The book of Isaiah is the first of the writings of the prophets in the Bible; and Isaiah, the author, is generally considered to be the greatest prophet. The name Isaiah means the “salvation of the Lord.” The “office” of prophet was instituted during the days of Samuel, the last of the judges. Prophets stood with the priests as God’s special representatives. The prophet’s role was to speak for God, confronting the people and their leaders with God’s commands and promise. Isaiah has two parts. Chapters 1-39, He condemns the sins of Judah and warns of coming judgment. In chapters 40-66, He prophesies Judah’s deliverance from Babylonian captivity. Throughout both sections, he announces the establishment of God’s glorious kingdom. The first section primarily highlights law and condemnation, while the second emphasizes grace and glorious redemption. “The Holy One of Israel” is one of Isaiah’s favorite names for the Lord. The date & time of the writings were 700 years before Jesus came into the picture. His purpose was to call God’s people back and to point the way to the coming Messiah. As you read Isaiah, imagine this strong and courageous man of God, fearlessly proclaiming God’s word!
Vs. 1, “The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.” Isaiah had served under four different kings, but his greatest concern was the spiritual state of God’s people. There is a place for political action, for it is God who established government. But the leaders’ faith must be in God’s truth and not in man’s schemes. Outwardly God’s people looked okay…but as we read the first few verses, we see that was not the case. His people were rebellious children, lower than animals (vs.1–3). They were sick with sin, like lepers (vs.4–6), and their “garden city” had become another Sodom and Gomorrah (vs.7–9). Their popular religious meetings were futile and a grief to the Lord (vs.10–15). In fact, their religious activities defiled the people instead of making them clean (vs.16–20). The wife of Jehovah was now a harlot (vs.21); their treasures were now cheap (vs.22–26); and their garden was destined to be destroyed by fire (vs.27–31). There is also a warning to repent and turn back to Him as we read the last half.
Regarding application…Revive Our Hearts through Forgivness. Vs. 18, “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Notice how it is contingent upon coming to the LORD. God could not make Judah clean and Jesus could not make Jerusalem clean by force. It all depended upon how God’s people respond to His call of forgiveness. A timely reminder as we have a revival this coming weekend @ our church! Think of Jesus’ blood that was shed, I think that is why Isaiah uses this example. Have you allowed God’s healing forgiveness to impact your life? Live like you are forgiven. If you do…you will be surprised how much that can change your life. All those trials and struggles are carried also by Jesus…he lift’s the weight for us! Let us live a life so we might become the righteousness of God!