A Summary of Isaiah’s Prophecies
JUNE 26 - Nº 177 Isaiah 1 – 12
During the last year of King Uzziah’s reign in Judah (see #168 - Kings Uzziah and Jotham of Judah), a man named Isaiah had a vision. In it, he saw God seated on a throne in the heavenly Temple surrounded by His angels. Isaiah suddenly became aware of how unclean he was in God’s holy presence. He thought he was going to die. But an angel brought a burning coal from the altar and touched it to Isaiah’s lips. He declared that Isaiah was now clean. Then God spoke from His throne. He asked if there was anyone there who would deliver a message for Him.
Isaiah was a busy man with a wife and two sons, but he immediately exclaimed, “Here I am—send me!” And God did. The message was difficult for Isaiah to share because it was filled with prophecies of judgment and pain. But it also contained hope and joy. The first 39 chapters of Isaiah’s prophecy describe how sinful the world had become and how desperately the people needed to be rescued from their sins. In these chapters, Isaiah warned Israel and Judah (and many of the nations surrounding them) that judgment was coming because of their disobedience and idolatry. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before Assyria, under the rule of King Tiglath-Pileser, completely destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel (see #172 - Israel is Scattered by Assyria). Isaiah then warned the people of Judah that they would face a similar ending if they did not get rid of their idols and turn back to God. He warned Judah’s kings (Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah) to stop seeking help from the powerful, sinful nations that surrounded them. Instead they needed to trust God. He wanted to protect them.
Despite Isaiah’s warnings, King Hezekiah of Judah chose to pompously display his wealth to impress the Babylonians (see #176 - Fifteen More Years). Isaiah scolded him. He prophesied that, although God had saved Judah from the Assyrians, He would soon send the Babylonians to destroy the nation and enslave the Jewish people. But no one took Isaiah’s prophecy seriously because Babylon had not yet become a world power. After condemning Judah for its sinful disregard of the God Who loved them, Isaiah began to comfort them. In chapters 40-48, he shared promises of blessings and hope based on God’s power and majesty. Once more he explained how foolish they were to put their faith in wooden idols instead of in the One true God Who had created everything—including the wood they had used to carve those idols! They needed to return to Him. In chapters 49-57, Isaiah shared God’s ultimate plan for bringing salvation to the world through a Messiah (a Savior). He prophesied that the Messiah would come first as a suffering servant. He would be put to death to take the punishment for everyone’s sins. But one day He would return as an exalted king bringing peace and righteousness to the whole earth! Finally, in chapters 58-66, Isaiah explained that everyone who acknowledged their sins and trusted in the Messiah would be saved. Those who chose not to, would receive the judgment they deserved. He prophesied that a time is coming when God will create a new heaven and a new earth that will be filled with peace, prosperity, and justice.
We should never make “alliances” (choose friends or business partners) with the sole purpose of protecting or benefiting ourselves. Our relationships must always honor God. He wants to be the One to protect and bless us. Do you have some “alliances” you need to rethink? God has a great future planned for us if we choose to honor Him.