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Isaiah: A Jet Tour

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A Jet Tour of Isaiah

40,000 Foot view
A forty-thousand foot view of the book
— Can’t go chapter by chapter or verse by verse, but we will in our study
— For now we will hit the highlights of the book
Not a normal Study
This wouldn’t be a normal bible study
— Some questions, but not a lot of time for Questions
— We have a lot to cover in a brief amount of time
Major Prophet
Not because he was more important but because of the length of the book
Q: What are some of the other major prophets?
— Lamentations
— Daniel
— Jeremiah
— Ezekiel
— Contemporaries were Amos, Hosea and Micah
— All wrote at about the same time
— Isaiah means “The Lord is Salvation”
— He lived during the reign of 5 kings:
— Uzziah
— Jotham,
— Ahaz
— Hezekiah
— and Manasseh
— For our purposes, we will only look at Ahaz and Hezekiah in depth.
— These are the kings that Isaiah speaks to in this book
— Isaiah was probably of some nobility and not some crazy peasant from the countryside
— He had access to the inner circles of power
Q: Why should we study the book of Isaiah?
— Quoted 87x in the NT
— Jesus quoted Isaiah 8x
— All of the apostles and early church knew this book
— We would do well to understand it
— According to Christian and Hebrew legend Isaiah was killed by King Manasseh
— We have no extra biblical evidence
— But Hebrews does seem to elude to his death (cf Heb 11:37)
Hebrews 11:37 NKJV
37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—
— In terms of literature type, this is poetic and prophetic
— We need to think about that as we read it
— Isaiah may use a certain word or phrase because it rhymes in Hebrew or paints a word picture
— It does not read like a narrative or story but full of imagery and allegory
— In some cases we have to draw a conclusion
— My interpretation might not match yours
— Come prepared with your own interpretation, don’t trust that I’ll get it right
— Isaiah wrote to both the Southern Kingdom (Judah) and the Northern Kingdom (Israel)
Time Near and Future prophecies
— The millennial Kingdom (11:6; 14:1-3; 19:16; 24:23; 27:2-6; 35:1-10; 42:10-12; 43:5-6; 49:19ff; 56:1-11; 61:1-9)
— Sometimes speaking to the immediate future
— Sometimes a future time (Millennial)
— Sometimes a prophecy of both near and far
In preparing this study, I’ve looked at some of the greatest commentaries available:
— Matthew
— Mark
— Luke
— John
— the apostle Peter and Paul
— And the Lord Jesus Christ
— All spoke about or expanded our understanding of the prophet
Split The book of Isaiah is split the same way the bible is divided
Q: How many books are in the bible? NT and OT?
— 39 books of judgement
— The first 39 books of Isaiah are books of judgment or “the government of God”
— 27 books of salvation
— The last 27 books of Isaiah are about salvation for a total of 66 books
— The OT is a book of judgment
— The NT is a book of Salvation
— the same way that Isaiah is laid out.
John the Baptist
— The second part of Isaiah about Salvation starts with chapter 40
— It starts exactly where the NT starts, with the introduction of John the Baptist
— The books ends exactly where the NT ends (65-66) with a vision of the new heaven and the new earth
— The first 39 chapters regard the “Government of God” or judgement
— This is a very somber section of the book
— We will try to not get into the “weeds.”
— We are at 40,000 feet, not crop-dusting
— But we need to look at few key verses (in a moment)
— The second half of the book could be called “Salvation of the Lord
— The last 27 books of Isaiah (40-66) can be broken out into groups of 9 chapters
— 40-48 Salvation from Babylon
— 58-66 Salvation from the curse, and the middle section,
— 49-57 Salvation from sin
— The middle of the middle section is chapter 53
— The middle verse is verse 5
— 53:5 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed

1-12 First section: Judgment and Hope

— Two major themes Judgment and Hope
— He will judge Israel by sending the nations to conquer Israel
— This will be like a purifying Fire ( 5:24 ) that burns away all that is worthless in order to create a New Jerusalem
— This New Jerusalem will be populated by a Remnant that has repented and turned back to God
— That is when God’s kingdom will come and all nations will come to the temple and learn of God’s justice
Old and New is a reoccurring theme
— This story line of the old Jerusalem being replaced by the new Jerusalem is a reoccurring theme throughout the book.
— Isaiah adds more and more details as we go through the book
Q: Do you want to know how Isaiah’s ministry turned out? How successful it was?
1-5 backdrop
— Chapters 1-5 are a backdrop, an anatomy of Israel at the end of his ministry
— The trouble described in 1-5 doesn’t come at the beginning of his ministry but at the end
— Want to know it how it all turned out? Read 1-5
— Obey and you will prosper
— Disobey and you will be cursed
— (1.5) summarizes it well
— “Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, And the whole heart faints” (1:5)
The point
— Further punishment will not do any good
— You are so stubborn
— You would rather be broken to shreds than obey the Lord
— Chapter 5 is the grimmest, saddest part of the introduction
— A personal disaster
— A sad song
— The speaker does everything to cultivate the vineyard
— Life savings, toil, sweat
— All their human effort and the crop is worthless
— worthless grapes (NAS)
— wild grapes (NKJV)
— bad fruit (NIV)
— The Lord is the vineyard owner
— Israel is the vineyard
Sins Isaiah lists the sins that Isreal has committed. These are enumerated as a series of “woes” or judgments
5:8 Materialism
5:10 Stock piling - therefore, I will send famine conditions
5:11 Drunken pleasure seeking
5:18 Defiant sinfulness
You’re Finished
— In chapter 5:24 he says “your finished.”
— The nation is finished. Circle it (Is 5:24)
Isaiah 5:24 NKJV
24 Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, And the flame consumes the chaff, So their root will be as rottenness, And their blossom will ascend like dust; Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
— The Grand Vision (6)
— Isaiah has this grand vision of the Lord sitting in His temple, surrounded by His glory
— Creatures around the throne shouting that God is “Holy, Holy, Holy”
— Isaiah realizes how corrupt he and his people and he is certain that he is going to be destroyed by God’s holiness (but he’s not)
— Isaiah is touched by a coal from the altar that purifies him
— This is where Isiah receives his commission and we read this famous verse (cf Isa 6:8)
Isaiah 6:8 NKJV
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
— Isaiah is told to preach
— He is told (6:10) to preach but no one will listen to you
— It will just fall on deaf ears
— He asks (6:11) how long?
— The Lord answers, until there is no one left
— He is told to trust God’s plan
— Israel is going to be chopped down like a tree (6:13)
— And that stump itself will be scorched and burned
— But a remnant (the stump, the 1/10) will be called a holy seed (6:13)
Who or What is that holy seed?
— Offers an answer to that question
— Isaiah confronts king Ahaz, a descendant of David and the king of Jerusalem
— Isaiah tells Ahaz that Assyria will first chop down Israel and desolate the land (7:17-25)
— The Northern Kingdom has joined forces with a foreign power (Assyria, the enemy) to destroy the Southern Kingdom (Judah).

The Second message of Isaiah is (2) Hope

— Things will get bad before they get better
— But there is hope!
— Because of God’s promise to David, God will send a new king after Israel is chopped down and desolated
— His name is Immanuel (7:14) “God with us”
— God would one day fulfill all of his covenant promises
— He would send a king from the line of David to establish an everlasting kingdom (2 Sam 7:12ff)
— He would lead Israel in obedience of all the laws in the covenant at Mt Sini (Ex 19)
— So that God could bless all the nations of the earth through Israel (Gen 12)
— Names are used in Isaiah to coney a message
— This is true of other names in the OT and true of the names of God
— In Isaiah these names are full of meaning
— They are more like mini-sentences
— Isaiah “The Lord is Salvation”
— Immanuel (7:14) “God is with us”
— Shear-Jashub (7:3) Isaiah names his son “a remnant shall return”
— Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz (8:1) Speed the spoil, hasten the booty
— In other words, he is telling the Assyrians, hurry up and invade the nation
— It has the idea, “come Lord Jesus”

13-27 - Second Section: Judgment and Hope for the Nation

— The Fall of Babylon and Israel’s neighbors
— Assyria would one day be replaced by the world power Babylon
— Isaiah is pointing out that Assyria will be replaced by Babylon
— It will be even more destructive than Assyria
— Babylon’s kings declare that they are higher than all other gods (14:12ff)
— “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God”
— God vows to bring Babylon down and here is a near term and far-term prophecy (Rev 18-19)
Not Alone
— Not only Babylon but Isaiah lists all of Israel’s neighbors and accuses them of the same kind of pride and injustice
— Philistia Egypt
— Moab
— Damascus
— Tyre
J. Vernon McGee asks the question: “It’s obvious why Isaiah would spend 3 chapters on Babylon. But why two chapters on Moab, someone who we have never heard of?” I hope we can answer that question when we get to it!

24-27 - Third Section: A tale of two Cities

Lofty City
— The Lofty City
— Exalted itself above God and has become corrupt and unjust
— An ARCHETYPE of rebellious Humanity
— Described with images from chapters 4-23
— This city is destined for ruin
New City
— One day replaced by the New Jerusalem
— God reigns as king over a redeemed humanity ( 24:23 )
— No more death, suffering, diseases
— This is a picture of 1000 year millennial kingdom
— This is the climax of the section and illustrates how Isaiah’s prophecies pointed far out from his own day
Chapter 24 ends with the Lord returning to Jerusalem and taking His seat on the throne during the millennial kingdom
— It was a message of Hope for all who are waiting for God to bring His justice on violent oppressive kingdom and bring His kingdom of Justice, peace and healing love
Q: What is the Leviathan?
— We read about it in chapter 27

28-39 - Final Section: The Rise & Fall of Jerusalem

— We see God’s people have failed under pressure
— Isaiah accuses the leaders of Jerusalem of turning from God and relying on Egypt for military protection against Assyria
— Hezekiah made an alliance with the Egyptian Pharaoh Tirhakah against Assyria (2 ki 19:9, Isa 37:9)
— ( 28:15 ) They made a covenant with death
— A They’ve left the faith
— ( 30:2 ) They trust in the shadow of Egypt
— Isaiah says that only Trust in your God and repentance can save Israel now ( 30:15 )
Trusting in God is Illustrated by the rise of king Hezekiah, king of Jerusalem
— The Assyrian armies come and try to attack the city
— Hezekiah humbles himself before God ( 37:20 ) and the city is miraculously saved ( 37:36 )
Hezekiah’s rise is immediately followed by his Fall
— He hosts a delegation from Babylon and shows them all the treasures of the temple ( 39:2)
— Clearly an attempt to make another political alliance for protection
— Isaiah confront Hezekiah and rebukes him for his foolishness
— He says that Babylon will betray him and return as an enemy and carry off all of these treasures ( 39:6 )
Divine Judgment
All of Isaiah’s warnings of divine judgment (1-39 ) lead up to this moment
— The Babylonians will come Destroy the City, Burn the Temple, and carry off the nation into captivity into Babylon
— He is shown to be a true prophet because it all happened exactly like he said

2nd Major Division: Salvation of the Lord

40-66 This section is all about comfort and salvation, 27 books

40-48: An Announcement of Hope

— Chapter 40 starts rights where the NT starts, with John the Baptist
— This section is quoted in all 4 gospels (Isa 40:3-5)
Isaiah 40:3–5 NKJV
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; 5 The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
— The people are told that the Babylonian exile is over
— ( 40:1 ) “Comfort yes, Comfort my people”
— Israel’s sin has been dealt with ( 40:2 ); a new era is beginning
— They should all return home to Jerusalem where God will bring his kingdom and all nations will see his glory
— ( 40:3-5 ) Prepare the way of the Lord; this section quoted in all 4 gospels
High point of Grace
— The high point of Grace is found here at ( 43:25 )
Isaiah 43:25 NKJV
25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.
False Hope
— Isaiah hopes that after experiencing God’s justice and mercy Israel will become God’s Servant
— But this is false hope
— Just the opposite happens
— Instead, Israel is complaining and even accusing God
— The Babylonian exile cause Israel to loose faith in their God
— The Lord doesn’t pay attention to our trouble, in fact He is ignoring our cause ( 40:27 )
— ( 40:12-14 ) Maybe he is not as strong as we thought so Isaiah poses a series of questions to which the implied answer is “No One!”

41-47: The Trial

— Set up like a trial scene
— Isaiah uses his court room Analogy as he often does in the book (1:2; 3:13, 41:21-29; 43:8-9; 59:9-13)
— God is responding to the following arguments:
— (1) Exile to Babylon was not divine neglect; rather it was judgment for Israel’s sin
— (2) It was for Israel’s sake;
— God raised up Persia so they could conquer Babylon so that they could return home and fulfill Isaiah’s words (13:17)
— So the right conclusion that they should draw is that their God is the king of history not idols;
— it is His Story
— The right conclusion that they should draw is that they have the God of history
— and should be a witness to the world i.e. His Servant
Charles Spurgeon
— And here we find verse 44:22
— the verse that saved Charles Haddon Spurgeon ( 44:22 )
Isaiah 44:22 NKJV
22 I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, And like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”

48: Israel is still rebellious

So the right conclusion that they should draw is that their God is the king of history and they should be a witness to the world
— But that is not what they do!
— They are still as rebellious and hard hearted as before (48:4)
— So God disqualifies them as His servant
— But God is still on a mission to bless the nations; Isaiah says God is going to do a “new thing” to solve this problem (48:6)

49:55 The Servant Fulfills God’s Mission

4 Servant Songs
— There are 4 “servant songs”
— We skipped over the first one in (42:1-4)
— There we are told that the Messiah will be:
— empowered by the Holy Spirit (cf. Matt 12:18-20)
— Bring righteousness / justice to the world
— Be called a Servant, Ehbed, Slave
Second Song
— The Second Servant Song is (49:1-3)
— He will be a human man
— Born of a virgin
— He will save Israel and bring salvation to the nations of the world
— He will be glorified
— We learn the surprising way in which the Servant brings God’s kingdom
— He will be rejected and and beaten and ultimately killed by his own people (50:4-9; 52:13-53:12)
Third Song
The Third Servant Song is (50:4-7)
— We will see his humiliation
— His face will be struck
— His beard will be plucked out
— He will be spit on
Fourth Song
— The Fourth and final Servant Song is (53)
— The kind of precision used to describe the suffering servant tells me that only God could have written this
— This is the high point of the OT
— When we get to this section, we will take a few weeks to really unpack this
— There are references to Isaiah 53 in:
— Matthew
— Mark
— Luke
— John
— Acts
— Romans
— 1 Corinthians & 2 Corinthians
— Galatians
— Ephesians
— Timothy
— Titus
— Hebrews
— 1 Peter
— 1 John
— And we are going to look at every single one of these ! (Just Kidding)
The Question
— This passage (53) answers the most significant question anyone can ask
“ How can a sinner be made right with a holy, just God and escape eternal punishment in hell and enter Heaven?”
A Gospel
This chapter has been called the 5th Gospel
— It could stand alone as a gospel
— It is all here:
— The Lord’s eternal relationship with the Father in an exalted state of Glory
— He descends down to humiliation
— His rejection
— His execution
— Then it goes backup up through the empty tomb on Easter
— The accomplishment of justification for the “many”
— His intercession
— And His glory and final kingdom
Pastor Alex
— Go Beyond
— We are all missionaries
— Philip explained Isaiah 53:7 to the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:32,33)

54-55 Two Ways to respond

Holy Seed
— (1) Some will respond with humility and turn from their sins
— These people are called the “servants” and also the seed, remember the “holy seed” from 6:13
— These will experience the messianic kingdom The Wicked
(2) Others who are called “the wicked
— They reject both the Servant and his servants

56 - 66 The servants inherit God’s kingdom

Symmetry These chapters bring together all the themes of the book
57 Backsliding and the Christian response
58 Fasting
60 -62 The Servant announces God’s kingdom to the poor
— Jerusalem (inhabited by God’s servants) will be a city of Light and Gentiles will come to the city
— It becomes the center of world-wide worship and the place from which Justice, and Mercy and blessings flow out to the rest of the world
— Isaiah reaffirms all the promises of Hope from earlier in the book
— Christopher Columbus quoted all of chapter 60 to the King and Queen of Spain to justify his trip to the new world (the Americas)
— A very somber chapter
— This is the day of vengeance on all those who would not believe (63:4)
Isaiah 63:4 NKJV
4 For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year of My redeemed has come.
— Through the suffering Servant King God creates:
— A covenant family of all nations
— Awaiting the Hope of God’s justice in bringing a new creation
— God’s kingdom finally comes here on earth as it is in heaven
Additional Resources
Isaiah Overview Part Part 1 1-39
Isaiah Overview Part II 40-66
J Vernon McGee Intro to Isaiah:
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