The Book of Isaiah Survey Pt1

The Book of Isaiah Survey Pt1

The Book of Isaiah Survey

Pr Edi Giudetti

06-08-2017

 

There are books that present themselves to us that we find a delight to read and to preach from. And there are books that we are compelled to preach on that we find more difficult, not necessarily because it has difficult issue, but because it has a depth and a scope that is somewhat exhaustive. So when we find a book so profound and so great in its scope as the book of Isaiah and we are challenged to preach a simple one hour summary on the entire scope of this incredible volume, I must say that we are now in very deep waters, or at least I am.

To sail these waters however, even if the wind blew so strongly that I could get to the other side in one hour, our glance would be so superficial that a true appreciation of the journey, would be lost.

So for the first time in this series I will need to take a book in two parts. Part one today and part two next week.

INTRODUCTION

If there is a book of the Bible that we might see as the highpoint of literary genius it is the book of Isaiah, if we are to consider a book that has the most sublime poetic prose, depth of impact or value in the Old Testament, it is also the book of Isaiah.

Its scope historically stems from the condemnation of Israel through to the coming of the messiah, it reaches deeply into the Church age and all the way to its end.  Yes it references the Tribulation of the world that is yet to come upon us and it moves even beyond that and into the Millennial kingdom  when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before his ancients gloriously!(24:23).

 The Purpose of the Book of Isaiah is to demonstrate that Salvation, both Physical and Spiritual, is of the Lord. In fact, we discover that Isaiah himself was named prophetically relating to the purpose of his life and writings, for ISAIAH means SALVATION OF JEHOVAH.

The book was penned by the Prophet Isaiah in the years that preceded the Babylonian Captivity of Judah. He tells us plainly in the first verse of the first Chapter the extent and duration of his ministry;

 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

 His ministry extended from the duration of at least three Kings with the beginning of his ministry some-time in the reign of Uzziah.

Uzziah 52yrs, Jotham 16 years, Ahaz 16 years and Hezekiah 29 yrs.

Tradition tells us that Isaiah was murdered by the son of Hezekiah, Manasseh, by being sawn in half with a wooden saw. That identifies the end of his ministry.

So if we consider only the last three kings, the ministry of Isaiah was at least 61 years. There is a hint that perhaps his ministry actually began in the year Uzziah died, as we read this morning. It was then when he volunteered to be sent by the Lord with “here am I send me”

THE OUTLINE

The book itself is the head of the five major prophets. Seventeen is the number of prophetical books of the Old testament and just like the seventeen historical books they see their breaks as five and twelve, The Five Books of Moses being distinct to the following twelve just as the five books of the major prophets are distinct and stand naturally apart from the 12 minor prophets. (Major is determined by size and not value.)

Also just as there was a structure to the first five historical books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, so too is there a distinct and similar structure to the five major Prophets of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel. Isaiah introduces the Prophets in such full manner just as Genesis introduces the Bible is such a full manner.

Both volumes bring such an understanding to the nature of God and the course of history that without them we would certainly be groping in the dark to make sense of the Bible. Isaiah contains within it a total of 66 Chapters, just like the Bible contains 66 books.

But just as there is a clear and logical distinction between the 39 books of the old Testament and the 27 books of the New testament, so too there is a distinction between the first 39 chapter of Isaiah and the last 27 chapters of Isaiah.

So obvious is this distinction that most of the Liberal scholars posit the thought of there being two penmen to the one volume, they refer to Isaiah 1 (the first 39 chapters) and Isaiah 2 (the last 27 chapters).  But this we know is false for the Lord Jesus made it clear that the same Isaiah is responsible for both sections of the book. (John 12:38-40)

It is one Isaiah who penned the 66 chapters of the volume given in his name; just as it is one God who inspired the 66 books of the Word we identify as his name.

Let me provide for you a broad outline of the book;

The first 35 chapters of Isaiah demonstrate a Prophetic Condemnation of both Judah and the Nations.

  • The first 12 against Judah
  • Chapters 13-23 against the nations;
    • Babylon
    • Moab
    • Damascus
    • Ethiopia
    • Egypt
    • Edom
    • Arabia
    • Tyre
  • Chapters 24 – 35 refer to the great tribulation and the coming Millennial Kingdom (24-27), several Woe’s to the two kingdoms of Israel, North and South (Identified as Ephraim and Ariel) as well as to spoilers and compromisers. And then a return to more writings on the Tribulation and the Millenial Kingdom from 34-35.

The next four Chapters (36-39) are Historical

  • Chapters 36 to 39 look historically at;
    • The past Assyrian invasion of Samaria and the Northern kingdom of Isreal.
    • The current problem of Hezekiah with the same empire.
    • The future judgement against Israel by Babylon

The last 27 Chapters are Prophetical and refer to the coming consolation;

  • The Purpose of Peace in chapters 40-48
  • The Prince of Peace in chapters 49-57
  • The Program of peace, chapters 58-66

 

These outlines also have natural breaks within themselves, but they would give you a good broad sweep of the entire 66 chapters of Isaiah.

 

The Prophetic Condemnation (1-39)

Isaiah 1:2-9

 

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth:

For the Lord hath spoken,

I have nourished and brought up children,

And they have rebelled against me.

The ox knoweth his owner,

And the ass his master’s crib:

But Israel doth not know,

My people doth not consider.

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity,

A seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters:

They have forsaken the Lord,

They have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger,

They are gone away backward.

Why should ye be stricken any more?

Ye will revolt more and more:

The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.

From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it;

But wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores:

They have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

Your country is desolate,

Your cities are burned with fire:

Your land, strangers devour it in your presence,

And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.

And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard,

As a lodge in a garden of cucumbers,

As a besieged city.

Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant,

We should have been as Sodom,

And we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

Looking to all of creation to bear witness to the Lord as he condemns Israel for her iniquity. He speaks as a father who has raised him up children who have rebelled against him, he speaks as an owner of a people who will not recognized he who purchased them, led them, fed them, fought for them and forgiven them.  He speaks as one frustrated by the very ones called to be his own. He speaks plainly to them; notice there is no use of today’s “Compliment sandwiches” that we are told we should give people when we rebuke their errors.

God does not desire to flatter the sinner;

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity,

A seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters:

They have forsaken the Lord,

They have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger,

They are gone away backward.

 

For how long has the Lord put up with their sin and their rebellion? Generations long have they rebelled, they are sick he tells them, the whole head and the whole heart is faint, unable to hold itself up, no strength to stand and no ability to consider. Even From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it;

To what value then are this people to the Lord or to themselves? Of no value, instead the Lord has condemned them and will leave their country desolate and their cities burned with fire (Verse 7). He tells them plainly that Strangers will devour their land in their very presence. It will be desolate and overthrown by them (V7)

Your land, strangers devour it in your presence,

And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.

But even so the Lord will leave them a remnant even though they should have been like Sodom and like Gomorra (V9). This passage gives to us a picture of the theme throughout the 39 chapters of Isaiah.

There is condemnation intermixed with grace and mercy, just like there is throughout the entire Bible. Many who have not read the Old testament think that it is the picture of a vengeful God, filled completely with his wrath and anger, but they do not see the justification he has against the people called by his name, nor do they see the grace and mercy he has shown them.

Turn to Chapter 5:1

Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard.

My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:

And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof,

And planted it with the choicest vine,

And built a tower in the midst of it,

And also made a winepress therein:

And he looked that it should bring forth grapes,

And it brought forth wild grapes.

And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah,

Judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.

What could have been done more to my vineyard,

That I have not done in it?

Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes,

Brought it forth wild grapes?

And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard:

I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up;

And break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:

And I will lay it waste:

It shall not be pruned, nor digged;

But there shall come up briers and thorns:

I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel,

And the men of Judah his pleasant plant:

And he looked for judgment, but behold oppression;

For righteousness, but behold a cry.

We see the Lord tending to his vine, nurturing it and protecting it even with fence around about. He has removed the stones so it may prosper and not be hindered in its growth, he built a tower to guard it and watch over it. He made a winepress in it that the grapes may be increased in value and worth to all those around it, and he looked expectantly that it would bring forth the choicest of fruit.

But it did not. The fruit that came forth was nothing better than the wild fruits of the forest and of the hills around about, that did not have the nurturing care of the Lord, that did not have the obstacles removed and the protection laid about.

God expected Israel to be different from the nations about it, with his care and his devotion, his nurture and love, the giving of his laws and wisdom so that they would bring forth good fruit. But Israel became no different to the nations about it, though the obstacles were removed, though the fences of protection were placed, though a tower of watchful care was erected, yet they became just like the “Wild Grapes” of the nations that had no such attention.

So to what end did the Lord do all this work in them? What more could the Lord have done? What more could he have given and provided?

And how different is his Church even today?

We have been given the very spirit of God to indwell us, he watches over us more closely than all those who went before, he does so to a level that he will even cause jealousy in the hearts of the Children of Israel and we too despise his commandment and his laws that were even written upon our hearts.

We turn quickly out of the way to those things that the flesh alone desires, just like the people that surround us. What separates us from the nations? To what end did the Lord save us and put his spirit in us if there be no difference between us and the world?

We live like the wild grapes that surround us, we covet the goods of others, we despise his Sabbath, we reject monogamy, we dishonor our parents, we steal and we lie and we dote towards Idols of our own making and our own preferences rather that trusting in the Vinedresser himself.

We don’t think for a moment that the Lord has separated us for The Gospel, Scripture tells us that we are a branch GRAFTED INTO the natural Vine.

Perhaps we are to produce a wine that will nourish others and bless them for heaven, Perhaps we are a peculiar people given true life for a single purpose, for THE GOSPEL OF The Saviour.

If this is so, will he not provide for us if we obey him?

If this is true, will he not bless us if we love him?

Will God not lead us if we trust him?

 

This is why the condemnation against the Israel is reflected also in the nations. This is why Paul speaks of the activities in the Churches will in the last days, reflect the activities of the world;

Consider to 2 Tim 3:1-4

3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Paul was not referring to the state of the world in this passage my brethren, the world has always been this way, he was speaking to Pastor Timothy about the future state of the Church.

Would you like to see how close we are to fulfilling those very days?

Turn forward to Isaiah 5 again and look at verse 20

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil;

That put darkness for light, and light for darkness;

That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

A number of years ago a Pastor by the name of Joe Wright was asked to open the New Session of the Kansas senate.

The Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance. We know your Word says, ‘Woe on those who call evil good,’ but that’s exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.

We confess that:

We ridiculed the absolute truth of your Word and called it pluralism.
We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism.
We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.
We have abused power and called it political savvy.
We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Pr Joe Wright

 

And he goes on to ask for forgivingness

As true and as shockingly revealing as that prayer was, particularly how well it reveals the Isaiah passage, we need to pause to consider that those where the days when only Christian ministers could pray for the opening of a government legislative body.

Today Buddhists, Muslim Imams and recently Satanists, have opened Government assemblies in Prayer in the USA.

 

These are the days of Isaiah 5:20!

In Australia we have entered into the frightful Orwellian era of “Newspeak” or ‘Double speak’ where the title of a Law or a department is given a name that completely obscures the very nature of the department or the law to the point where the law itself is the very opposite to what it is called.

Edward S Hermon, a political economist, in his book Beyond Hypocrisy describes it this way;

What is really important in the world of doublespeak is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it; and the ability to use lies and choose and shape facts selectively, blocking out those that don’t fit an agenda or program.

We have laws and programs in Australia that are pure Doublespeak.

The Department of Sustainability cannot even sustain its own end if it continues limiting the businesses that support it.

The Environmental Protection Authority prevents the collection of dead wood in forests for use as safe heating in homes for the sake of the forests that will burn to the ground when the dead wood becomes kindling!

Racial and Religious Discrimination act called 18C says that it is there to prevent bigotry and protect freedom of speech, but it actually does the exact opposite.

The Safe Schools Program in Victoria is the exact opposite of safe, it is the most dangerous and perverse program ever forced on the Children of this state.

In the name of Religious Pluralism Children are no longer to share Christmas cards or say Merry Christmas or speak of Jesus to their schoolmates in Primary Schools in Queensland.

The Family Planning Alliance Australia’s prime objective is to help facilitate abortions. The Family Planning Alliance most important effort is the PREVENTION OF FAMILIES! Like Planned Paranthood of the USA, there main aim is to prevent people becoming parents by killing over 3000 babies every single day in the US. (100,000 children per year in Australia)

George Owell said of “Double speak” that

“is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind”

We could talk about promoting Free Speech by limiting it.

Or, the encouragement of tolerance by intolerance, or desired Inclusivity actually being exclusive.

We see increasingly negative attributes or behaviors turned into positives

A Whore became a Prostitute and then a Sex Worker.

Homosexuals – “Gay”

The mental disorder known as Gender Dystopia is now referred to as Gender Fluidity and completely normalized.

In Europe increasing number of people are referring to Pedophiles as “Minor Attracted Persons” or MAP’s

Child Sexual Abuse as “Intergenerational Sex”.

In Islam the phrase “Child Marriage” is used, just as Adultery or Rape is referred to as “Temporary Marriage”.

In 2001 an act of war by 18 Muslim men that killed 3000 US Citizens in the name of Islam, was the very first time we heard a description of the most barbaric religion invented by man as “A religion of Peace”.

And I could go on.

The Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; is well and truly upon us. And the Prophetic Condemnation of Isaiah in those first 35 Chapters are certainly applicable to us even today.

 

The Prophetic Tribulation

There is just condemnation for the nations and it will culminate in the Tribulation Isiah clearly refers to.

CHAPTERS 24-27 & 34-35 However speak of that great tribulation that will come upon the world.

Turn to Isaiah 24

Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste,

And turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.

And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest;

As with the servant, so with his master;

As with the maid, so with her mistress;

As with the buyer, so with the seller;

As with the lender, so with the borrower;

As with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.

That is an interesting portion of the passage realting to the tribulation. It reminds me clearly of Revelation 13 that speaks of the Mark of the Beast that will come upon all people saying; Rev 13:16

 

1And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

I read that like As with the servant, so with his master;

As with the maid, so with her mistress;

As with the buyer, so with the seller;

Lets go on;

 

The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled:

For the Lord hath spoken this word.

The earth mourneth and fadeth away,

The world languisheth and fadeth away,

The haughty people of the earth do languish.

The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof;

Because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance,

Broken the everlasting covenant.

Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth,

And they that dwell therein are desolate:

Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned,

And few men left.

 

This is an example of the judgement that will come upon all the people of the Earth not saved who are alive at this time. There will be only few men left!

 

What we read in the New Testament confirms this, Jesus speaking of this very event says;

 

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. (Mt 24:21-22)

Lets continue this sad reading future reality, from verse 19

24:19 The earth is utterly broken down,

The earth is clean dissolved,

The earth is moved exceedingly.

20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard,

And shall be removed like a cottage;

And the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it;

And it shall fall, and not rise again.

21 And it shall come to pass in that day,

That the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high,

And the kings of the earth upon the earth.

22 And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit,

And shall be shut up in the prison,

And after many days shall they be visited.

 

This is the end of that condemnation dear ones. This is how the story of todays wickedness comes to a close.

 

The world is literally filled with LIES, there is no love for the truth among those who love the world. Exchanging the truth of God for a lie is done by none else but the father of lies and it CANNOT BE SUSTAINED.

 

Truth will WIN and the casualties of deception will be many.

 

In each account we have in the New Testament of the disciples of the Lord asking him of the end times Jesus responds exactly the same way as he begins.

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you (Mt 24:4)

And he said Take heed that ye be not deceived (Lk 21:8)

And Jesus answering them began to say take heed lest any man deceive you (Mrk 13:5)

 

And of those who are deceived, what will be their end at this time?

 

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thess 2:10-12)

 

Though the time shall be indeed terrible for the Earth and its inhabitants at that time, yet for the remnant who come to the Lord and survive there will be great Joy and hope.

Lets read on from verse 23 as this chapter interestingly concludes

23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed,

When the Lord of hosts shall reign

In mount Zion, and in Jerusalem,

And before his ancients gloriously.

 

From where will he reign?

 

This tribulation passage concludes with the beginning of the reign of the Lord just as other scriptures teach concerning the beginning of the one thousand years Jesus will rule and reign on Earth, a golden age of joy, hope and prosperity for all who have trusted in him.

Isaiah 35, This is the parallel passage to chapters 24-27

Isaiah 35:4-10

|

Say to them that are of a fearful heart,

Be strong, fear not:

Behold, your God will come with vengeance,

Even God with a recompence;

He will come and save you.

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

Then shall the lame man leap as an hart,

And the tongue of the dumb sing:

For in the wilderness shall waters break out,

And streams in the desert.

And the parched ground shall become a pool,

And the thirsty land springs of water:

In the habitation of dragons, where each lay,

Shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

And an highway shall be there, and a way,

And it shall be called The way of holiness;

The unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those:

The wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

No lion shall be there,

Nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon,

It shall not be found there;

But the redeemed shall walk there:

10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,

And come to Zion with songs

And everlasting joy upon their heads:

They shall obtain joy and gladness,

And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

How wonderfully this concludes and it does so with hope.

Again the passage relates to that time when the Lord himself will govern from Jerusalem. When the Prince of peace will be King and set on his throne.

Brethren, though the first 39 chapters tell of the condemnation of both Israel and the Nations, it also contains throughout its pages wonderful portions of mercy and grace and hope.

Chapter 7 tells of the coming of Christ, his miraculous conception of a Virgin

Chapters 8-10 tells of his magnificent land

Chapters 11-12 tell of his millennial reign.

 

We have the triumphs of the Kingdom age in chapters 25 to 27

And the blessings of the Kingdom age in chapter 35.

 

Though much of the first portion of Isaiah is the Prophetic Pronouncements of judgement for evil, it teaches us that we serve a just and righteous God who will not be mocked, his righteousness will prevail and all evil will be judged. And if you belong to Christ then you should certainly rejoice! For all the judgement that was set for you and for all eternity, was taken by Christ.

 

It was Jesus who paid for your condemnation, your iniquities were laid upon him and with his stripes you are healed.

 

If however, you have not humbled yourself before your savior and you recognize that you are at true risk, you are in great peril of suffering with those who call Darkness Light, and Evil Good, then right now is the time to ask the Lord to save you.

 

To what end will you wait? For what benefit will you possibly gain that sees you remain in the city of destruction and with a people set for the desolations deserved? Run, run, run for the sake of your soul and run into the nail pierced arms of Christ, you are the reason he died. His blood was shed that you might live.

 

Friends, there will come a day when sermons such as these will be illegal in Australia. It is not far away. If children are no longer to share harmless Christmas Cards in primary School, what hope do you think we will have to preach of judgment to come and salvation through the blood of Christ alone.

 

Each message you hear that gives you the opportunity to receive Christ could be your last. Do it now, don’t wait!

 

 

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