Good Monday Friends~
I hope your weekend was what you needed. Happy Presidents Day! What a great country we live in. Please continue to pray for all that happens in our nation as we continue to shine brightly in our generation.
We have turned a corner in our OT literature and are now at the threshold of the major and minor oracles used by Father to ongoingly proclaim His words. Isaiah is so well placed, because there is so much material that goes both the direction of judgment and hope. Some of the other prophets can lean the judgment way a bit too much leaving little room for our contemporary readers to be encouraged. Isaiah is so chock full of encouraging scripture. As I read today, so many of them really spoke to me.
52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation.
51:3 The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; He will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD.
50:4 The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.
49:13 Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice O earth; burst into song O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
48:17 This is what the LORD says- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.
46:9 Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.
45:5 I am the LORD, and there is no other, apart from me there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is no other.
44:3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
43:18 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
42:16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.
41:19 I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fire and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One, of Israel has created it.
A basic outline for Isaiah is:
1. Judgment with Promise (Chps. 1-35)
2. Historical Interlude (Chps. 36-39)
3. Comfort with Judgment (Chps. 40-66)
Watch for these themes: the city (Jerusalem/Zion), the Holy One of Israel (the most used title), Messiah, the nature of faith, the remnant, the servant of Yahweh (the Lord)
Key teachings about God:
1. God is planning to raise up an ideal king from David’s line and elevate Jerusalem through his reign of peace.
2. God is trustworthy.
3. God is more powerful than even the greatest empires and armies.
4. Yahweh is God- there is no other.
5. God has a plan and is capable of accomplishing that plan.
6. God’s solutions are often unexpected.
7. God persists in warning his people even after they have stopped paying attention.
When reading through the prophets there are four components to the message of the speaker. Of the four, they or they may not be balanced in each book. Some prophets, due to their personality or conditions at the time, my focus on one area more than others. Regardless this is still good to know as you read through all sixteen books.
1. Indictment- Prophets telling what the people have done wrong.
2. Judgment- What God is going to do about it.
3. Instruction- What the people need to do.
4. Aftermath- What things are going to look like after the judgment. Often includes future hope and deliverance.
This chart shows the dates of the prophets, which kingdom they are speaking to and during which age they are a part of. Very helpful. John H. Walton. Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994).
For a chart of the Chronology of the Prophets, to whom they ministered, and when, see the CRBC Marble Madness
Tomorrow we will get some information on “The Servant of the LORD.” Good stuff, promise. Pastor Mark.