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The Messianic Prophet
God is always looking for men and women whom He can set apart for specific service.
God called heaven and earth, all creation, to witness His case against His people and called Isaiah of Jerusalem to indite the people for religious apostasy, moral weakness and wickedness. To inform them there is a Day of Judgement, that God has judgement on all nations, that there is redemption and hope. Most of all, that God alone is The One Holy God.
Isaiah lived in the 8th century B.C. and was of royal blood. Jewish tradition records that Isaiah's father, Amoz was King Uzziah's uncle, which makes the prophet a cousin to the king who is also called Azariah.
Isaiah had easy access to King Uzziah and fellowship with a priest, which shows the high rank of his family. Having been reared and married in Jerusalem, he was God's appropriate choice as a political and religious counsellor, mainly to Judah, the Southern Kingdom.
He did not intend of himself to become a prophet, he was established as a scribe in the royal palace in Jerusalem, which was a very respectable career.
Isaiah was privileged to have a vision from God, in which he saw The Lord sitting on a throne, and above the throne he saw seraphim, six winged angels. This was a life-changing experience, he received a glimpse of God's glory in The Temple and was overcome by the awesomeness of God's holiness and the awareness of his own sin and that of the people of Judah.
Isaiah's vision made him painfully acknowledge his sinful state and felt the unworthiness of himself standing before a holy God. Isaiah realised he was common and unclean before God, with no hope of measuring up to God's standard. When his lips were touched with a burning coal from the altar by a flying seraph, he was told his sins were forgiven. In response he submitted himself entirely to God's service. He had the understanding of being cleansed and purified by fire.
Sinful mankind in the presence of The Holy God is doomed, but God took the initiative to provide atonement and cleansing because of Isaiah's grief and repentance. Isaiah's vision was a supernatural divine revelation communicated through images of spiritual truths.
Isaiah was given a difficult mission. God did tell him in advance that the messages would not be heeded because of hardened hearts, but some individuals would benefit and that was the reason for Isaiah's ministry.
As a person, Isaiah was an ardent worshipper. He was reared in an aristocratic home and his education was of a very high standard. He spent all of his life in Jerusalem. His name means 'The Lord Saves'.
Isaiah is not the son of a prophet, yet he did marry a woman who was called 'the prophetess' who bore him two sons that were named by actual association with his ministry. By his son's names Isaiah's messages were constant reminders to the people of Judah. Isaiah served as a loyal advisor to kings all throughout his years of ministry.
The role of Isaiah the prophet was to speak for God, comforting the people and guiding their leaders with God's messages, commands and promises. His message often went unheeded but the prophet faithfully and forcefully proclaimed the Truth.
Isaiah was a student of world affairs and knew that Asian powers were growing and were poised for conflict. God had revealed to Isaiah that both Israel and Judah were to receive judgement from these developing powers, Isaiah used every word for sin that belonged to the Hebrew language to warn the population, there were times when this was successful but did not avoid adversity.
Isaiah shared God's hatred for compromise but also revealed God's nature of mercy and judgement, grace and discipline, justice and forgiveness, exile and salvation.
His messages were unpopular, calling the inhabitants of Judah to repent of sin. He was a prophet when the Nation of Israel was divided into two kingdoms, the north being Israel and the south being Judah. He lived to see the destruction of the Northern Kingdom. Isaiah was faithful in the unfolding of God's plan as promised for the nation.
Isaiah lived at the time of the founding of the first Olympic games of the Greeks and also when the building of Rome as a city began. Judah had developed into a strong commercial and military state with the construction of towers, fortifications and a trading port at The Red Sea.
God spoke through Isaiah to address the sins of the people of Judah. His chief duty was to deal with these issues for God never called a prophet while the nation was walking in obedience to God.
God used Isaiah to confront the nation of their sins, that was the purpose of his prophetic ministry which spanned the years from 740 - 681 B.C. He was also known for his focus on holiness. The inhabitants of Judah failed in moral and ethical living, it was to this community Isaiah pronounced God's judgement as well as messages of future hope.
Isaiah predicted the demise of Judah and the restoration of the people from captivity. Isaiah was able to unveil the full dimensions of God's judgement and salvation, that God The Holy One must punish His rebellious people and then redeem them.
Isaiah warned them deliverance would only come through repentance. Although he prophesied judgement he also passed on messages of hope.
He wrote down his prophecies from God during a stormy period in the Nation's history, the time of Northern Israel's decline and he condemned many decisions that were made politically.
Isaiah wrote the entire book which bears his name, in the Hebrew poetic style. The quality of his language is impressive, in it is found fire is used as a figurative sign of God's judgement. Several writers of New Testament refer to Isaiah's prophetic writings from The Spirit of God. God showed Isaiah many events that were to happen in the future. He wrote of The Messiah's atoning work.
Prophecy is given by the inspiration of God. He lived seven hundred years before Jesus came yet talked and wrote about Jesus with precise detail of His birth, life, death by crucifixion, and His Second Coming.
Isaiah not only spoke of judgement that would come to pass but of restoration through Christ, God's Lamb. Isaiah called the people to seek God and to turn from idols. Isaiah constantly reminded the people that God was the One Holy God. Isaiah was a forth-teller but also a foreteller.
Isaiah spoke fearlessly to kings and people alike of their sins and failures. Instead of admitting their sin and responding to the truth, the people blamed God for the terrible consequences of their sin. This is called spiritual blindness.
He was God's spokesperson to an indifferent society. Isaiah was a statesman prophet, advisor to five Kings of Judah. Isaiah warned Judah of the coming exile in Babylon which did take place 150 years later. Isaiah also set forth an exalted portrayal of God who is worthy of worship. Isaiah's prophecies are formed on an overwhelming sense of universal power and majesty of God.
The Nation during the time of Isaiah's ministry was both blind and deaf to the spiritual messages of God. Isaiah announced the Judgement of The Nations that defy God and speaks of The Day of The Lord, The Second Coming of Christ.
Isaiah was sarcastic in the denunciation of idols. Isaiah, like Moses calls the nation to repentance and to believe and trust in one holy, all-powerful God.
Isaiah served God responsively and receptively.
Isaiah looked forward to the coming of a greater descendant of King David than the Kings of Judas he served, the One who would be called "Wonderful, counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace", who would govern in the power of The Holy Spirit and be a 'light unto the Gentiles' and bear the sins of many.
Through The Holy Spirit he foretold of the ministry of God's Suffering Servant and of His ultimate victory that would culminate in a new heaven and a new earth. He knew God's purposes for His people are to bless and restore.
Isaiah is known as the 'Messianic prophet' as well as the 'evangelical prophet'. Some of the prophesies of Isaiah will not be fulfilled until Jesus returns. Righteousness will reign, God will be worshipped among the nations and there will be victory over death, and resurrection of the dead. Many of Isaiah's prophecies have been fulfilled in Christ. He not only declared of birth of Jesus, His First and Second coming but also a future new heaven and a new earth.
Isaiah's prophecies concerning Christ Himself are so definite that it gives a Christian great assurance that The Bible is truly The Word of God.
The fulfilment of some of his prophecies were fulfilled in his lifetime which proved his credentials for the office of prophet.
Through Isaiah God was able to reveal His plans even though the majority continually ignored them, for the prophet remained true to his calling. The people had broken their Covenant with God and rebelled against Him. This realisation made Isaiah proclaim his messages with a broken and regretful heart, yet forcefully. His whole book of utterances from God revolve around the salvation of a faithful remnant.
Isaiah outlived five kings of Judah. He began to prophesy in 740 B.C. and perhaps knew of Amos, Hosea, prophets in the north and Micah in the south. Isaiah wrote and declared that women neglected their families, the wealthy oppressed the poor, pagan worship was tolerated by all, also many priests and prophets had became drunken men-pleasers.
Isaiah is considered to be the greatest prophets. His prophecies from God are quoted directly more than any other prophet in The Bible. He wrote under the inspiration of The Holy Spirit with versatile expression and rich vocabulary.
Isaiah has been called 'the Prince of the prophets' because of proclaiming the problem of mankind and God's answer of salvation.
Isaiah was most popular as God's prophet during the reign of King Hezekiah. He suffered at death by being sawn in half during the reign of King Manassah of Judah.
Jesus began His own ministry by reading the prophetic words from Isaiah's prophetic book. Isaiah through God's foreknowledge was able to write all about The Messiah, God's Servant, with vivid descriptions and graphic scenes.
The oldest copy of The Book of Isaiah was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.
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