There are so many shifts in world leadership at the moment.The unease in the middle east.What kind of a leader do we need to put this nation right, is the question that is asked in many countries today.?
Not only in those countries is this question asked.WE ask that question too as election time rolls around.Is there anyone big enough,to lead us , who is big enough to bring justice and peace.Who has got the capacity to cope with the scale of economic and human problems.One who can even be looked up to by the rest of the world. In his working life, isaiah was speaking in the eigth century BC,four kings had come and gone.There were changes on a world scale as well.
A lot of things were happening all over the world.In China, and India new religions were being founded.Buddhism, and confucionism.Away in Italy legend has it that Romulus and Remus were being succled by the she wolf,and Rome was being founded.
In Greece ,Athens and Sparta were being founded.All over the world there were events which have changed the course of history.But in the little place ,which we call Israel,which is the corridor between Europe ,Africa and Asia and the centre of the then known world .Right there was born a baby boy, to whom his parents gave the name Isaiah.And even though it was an insignificant country where this baby was born as compared to the splendour of Egypt and the rising power of Assyria, more than all the other events of that century,I would think that Isaiah's ministry would have been the most important for the history of mankind.
So the first lesson we could learn from this book is that in a changing world God chose to speak to mankind. so
Right here in Australia 2018 ,we are undertaking to study what God has to say to the heart of this country so that the people could be sure of Him.
Keep up with Bible study ,and hearing the word of God. stick with it.Keep on taking seriously your focus on the word of God. Sunday by Sunday ,keep to the bible and God will speak to you personally through the pages of the bible so you could be his ambassadors for people to turn to The Lord in reconciliation through the cross of Jesus .
2 Cor 5 17. Therefore, if anyone is (Y)in Christ, he is (Z)a new creation.[b] (AA)The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, (AB)who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us (AC)the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling[c] the world to himself, (AD)not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us (AE)the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, (AF)we are ambassadors for Christ, (AG)God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 (AH)For our sake he made him to be sin (AI)who knew no sin, so that in him we might become (AJ)the righteousness of God
God has spoken and he invites us to Himself.He has made the way back possible in history by paying the price of our sin. Today the same truth holds sway.In the midst of many changes of government technology,family life and religion.God still speaks.through the entire Bible and the Prophet Isaiah is one example.
His name means ."Salvation of God." God will save us."Jehovah will save.His parents must have been a Godly couple,to do that .Under KIng Jereboam 2 ,the country was prosperous.When Isaiah was born things went well for the country.People were not relying on God to save them from anything or anyone.The rich were becoming richer and the poor well they were overlooked but overall there was no recession in sight.Many people were saying we don't need The Lord.Chpt 2-4.The country under Uzziah was has not looked better since Solomon's time..
People must have thought when they heard the name Isaiah .
” You would be foolish to name him Isaiah. WE don't need saving.” We are more prosperous than ever.
His parents called him Isaiah.Godly people know that in a time of prosperity they are to acknowledge God.Time of plenty and of choice." LOve the Lord your GOd.Godly people turn to God and look to Him when things are going well for God to save us from being proud and comfortable,living as though we do not need him.
The people that you minister to or will minister to ,will think and even say.
Look at the abuse so called Christians leaders have committed and are now being called to account. Wake up ,You better upgrade your Christian religion and show a bit more respect to the economic gods of this age and place your wonder in the marvels of scientific discovery .
And then you have to say in your personal witness to family and friends
I see you have progressed in your life ,you are successful lately ,got a pay rise ,found a job, rejoicing in a good friendship,just graduated.Bought a new house.
And then you say “ may I ask you whether you have considered the place of The Lord God in your life.Have you thought about acknowledging the God who has created the universe. ? If we didn’t believe in the power of God’s spirit . we would be wise to keep our mouths shut .
In this current age we have to be asking .” Help me ,save me from pushing you out of my life. pray to the Lord that you are being a faithful witness to people you come across.
Pray “Let me exercise hospitality,encouraging others.Let me be involved in building other people's lives by teaching then the word of God. .Tell people “Jesus Christ hears my prayers. He is changing me from being self centred to be asking ‘ Lord How may I serve you and the people you place across my path. ?“
Back to Isaiah . When His parents named him,,they did not dream when they did it, that their son would one day be one of the greatest prophets of all time and would say more about salvation than any other prophet of the hebrew people and his whole book is a book of salvation.
He was brought up in the royal court,his parents were related to the king according to Jewish tradition,his father was the son of a king and later,the brother of a king of Judah and therefore Isaiah grew up in high society. He was in a wealthy family.He had access all his life to the royal court and God used this to get his word right to the throne.And to the top of the nation.
He worked for about 60 years, giving the word of God as God gave them to him.And in those years , kings came and went.4 Kings all together were on the throne during this man's life.And to each of them this man gave them The word of The Lord.He didn't die of old age according to The Assension of Isaiah He was 120 years old..he was martyred in the reign of the wicked Mannaseh.He was sawn in two and when you read Hebrews chpt 11,and the list of heroes of faith and come to the phrase ,Some were sawn in two vs 37,some believe this to be a direct reference to the prophet Isaiah.
That's all we know.It is the word he delivered which is more important than he.
If we are unsure as to how he died , we are sure of his involvement in proclaiming God's message.
A message of Salvation
In chpt 20 for example he walked naked in Jerusalem to demonstrate against the nations leaning towards Egypt against Assyria. Salvation is not to be found in the might of Egypt, In a worldly power.Just as he is naked so will the egyptians be in the day Assyria crushes them. You are looking in the wrong place for salvation in taking sides with Egypt against Assyria.
The Lord is the ruler over the nations .he gives power and he takes away power in his sovereignty over the earth.
Isaiah was prepared to be a fool for God in telling his message about God's power over the nations.The Godly are prepared to step over the line to God's side .THEY know that salvation ultimately belong to God .The Godly side with God against themselves.
His message was always more important than his own comfort or welfare.And this book which contained the messages he delivered over 40 years we can only touch on an occasion like this. .It is a complied collection of his writings, of his speakings and therefore there is no clear outline or order running through.Each speech or sermon or address to the people needs to be taken by itself and the questions of" when was it given, why was it given,what did it say to the people at that time and what has it got to say to us.?has to be applied.
If i were to asked you for your favourite passage or text from the O.T. many of you would choose something from this prophet. Whether you knew it came from here or not.
Just from chpt one."Though your sins are like scarlet,they shall be as white as snow."There is salvation in summary . Even though your sins are deeply seated and has scarred your life ,you may know the salvation by the cleansing of your life.
Is 40. To whom will you liken God?
Is 53.he was wounded for our trangressions,bruised for our iniquities sins,"
Is 55. Whoever is thirsty come to the waters.Seek the Lord while he may be found."Call upon Him while he is near."Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous his thoughts and let him return to the Lord.-Salvation
There are parts of Isaiah which is the best known in the Bible, and there are parts which are the least known in the Bible.IN other words we have our favourite passages from isaiah,and most of those are bacause of Handel's messiah.Handel took words from Isaiah more than from any other part of the OT.
Isaiah pointed to Christ and His salvation. "He shall feed his flock,behold a virgin shall conceive, comnfort ye, comfort ye my people.Handel drew freely from this book.
AS far as the whole book of Isaiah is concerned, some have described it as the whole Bible in miniature .it is as if God took the whole Bible and squeezed it into one book.
Let me show you what I mean.
Even though I have said is difficult to analyse and break up into parts. But not too difficult.there is one very clear division indeed that divides the book into two very definite sections which make them quite different from each other.
Chpt 1-39 and chpt 40 -66.
Every body who has studied isaiah from as far back as two centuries ago,divides the book into these two sections.Its an obvious division when you read them through.Quite different in subject in content, in atmosphere, in tone.
So different that some people have even thought that they must have been written by different people.But that is by no means established.I am sure myself that the same man Isaiah wrote them.There are the same expressions even though the subject matter is totally different.
Notice that there are 39 chpts in the first half of Isaiah and twenty seven in this part ,the second.,
. Does that strike a chord.?
IN the Bible there are 66 books,there are 39 in the O.T.and 27 in the N.T. and the astonishing thing is that the atmosphere the theme of these chpts (1 – 39 ) Of Isaiah is the atmosphere of the Old Testament.
And the atmosphere of those ( chapter 40 – 66 of Isaiah )is the atmosphere of the new Testamant of the bible. .Let me give you a couple of examples of the similarity.
In the book of Isaiah it begins with the sin of the people.So does the O.T.right from the beginning in Gen.3.WE are talking about the sin of Adam and Eve.IN the book of Isaiah, the first section ends with the promise of a coming king of righteousness who will redeem israel. Chpt 39 So does the whole O. T. with the message of Malachi
This second half of Isaiah begins. this way. A voice crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord.
Isa 40:3 ¶ A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.
And the N. T. begins with John the Baptist and uses exactly those words of him a voice crying in the wilderness . " Prepare the way of the Lord.
Mk 1: 3 "a voice of one calling in the desert, `Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'"
Mk1 :4 And so John came, baptising in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
About half way through the second section of Isaiah we have the wonderful chapter. Isaiah 53 about the cross.Halfway through the N. T. you have those chpters on the cross.
And you know what the whole book of Isaiah finishes with. ?
Is 66: 22 "As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares the LORD, "so will your name and descendants endure.A vision of new heavens and a new earth.
And when you read the N. T. it finishes with a vision of a new heaven and a new earth.
Rev 21: 1 ¶ Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
Here is a rough guide to show that Isaiah is the Bible in miniature. Just as you find that the O. T is harder to understand.You will find the first 39 chpts of Isaiah hard going.
The need is outlined here in chpt 1- 39 and then the answer in Christ is proclaimed in chpts 40 - 66.The disease is outlined.in the first section The next section has the cure.The symptoms are here in chpt 1-39.When you get to chpt 40 you get the beginning of the news of the cure.
This book says more and most clearly about Jesus Christ then any other of the OT.His birth is there,his family background is described .HIs anointing by the H.S is given in detail. His character his gentleness . Chpt 53 gives clearly Jesus' suffering on the Cross more than any other book of the OT.His resurrection his future reign in Glory is described perfectly.
So in Isaiah we have a christian book.A book of salvation.God’s plan of salvation.From the tragedy of sin – God has made a pathway through His son , so that those who turn from self to Him has eternal life.
You search the scriptures because they are about me.Joh 5:39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, They bear witness to me. When Jesus spoke these words , the only scriptures they had were the OT. The NT wasn't written . A lot of people mistakenly think that the NT is about Jesus and the OT isn't,.Jesus said that the OT is about himself.How about reading Isaiah for the next few weeks and see how many references you can find about Jesus.Search Isaiah for what you may learn of Jesus.Next time you share the gospel use Isaiah.How about chpt 7 behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.