Verse of the Day

1 John 4:10In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.

Bible Reading

Numbers 3-4
Acts 25

Isaiah the Prophet of God

Not much is known about Isaiah the man. He is said to be the son of Amoz and likely grew up during the days of Uzziah. Isaiah was called to the office of prophet at the end of Uzziah's reign (710 BC) and extended his work throughout the reign of Hezekiah (see Isaiah 6:1 {653 BC}). His time as a prophet covered a span of approximately fifty seven years. Amos and Hosea prophesied in Israel while Isaiah and Micah prophesied to Judah. Israel and Judah had experienced prosperity unlike any other time save the days of Solomon. Though God had richly blessed them they did not return his loving care. They were in need of instruction and reproof. Isaiah voluntarily took this job.

Isaiah, like Daniel, received a heavenly vision of the throne of God in the year that king Uzziah died (710 BC) (Isaiah chapter 6). The Lord asks, " Whom shall I send and who will go for us?" Isaiah, knowing the degenerate state of Judah, responded saying "Here am l; send me" (Isaiah 6:8). God tells Isaiah that he is to go to the wicked of Judah and expose their sins (see also Isaiah 58:1). As we read throughout the book of Isaiah we see that the prophet's secondary work was to encourage the captives in Babylon. Isaiah was to tell the remnant in Babylonian captivity about the coming servant, Christ, and the salvation that awaited the faithful. The Lord warns his prophet that the people would be hardened by his message as many are hardened today by the gospel of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 6:9ff and 2 Corinthians 2:14-16). Isaiah, like Ezra the scribe and priest, was up for the challenge and had obviously prepared himself for this day (see Ezra 7:10).

Judah had not been attacked by Babylon as of yet nor had they began their seventy years of captivity as Jeremiah had foretold (see Jeremiah 25:11). Isaiah; however, spoke of these events as though (Continued on inside)

(Continued from front page) they had already occurred. Isaiah, like David, was a prophet of God who predicted and wrote the words of our Lord hundreds of years before he would actually say them (see Psalm 22:1 and 16:8-12). Jesus quoted from Isaiah 61:13 at Luke 4:16-19 and then said, "Today has this scripture been fulfilled in your ears" (Luke 4:20-21). Such an event causes amazement in our minds.

Approximately 700 years before Christ would come into the world Isaiah, by inspiration of God, records the Lord's words. Truly Jehovah is eternally omniscient (see Isaiah 46:9-10) and his word everlasting (Proverbs 8:22-26).

Jesus said, "From henceforth I tell you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, you may believe that I am he" (John 13:19). Again, Jesus said, " These things have I spoken unto you that you should not be caused to stumble" (John 16:1). 2 Peter 3:3 is an example of what Jesus spoke about. Jesus and his apostles spoke words not only of encouragement and instruction but they gave warnings too. Jesus spoke about future things that the disciples would face before they happened so that they could prepare themselves now to combat these things in the future (John 14:29). Isaiah similarly and prophetically spoke to those in Babylonian captivity.

Fifty seven years would pass as Isaiah performed his God ordained work (The last days of Uzziah through Hezekiah's reign over Judah or 710 to 653 BC). Though Isaiah was given other unpleasant tasks, such as informing Hezekiah of his death (Isaiah 38:1), we never hear him complain to God. Isaiah remained true to his purpose expressed at chapter 6:8 when he said, "Here am l; send me." Jesus has given his people the same tasks (see Matthew 28:18-20). We too can speak the end before the beginning in relationship to judgment, heaven, and hell (see Isaiah 46:9-10). The duty of the Christian today is to expose the sins of the world, by way of the gospel message, so that men may come to repentance (see Ephesians 5:11 and 2 Timothy 2:1-2). I can speak of the Day of Judgment now as though it were happening as we speak because of the surety of the event (see 1 Corinthians 5:5). Let us all go about our spiritual work without murmuring or complaining as did Isaiah. Souls are at stake and if we don't do our part to convert them someone else will (Esther 4:14). God's kingdom is eternal and indestructible!

John C Robertson

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