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Isaiah: An Introduction. Chapters 1 - 9. Isaiah (“Yahweh is salvation”) was a prophet called by the Lord to speak to the Southern Kingdom of Judah. He was called by God the year that King Uzziah died. He spent most of his life in Jerusalem.

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who was isaiah

Isaiah (“Yahweh is salvation”) was a prophet called by the Lord to speak to the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

  • He was called by God the year that King Uzziah died.
  • He spent most of his life in Jerusalem.
  • His prophecies are quoted the most frequently in the New Testament--Jesus quotes from Isaiah a lot!

Who Was Isaiah?

the book of isaiah

The Book of Isaiah has 66 chapters!

  • The first 39 chapters of Isaiah are more immediate and historical.
  • The last 27 chapters are more prophetic and spiritual (more evangelistic!).
  • Do you notice something interesting about the total number of chapters and the way that Isaiah is divided?
  • (Hint: Think about the organization of the Bible!)

The Book of Isaiah

part one the book of judgment

Chapters 1 – 39 (gloom & doom)

    • Isaiah lists charges & judgment against Judah for breaking God’s covenant (oppressing the poor & the helpless, making treaties with nations and following their false gods) and then shares the story of how God called Isaiah. (1 – 6)
    • God’s judgment will come through Assyria (7 – 35).
    • Then there will a miraculous deliverance for Judah during the reign of King Hezekiah (36 – 39).
    • Unfortunately, Judah will drift away again and thus will fall and be exiled by the Babylonians. (39)

Part One: The Book of Judgment

part two the book of comfort

Chapters 40 – 66 (hope & glory)

    • Isaiah gives hope and comfort to the exiles of Judah who are living in Babylon.
    • There are messages of warning and promises of future blessings and comfort for Judah and us.
    • Isaiah’s prophecies speak to the immediate situation in Judah and the restoration of Israel.
    • But Isaiah’s prophecies also speak of the future when all the earth would see the salvation of God (the fulfillment of God’s promise to David) through the work of a suffering servant—a light for all the world—JESUS!

Part Two: The Book of Comfort

isaiah 6 here i am lord send me

Isaiah’s vision and calling by the Lord highlight the four repeated themes of the book of Isaiah:

God’s Holiness (How was this described?)

Judah’s Sinfulness (What made Isaiah cry out?)

God’s Forgiveness (How did God respond to Isaiah?)

God’s Call to Preach (Notice the timing here!)

Isaiah 6: “Here I am Lord, send me.”

be ever hearing but never understanding

God’s message to Isaiah was not promising…

  • Why? What did God describe?
  • What do you think God was trying to tell Isaiah?
  • What was going to happen to Judah?
    • The land would be destroyed.
    • The people would be deported.
    • Even the remaining 10% would be destroyed.
  • What promise did God give in the end?
    • A faithful remnant would remain.
    • New life would spring from the remnant.
    • (images of a tree and a stump)

“Be ever hearing but never understanding.”

isaiah 7 9 god s message to king ahaz

Judah is in a tough spot. Aram and Israel are threatening Judah because King Ahaz wouldn’t form an alliance with them against Assyria. Edom and Philistia were also attacking. Judah is surrounded on all sides.

  • God sent Isaiah to encourage Ahaz to rely on the Lord but Ahaz refused and took matters into his own hands. Judgment followed.

Isaiah 7 – 9: God’s Message to King Ahaz

isaiah 7 8 images of judgment

Honey & Curds = the food of nomads (wanderers). This is what Judah would have to eat because the Assyrian invasion would devastate them.

  • Images of God
    • Beekeeper (whistling for the bees to come)
    • Stone/Rock (stumble and fall)
  • Images of Assyria:
    • Bees
    • Razor
    • Floodwater

Isaiah 7 – 8: Images of Judgment

isaiah 7 9 images of hope

Immanuel = God is with us.

  • Meant to be an encouragement to Ahaz, which he rejects. This becomes a sign of hope for all people that foreshadows and is fulfilled when Jesus comes.
  • What other image does Isaiah use to describe the hope of the Lord that points ahead to Jesus?

Isaiah 7 & 9: Images of Hope