedge of safety that He Himself erected to keep Israel safe (v. 5). Not only will God do this, but He takes personal responsibility for Israel’s (God’s vineyard) destruction. It is to hone them through judgment so that a final remnant will be perfected.

Isaiah 6 is interesting because it almost appears to be out of chronological order. It is another vision that Isaiah has regarding God and ultimately the prophet’s commissioning.

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. – Isaiah 6:1.

Can you imagine seeing that vision? This was not a dream, but a vision that God brought to Isaiah. Isaiah saw God’s Presence and those who ministered to Him. Because of it he recognized his own filth and uncleanness before Holy God (v. 5). He cried out because of his own uncleanness and a seraphim took a hot coal from the fire and touched the prophet’s mouth, making him ceremonially clean (vv. 6-7). The remainder of the chapter, verses 8 – 13, highlight Isaiah’s commissioning by God. These verses also hint at the coming Messiah as well as the final remnant of purified Israel.

Isaiah 7 offers a bit of narrative regarding the potential of war. Syria had gotten together with the king of Israel to attack Judah, the southern kingdom. God sends Isaiah to King Ahaz with a warning not to fear what the attacking kings say and what they want to do. God says it would not stand or come to pass (v. 7). What is fascinating here is that in the next few verses, Isaiah tells Ahaz that God would give him a sign. The sign would not actually occur for hundreds of years and it was the birth of the Savior/Messiah.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted. 17 The Lord will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria! – Isaiah 7:14-17

Proof that God’s Word is directed to the world for all time. Ahaz did not live to see this promise fulfilled but for us, it is behind us by over 2,000 years! It is fascinating to consider that God’s Word – the Bible – is filled with all sorts of promises, many of which take place much later than to those the promises were first uttered.

Generations after this promise was uttered by Isaiah to Ahaz, a young, unmarried woman named Mary became pregnant with God the Son as she was “overshadowed” by the Almighty.

Until we meet again, read Isaiah. I hope you are delving into God’s Word daily. How else will you get to know the Lord who bought you for the price of His life and blood?

May the Lord open your eyes to show you how blessed you are in Him.

 

[1] Dr. Constable’s Notes on Isaiah, p. 5

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, eternity, israel, Judaism, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming, temple mount. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Proverbs is Filled with Comparisons Between Righteous and Unrighteous Prophecies of Isaiah, Pt 2


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