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Walking Thru The Bible ISAIAH Introduction Isaiah is quoted in the New Testament more than any other prophet. There are more than 250 allusions to Isaiah's prophesies. The New Testament says that Isaiah "saw the glory of Christ and spoke of him" Jo.12:41. Isaiah's name "Yesha-Yahu" (Salvation is of Yahweh) is almost identical in meaning with Joshua (Yahweh is Salvation), which in the New Testament corresponds to "Jesus." Isaiah -- The Man Isaiah prophesied in Judah during the 8th century BC. It was during his ministry that the northern kingdom of Israel was taken captive by the Assyrians. It was a critical time for Judah for the Assyrians were threatening them also. The prophet Hosea had been preaching in Israel before its fall and Micah was a contemporary prophet with Isaiah in Judah. Isaiah lived in Jerusalem with his wife and two children to whom he gave significant names (7:3; 8:3). The prominence of his father is seen in that the prophet is often called "the son of Amoz" (13 times). The Rabbis taught that Isaiah's father was a brother of King Amaziah, and thus Isaiah would be a first cousin to King Uzziah and of royal blood. Isaiah was well-educated and aware of the international political scene. His wisdom from God was respected by Hezekiah and he served him as a kind of court-prophet. A tradition in the Talmud states that Isaiah when an old man denounced Manasseh's idolatrous decrees and being put inside a hollow log was "sawn asunder" (2 Kings 21:16; Heb. 11:37). Isaiah -- The Author The fabulous book of Isaiah contains 66 chapters. Radical critics in the last century have generally conceded that Isaiah may have written chps 1-39, but argued that chps 40-66 was added by someone else later. These are critics who reject the idea that Isaiah could have prophesied so clearly about Christ. There is no clearer evidence for the unity of Isaiah, however than the testimony of Christ and the writers of the NT. They quote from all sections of Isaiah's book and simply attribute it to Isaiah. (In John 12:37-41, Jesus quotes from Isaiah 53 and Isaiah 6 in the same breath, crediting the prophet with both statements, even joining the two passages by saying, "Isaiah said again..." (vs. 39). Isaiah -- His Work A main theme running through the Book is that God is sending either judgments or comforts, depending on how people respond to Him. I. Visions of Judgment 1-39 (39 number of books in OT) A. The Denunciation of Judah and Jerusalem 1-12 B. The Denunciation of foreign nations 13-27 C. The Denunciation in "Woes" 28-35 D. The Denunciation of Sennacherib 36-39* II. Visions of Comfort 40-66 (27 number of books in NT) A. The Deliverance -- 40-48 From impending Babylonian Captivity B. The Deliverer -- 49-57 The Lord's suffering servant C. The Delivered -- 58-66 The coming glory [* Chps 36-39 is a historical narrative of some events in the reign of Hezekiah and the invasion of Sennacherib.] Isaiah -- His Message The northern kingdom of Israel became immersed in idolatry and carnality and falls to Assyria in 722 BC. The threat of invasion from Assyria is real to Judah as well. Isaiah rebukes the nation's leadership for looking to political alliances with Egypt and others for security instead of trusting in the Lord. Isaiah charges the people of Jerusalem with sin and impiety as the cause of their troubles. Social injustice was rampant in the land, with rich landowners exploiting the poor (Isaiah 5:8). Spiritual life was at a low ebb, with both priests and prophets flattering the wealthy in hope of gain (Isaiah 56:10-12); cf. Micah 3:11). Jerusalem itself was a boiling pot of political factions, intrigue, and corruption. The prophet pleaded for repentance and genuine reformation of life (Isaiah 1:16-17). Isaiah foretells of the captivity in Babylon but prophecies of deliverance and a coming glory. He looks beyond all the events of his own troubled time to the coming, suffering, and reign of the Messiah. Isaiah -- The Messianic Prophet Isaiah earns this title because he increased significantly the awareness of the coming Christ. Interlaced through his messages are glorious glimpses of one who will be the Redeemer of God's people. A few are: 1. There is the prophecy of Immanuel's birth to a virgin in Isaiah 7:14. The Apostle Matthew certifies this passage is fulfilled in the birth of jesus (Matthew 1:22,23). 2. The rejection of the Lord (Christ) as a "stone of stumbling" and "rock of offense" is predicted in Isaiah 8:13,14. See the Apostle Peter's reference in 1 Peter 2:8, 3:14. 3. The benevolence and universality of the Messiah's reign during the Christian age is vividly portrayed in Isaiah 11:1-11. Note how the Apostle Paul uses this in Rom. 15:12. 4. The precious, tried, sure foundation corner-stone to be laid in Zion is viewed in Isaiah 28:16, and referred to on several occasions in the NT (Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:6). 5. In Isaiah 40:3-5 we have a preview of John the Baptist and his preparatory work for the One who came to reveal the "glory of the Lord" to "all flesh." (Note Matthew 3:3). 6. The Lord's compassionate and just mission is stressed in Isaiah 42:1-4 (See Matthew 12:18-21). 7. Isaiah 53 is a veritable galaxy of prophecies pointing to the atoning work of the Savior and many details connected with it (Acts 8:32-35; John 12:38, etc.) SOME GREAT LESSONS 1. If God is GOD then he is able to see the end from the beginning and declare it to his prophets (Isa. 46:9,10; 48:5). To reject predictive prophecy which has been fulfilled clearly and in detail years after the prediction (and said by inspiration to be the fulfillment) is to reject GOD, and vice versa. 2. Sin and wickedness always brings God's disfavor. 3. The Lord has always wanted his people to put their trust in Him and not in the forces of politics. 4. God's great plan has been to redeem man from sin. The promise was given to people long ago and we can enjoy that redemption which is in Christ Jesus. - - - SERMON - - - "THE SUFFERING SERVANT" Isaiah 52:13 - 53:6 Introduction: 1. Isaiah gives an inspired picture of what God's Son would look like, He is called "The Suffering Servant". 2. In the section we have three paragraphs, each giving us a different pose. It begins with "Behold"-- Stop!! look, see! I. The Faithful Servant 52:13-15 1. He volunteered to be a servant -- Phil. 2:7. 2. He was a faithful servant or steward. 3. He was an enthused servant -- John 2:17 4. He was prudent, and an exalted servant. Mk 16:19; Eph 1:22 5. A servant that would startle many. Mark 6:2 II. The Divine Sufferer 53:1-3 1. A proverb of his background -- John 1:46 2. King without pomp -- cf. Acts 25 3. Undesired and despised. 4. Unreceived and rejected -- John 15:25; 17:15 5. A Man of Holiness, acquainted with grief, without esteem. III. The Sinless Substitute 53:4-6 1. No other substitute fitting. 2. He was Immanuel, God manifested in the flesh. John 1;14 3. He took our place. 4. Beaten and insulted. 5. Bruised and crushed. 6. "God laid on him the iniquity of us all." 7. Cut off for our transgressions. Conclusion: 1. Three paragraphs and three poses of Jesus our Savior. 2. All we like sheep have gone astray. 3. What do we see as we look at His picture?
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