Prophet, Poet, Diplomat, Hero: Isaiah – Bible Journey Day 3
Bible Journey – Day 3 – 9 Sept 2009
Prophet, Poet, Diplomat, Hero: Isaiah
Luke 21:1-19; Heb 2:1-9; Proverbs 19:15-29; Isaiah 6-8
I have SO been looking forward to this!
Isaiah, well, he’s kind of a big deal. I mean, there’s a reason why his book leads the way into the Latter Prophets, and it isn’t just because he’s the longest. The last time I read through Isaiah, I was rushing, because it was the first time I’d ever read the whole Bible from beginning to end, and honestly? I was just trying to get to the New Testament as soon as possible. I knew there were a bunch of Jesus passages in Isaiah that were neat, but I just didn’t have a bunch of time to linger. I’m glad I have an entire month to savor and wrestle with the challenge of Isaiah.
Fee and Stuart say, “The book of Isaiah in many ways is the centerpiece of the story of Israel in the biblical story. Standing at the beginning of the Latter Prophets, even though not first chronologically, it serves to guide your reading through the rest of this tradition. But beyond that, its theological scope is all-embracing, constantly reminding Israel that Yahweh is the living God, the Creator and majestic Sovereign – and Judge – of all that is, as well as the compassionate Redeemer of Israel. Thus Isaiah looks forward to Israel’s judgment, to her redemption from exile through a second exodus, and, through her coming Servant King, to the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant that includes the nations in Yahweh’s salvation. And in the end it pictures the final redemption of Israel and the nations in a new heaven and new earth, when Zion, the place where Yahweh and people meet, is restored to its ultimate glory. Isaiah, therefore, had enormous influence on the New Testament writers, being cited or alluded to more often than any other Old Testament book except the Psalter.” (How to Read the Bible Book By Book, pp174-175)
Isaiah’s book, like this Fumbling journey, bursts into the middle of the story of Israel. Right from the beginning, his words just explode off the page:
Listen, O heavens,
pay attention, O earth!
For the LORD speaks:
“I raised children, I brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me! An ox recognizes its owner,
a donkey recognizes where its owner puts its food;
but Israel does not recognize me,
my people do not understand.” (Isa 1:2-3)
He speaks truth to power – he offers comfort to the afflicted – he afflicts the comfortable – he is fearless! His resounding theme: God Almighty is at the center of everything! World politics? Religious life? Family affairs? Work problems? Everything matters to the God who wants, more than anything, to live among a people who worship Him and enjoy His love.
The gloom will be dispelled for those who were anxious.
In earlier times he humiliated
the land of Zebulun,
and the land of Naphtali;
but now he brings honor
to the way of the sea,
the region beyond the Jordan,
and Galilee of the nations.
The people walking in darkness
see a bright light;
on those who live in a land of deep darkness. (Isa 9:1-2)
May that bright light fill my soul and grant me courage like Isaiah.
In HIS love,
Proverb for the Day:
A house and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is a gift from the LORD (19:14)