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March 13, 2022

This week we started reading the book of Isaiah. It initially is a hard read as was Deuteronomy, but we will see it has a great ending filled with hope.

Isaiah (means “the Lord saves”) began his ministry in 740 B.C during the reign of four Kings of Judah; Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. He was the son of Amoz (Is 1:1). Isaiah was a prophet. He was considered one of four major prophets of the Old Testament. He was a major prophet because his book was long. The other major prophets were Jeremiah, Daniel, and Ezekiel. There were also 12 minor prophets, whose books are shorter. They were Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Johah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaneah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The prophets Amos, Hosea, and Micah were contemporaries of Isaiah.

There are two main themes in the book. The first is in chapters 1-39 where Isaiah talks about the sins of His people and God’s judgement. The second is in chapters 40-66, where Isaiah talks about God offering His deliverance from sin.

Isaiah gives us the most comprehensive prophecy of the coming of Jesus. It includes:

1. The announcement of His coming (40:3-5); “A voice of one calling: In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord[a]; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.[b] Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

2. The virgin birth (7:14); “Therefore the Lord himself will give you[a] a sign: The virgin[b] will conceive and give birth to a son, and[c] will call him Immanuel.[d]

3. His Good News proclamation (61:1); “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a

4. His sacrificial death (53:5); “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

His resurrection (60:2); “See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.”

In our reading this week I want to focus on chapter 5. We will need to think back on Deuteronomy where God called his people to live in obedience. He had specific ways they were to offer sacrifices, worship, and treat others. God wanted them to love Him alone. Over time, as predicted by God in Deuteronomy, the Israelites’ hearts were far from God. They had idols. They were not treating each other well. They were conducting the sacrifices according to the law, but their heart was not there.

There were 6 “woes” that God shared in Isaiah chapter 5. The woes were really sins that the Israelites were committing.

Here is a summary of the 6 woes:

(1) Greed and defiance against God’s ways (5:8).

(2) Drunkenness and pleasure seeking without regard to the Lord (5:11-12).

(3) Deceit and wickedness and pursuit of personal sin (5:18-19).

(4) Destruction of God’s standard of right and wrong (5:20).

(5) Pride because man regards himself as wise (5:21).

(6) Glorifying sin and mocking what is good. (5:22-23).

Because of the above sins, God placed judgment on His people. The story does not end there, however. The good news, comes later in the book, where God offers hope for the forgiveness of sin through His son Jesus.

While this book is specific to the sins of the Israelites, think about how it may apply to you as well. Is there something in your life you need to ask forgiveness from the Lord or from someone else?

Would you like the hope that only Jesus can give for the forgiveness of sin? If so, please let me know and I would be happy to pray with you.

Next week’s reading is Isaiah 9-23.

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