Prophet Isaiah, like the prophets before him, was used by God to share a dual message of hope and judgment for the people of Israel. Based on the historical record, Isaiah began his prophetic ministry during the reign of King Uzziah and continued to preach God's message of repentance and judgment under kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah ( 739–681 BC), a time when God's people had turned a deaf ear to God's command and turned a blind eye to their neighbors in need. (Isaiah 6:9-10)
Isaiah - A Messenger Sent
Not only are Isaiah’s vision full of incomprehensible glory, they also give us a glimpse into God's visions, His perfect holiness, as well as many profound prophecies regarding God’s plan of salvation, calling all men and women to follow Him in His Holiness
These glorious visions were overwhelming to Isaiah, who proclaimed,
“I am a man of unclean lips, and live among a people of unclean lips!” (Isaiah 6:5)
In love, God forgave Isaiah’s sinfulness and commissioned him to take a message of judgment to the nations, as well as a call of repentance in preparation of a coming Messiah!
A Message Of Hope Wrapped In Judgements
As we read Isaiah, we can be easily caught up in the numerous proclamations of judgment and destruction that Isaiah declared against Israel and their enemies. In fact, the first 35 chapters of Isaiah are often referred to as “The Book Of Judgment.”
The nations of the world had turned from God and followed false idols, defiling the land with social injustices and immorality and refusing to listen to prophets sent by God.
The earth lies defiled under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed the laws,
violated the statutes,
broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore a curse devours the earth,
and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched,
and few men are left. (Isaiah 24:4–6)
However, in God there is always hope and salvation. God reveals His final solution to the world's sin through Isaiah’s prophetic proclamations of a coming Messiah!
Who is this Messiah? Why does God send Him to the world? What will He do? How do we identify Him?
The Book of Isaiah answers all these vital questions. The Messiah would be from the line of King David who would bring salvation for a chosen people.
Born of a virgin, this King would not only triumph over sin and death, but His suffering would be the sign of His glorification.
God will give a child to the world...
God plans to save the world through a child? A son? Yes indeed. Scriptures have repeated told us God loves to use the most unexpected to accomplish the impossible so that man are without excuse. God's plan is always beyond human understanding. This is why we need God to reveal Himself and His will to us.
Isaiah gives us a glimpse of this son:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of theLord Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
How can a child be 'Mighty God'??? How can a son be 'Everlasting Father'???
Only God can accomplish this. Only in this way can our sins be forgiven, and only through this way can the atonement sacrifice be accepted by God.
The Promise of a Suffering Messiah - Isaiah 53
In chapter 53, Isaiah proclaims a prophetic message from God about the Messiah who would suffer for the sins of God’s people and bring salvation to the nations. We see clear descriptions of this Messiah, including his birth, life, ministry, suffering, death, and coming back to life again!
1. He would not be desirable, and many people would reject Him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3)
2. He would bear the grief and sorrows of His people, and be crushed for their sins.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6)
3. He would accept His unjust punishment as the sacrificial lamb for all mankind.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people? (Isaiah 53:7-9)
4. His sacrificial death would atone for the sins of all nations.
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,...
...Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:10-12)
Isaiah’s Prophecies - God's Message for the Entire World
Isaiah’s prophecies found their perfect fulfillment in Jesus Christ. He came from God, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died an unjust sinner’s death at the hands of the Romans, and rose again three days later - defeating death and sin through His sacrificial offering on the cross.
While living in a time of turmoil and destruction, Isaiah looked forward to the coming salvation of God and placed his hope in God’s promise. This promise is not a list of rules for mankind to follow. God is not pleased with human religiosity and meaningless rules, because He knows we can never save ourselves by our own effort. No one can ever earn God's acceptance.
God's promise is that He would provide the lamb for the ultimate sacrifice, just as He had done to Father Abraham many centuries ago. God's mercy and faithfulness never changed. This lamb would carry all of mankind's sin and suffer the punishment on our behalf. In God everything is possible (Matthew 19:26). The only problem is whether we believe in God's promise He has revealed to all the Prophets.
Your Response: Listen to God and Pray...
1. According to Prophet Isaiah, why does God send the Messiah to the world? How does God save us from sins through the Messiah?
2. How will you respond to the Messiah sent by God for the forgiveness of your sins?
4. How is God speaking to you through Prophet Isaiah?
5. Who can you share the story with?