DATE: 740-680 B.C.
The prophet Isaiah was the son of Amoz, but nothing is known about this man. What we do know is that God spoke at great length to Isaiah and used him in a mighty way to carry his message to the nation and prophesy of coming events for all future generations to read. Although usually scoffed at, Isaiah diligently warned the nation of Israel against making alliances with other nations. He urged Judah to trust the Lord (Isaiah 7:4; Isaiah 30:1-17). He also attacked the social ills of their time, knowing that they were a result of spiritual declension (1:3-9; 58:6-10). Isaiah lived most of his life in Jerusalem. While the Bible does not tell how he died, tradition claims that Isaiah was martyred during the reign of Manasseh (696-642 BC) by being sawed in two, inside a hollow log. It’s believed this is referenced in Heb 11:37.
During the latter half of the eighth century, Judah was starting to follow in the apostasy “footsteps” of the northern 10 tribes of Israel. King Ahaz foolishly looked to Assyria for protection, even though Isaiah told him the Northern Kingdom would soon fall at the hands of the Assyrians (8:3-4). The Northern Kingdom was conquered by Assyria in 772 BC. Hezekiah, Ahaz’s God-fearing son, instituted spiritual reforms but sought the help of Egypt in foreign affairs. Egypt fell to Sennacherib of Assyria, and only through divine intervention was Judah saved from the same fate (37:36-37). During the reign of Manasseh, idolatrous practices were reinstated in Judah, and Isaiah warned of impending judgment at the hands of Babylon who would take them captive. However, Isaiah also gave assurance of the preservation of the people and a future restoration of the nation.
The book of Isaiah is like a miniature Bible. The first thirty-nine chapters (like the thirty-nine books of the OT) are filled with judgment upon immoral and idolatrous men. The final 27 chapters (like the twenty-seven books of the New Testament) declare a message of hope. No other book of the Bible has more to say about the captivity of God’s people and the promise of freedom and restoration than the book of Isaiah. Isaiah prophesied of events that would come to pass soon for both the Northern and the Southern Kingdoms. He prophesied of events that would be far off in their fulfillment (a Deliverer to come, i.e. Jesus’ first coming), and those that would be the culmination of all God’s promises (Jesus’ second coming and His rule and reign on earth). It’s no wonder that Isaiah’s name means “The Lord Saves,” and the word “salvation” is used in his book 27 times—twice as many times as in the books of the other Old Testament prophets combined.
Isaiah has often been called “the evangelical prophet” because he says more about the coming and the redemptive work of Messiah than any other book of the Old Testament. Consequently, there are many important and favorite passages in the book, some of which are 1:18; 2:4; 6:3, 8; 7:14; 9:6-7; 11:9; 26:3; 35:1; 40:3; 48:16; chap. 53; 55:1; 57:15; 59:1; 61:1-3.
OUTLINE OF ISAIAH
Part 1: Denunciation, 1:1-39:8
I. Denunciation of Judah, 1:1-12:6
A. The Condemnation of Judah, 1:1-5:30
1. Superscription, 1:1
2. God’s indictment, 1:2-23
3. God’s promise of restoration after judgment, 1:24-31
4. The glory of the future kingdom, 2:1-4
5. The purging, 2:5-4:1
6. The millennial kingdom, 4:2-6
7. The parable of the vineyard, 5:1-30
B. The Commission of Isaiah, 6:1-13
C. The Coming of Messiah, 7:1-12:6
1. The sign of Immanuel, 7:1-25
2. The sign of Maher-shalal-hash-baz, 8:1-22
3. The sign of Messiah, 9:1-7
4. Judgment on Samaria, 9:8-10:4
5. Retribution (on Assyria) and return (of Israel), 10:5-34
6. The rule of the Branch of Jesse, 11:1-16
7. A hymn of praise, 12:1-6
II. Denunciations Against Other Nations, 13:1-23:18
A. Against Babylon, 13:1-14:23
B. Against Assyria, 14:24-27
C. Against Philistia, 14:28-32
D. Against Moab, 15:1-16:14
E. Against Damascus (Aram) and her Ally, Israel, 17:1-14
F. Against Ethiopia, 18:1-7
G. Against Egypt, 19:1-20:6
H. Against Babylon, 21:1-10
I. Against Edom, 21:11-12
J. Against Arabia, 21:13-17
K. Against Jerusalem, 22:1-25
L. Against Tyre, 23:1-18
III. The Future Tribulation and Kingdom (Isaiah’s Apocalypse), 24:1-27:13
A. The Judgments of the Tribulation Period, 24:1-23
B. The Triumphs of the Kingdom Age, 25:1-12
C. Praise in the Kingdom, 26:1-21
D. Israel in the Kingdom, 27:1-13
IV. Denunciation of Israel and Judah (Woes and Blessings), 28:1-35:10
A. Woe on Samaria, 28:1-29
B. Woe on Judah, 29:1-31:9
1. For her hypocrisy, 29:1-24
2. For her alliance with Egypt, 30:1-31:9
C. Messiah and His Kingdom, 32:1-20
D. Assyria and Her Destruction, 33:1-24
E. Armageddon and Its Judgments, 34:1-17
F. The Kingdom and Its Blessings, 35:1-10
V. Denunciation of Sennacherib, 36:1-39:8
A. The Taunt from Assyria, 36:1-22
B. The Truth from God, 37:1-7
C. The Threat from Assyria, 37:8-35
D. The Triumph over Assyria, 37:36-38
E. The Sickness of Hezekiah, 38:1-22
F. The Stupidity of Hezekiah, 39:1-8
Part 2: Consolation, 40:1-66:24
I. The Greatness of God, 40:1-48:22
A. In Releasing Judah from Captivity, 40:1-11
B. In Relation to the Creation, 40:12-31
C. In Comparison to Idols, 41:1-29
D. In Providing His Servant, 42:1-25
E. In Restoring Israel, 43:1-44:28
F. In Using Cyrus, 45:1-25
G. In Judging Babylon, 46:1-47:15
H. In Releasing Judah from Babylon, 48:1-22
II. The Salvation of the Servant-Messiah, 49:1-57:21
A. The Servant Commissioned, 49:1-26
B. The Servant Contrasted with Disobedient Israel, 50:1-11
C. The Remnant Encouraged and Exhorted, 51:1-52:12
D. The Suffering and Triumph of the Servant, 52:13-53:12
E. Salvation Through the Servant, 54:1-57:21
1. The song of salvation, 54:1-17
2. The invitation of salvation, 55:1-13
3. Millennial blessings extended to Gentiles, 56:1-8
4. Rebuke to those who refuse salvation, 56:9-57:21
III. The Program of God for Peace, 58:1-66:24
A. The Contrast Between Right and Wrong Worship, 58:1-14
B. The Dealing with Sin, 59:1-21
1. Description of Israel’s sins, 59:1-8
2. Confession of Israel’s sins, 59:9-15
3. Blotting out of Israel’s sins, 59:16-21
C. The Glory of Israel in the Millennial Kingdom, 60:1-22
D. The Messiah’s Ministry of Peace During Both Advents, 61:1-11
E. The Restoration of Israel, 62:1-12
F. The Prerequisites for Blessing, 63:1-65:16
1. Judgment of God’s enemies, 63:1-6
2. Confession of God’s people, 63:7-64:12
3. Repentance of sins, 65:1-16
G. The Characteristics of the Kingdom, 65:17-25
H. The Rebuke of Hypocrisy, 66:1-6
I. The Rebirth of Israel, 66:7-9
J. The Rejoicing in the Future, 66:10-24
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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