Isaiah

In the eighth century BC while Homer was writing the Iliad and the Odyssey, and Lao Tse was writing the Tao de Ching, Isaiah wrote the book that bears his name.

The prophet Isaiah was a giant of Jewish history.

He is considered the Shakespeare of Hebrew literature. The New Testament quotes him more than all the other prophets added together.  No author in the Bible can match his eloquence and mastery of style and imagery.

He lived midway through the founding of the nation and it’s final destruction. He lived on the border between the Northern and Southern kingdom.  He was one of the prophets who observed first hand the fall and captivity of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

The Rabbis say that he was first cousin to King Uzziah.  Isaiah’s father, and Uzziah’s father, were brothers.  This would mean he was of royal lineage, and familiar with the palace and court life.  He certainly was the confidant and advisor to at least 5 kings.

Isaiah was not a “yes” man to these kings.  He stood against the popular tide of optimism.  His name meant “The Lord saves”.  He warned Kings repeatedly that to depend on military power or wealth or alliances or anything but God would bring disaster.

Isaiah outlived four of the kings he advised, but finally offended one King beyond the King’s tolerance. Manasseh is said to have placed Isaiah between two planks and had him sawed in half.  Thus ending the life of one of Israel’s greatest heroes.

Isaiah’s writings are about the nature of God.  It is a collection of many messages on many subjects.

His writings break down like this:

  • Chapters 1-12 warnings to Judah during their prosperous days
  • Chapters 13-23 messages to surrounding nations
  • Chapters 24-35 earth’s future and the imminent invasion of Assyria
  • Chapters 36-39 an interlude telling of crisis Judah faced
  • Chapters 40-48 prophesies 200 years into the future  (Babylon)
  • Chapters 49-55 The nation’s final deliverance through the suffering servant
  • Chapters 56-66 warnings to Judah and a view of the future

These are quick bullet references to Isaiah:

  • Began preaching before he was 20 years old
  • A contemporary of Amos and Hosea
  • Born during Uzziah’s reign
  • Called in the year Uzziah died
  • Saw the Glory of Jeroboam II (Israel)
  • Observed the fall of Israel in 721 BC
  • Influenced Hezekiah
  • Foretold the rise of Babylon
  • Killed by Manasseh
  • His book a mini Bible (66 chapter, 39,27)
  • Proclaims the coming Messiah
  • Quoted more in New Testament than all other prophets combined
  • Shakespeare of Hebrew literature
  • First cousin to Uzziah
  • Giant of Jewish history
  • Lived exactly in the middle of the founding of the nation and it’s destruction
  • His name means “the Lord saves”
  • Prophesied during 5 kings
  • Wrote same time as Iliad, Odyssey and Tao de Ching
  • Looks into the nature of God
  • He was Hezekiah’s “song in the night”

His supreme contribution was his fore telling Messiah is coming!  The nation hung onto this thread of hope until Jesus arrived.  It helped keep them through the 400 silent years of despair.  When the New Testament opens they are on point looking for Messiah.

Because he looks into the nature of God, He is our “One God” preacher! Verses like, 9.6, 7.14, 43.10-11, 44.6, 44.8, 45.15, as well as chapters 12, 35, and 53, are favorite one God passages.

When an Apostolic preacher preaches on Oneness, he invariably visits the book of Isaiah!

When Assyria threatened the nation, after conquering 200 walled cities and leading away 200,000 captives from the northern nation, it was Isaiah who stayed calm while Hezekiah panicked.  Isaiah was the song in the night with a word from the Lord.  The next morning 185,000 Assyrians lay dead, Judah was saved, and Isaiah was right!

Isaiah had heard from God and the Angel of the Lord went through the camp of Assyria and slew 185,000 men while Israel slept and never lifted a finger!

The Devil was not alone in using Giants to do great exploits!

God answered with some Giants of his own!

Of these, none stands taller than Isaiah.

Thanks for reading today!

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