Scripture Reading – Isaiah 1-4
An Introduction of the Prophet Isaiah
The prophet Isaiah lived in the 8th century BCE. His prophetic ministry spanned the reigns of four kings of Judah (Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah), and three world empires (the decline of Egypt, the waning years of Assyria, and the rise of the Chaldean empire). He was, in my opinion, the greatest of the Old Testament prophets.
He was a fearless preacher, a courageous prophet, and a passionate pastor. Isaiah faithfully warned the nation, because they had rejected the LORD, His Law and Commandments, the wrath of God and His judgment were imminent.
Isaiah is quoted over 400 times in the New Testament and His prophecies concerning the coming Messiah were fulfilled in exacting detail by Jesus Christ: His virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14), His character and person (Isaiah 9:6), His suffering, death, and rejection by His own people (Isaiah 53), and His resurrection (Isaiah 53:10).
Isaiah 1 – A Heavenly Courtroom
A heavenly courtroom is the setting of Isaiah 1 where we find the LORD portrayed as the judge and prosecutor, Judah as the defendant, and heaven and earth as the witnesses and jury (1:2a).
The nation of Judah was indicted on three counts: Ingratitude (1:2-4); Insincerity (1:11-20); and Injustices (1:21-23). Before rendering His judgment, God mercifully offered Judah an opportunity to repent saying, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins [faults; offences] be as scarlet [color of blood], they shall be as white [purified; without blemish] as snow; though they be red [blood red] like crimson, they shall be as wool [i.e. white]” (1:18).
Judah despised the prophet’s message and rejected God’s offer of grace. The nation continued in her sin that would end with Nebuchadnezzar’s army destroying Jerusalem and taking the people captive to Babylon.
Isaiah 2 – The Millennium Kingdom, Restoration of Israel, and the Reign of Jesus Christ on the Throne of David
The prophetic setting of Isaiah 2 is “the last days” of human history (2:2). The geographical location is the Temple mount in Jerusalem where the LORD Himself will rule and the nations of the earth will gather to worship Him. (2:2b-3)
Isaiah 3 – “The Sins and Signs of a Failing Nation and a Dying Culture”
Like a portrayal of our world in the 21st century, Judah was morally and spiritually bankrupt. Her leaders were weak and void of integrity (Isaiah 3:2-3). Foolish, inexperienced leaders described as “children” and “babes” (3:4), were not only inept, but proud and oppressive (3:5). Strong dominant women and effeminate men were leading Judah “to err, and destroy the way” (3:12, 16-23). The wickedness of Judah not only invited, but demanded the judgment of God (3:11, 25-26).
Isaiah 4 – The Restoration of Purity, Peace and Prosperity
Rather than the utopia the intellectuals of the early 20th century imagined, the first two decades of the 21st century have been marked by violence, cultural revolutions, and a sexual depravity unseen since God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
We might lose hope and despair if we did not know the Author of “His-Story” and the Sovereign of creation. Though troubles surround us and adversaries assail us, we have the LORD’S assurance:
Isaiah 51:16 – “I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.”
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith