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Thursday, February 7 2013
Isaiah: Visions Of The Messiah
Isaiah, from the Hebrew name pronounced yesh-aw-yaw (notice how in English, and other languages, pronunciation of Biblical names are sometimes almost unrecognizable from their actual sound in Hebrew), meaning the LORD has saved, was a prominent prophet of the LORD, after the division of Israel into "Israel" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes) and "Judah" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah). Isaiah was sent to prophesy during the reigns of four kings of Judah - Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. The kingdom of Israel fell during the reigns of Ahaz and Hezekiah of Judah (see Kings of Israel and Judah).
"1:1 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." (Isaiah 1:1 KJV)
Although Israel and Judah fell over a century apart (see Kings of Israel and Judah), they did so for the same reason - they became ignorant ("ignorant" means to ignore, to treat someone or something as though they don't exist) to the LORD: "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know ... a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD."
"1:2 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. 1:3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 1:4 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." (Isaiah 1:2-4 KJV)
Jerusalem in the time of Isaiah was on a level that would have made it one of the many "great" gutter cities of the world today, "rulers of Sodom ... people of Gomorrah" (keep in mind that the LORD had incinerated the original Sodom and Gomorrah long before that time). The people nevertheless regarded themselves as devout and religious, with their perversions of the LORD's true Sabbath and Holy Days.
"1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. 1:11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. 1:12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 1:13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 1:17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 1:20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isaiah 1:10-20 KJV)
The people of Judah didn't heed the warnings of Isaiah, and so they were given to their own destruction. The Book of Isaiah however continues with prophecies of the restoration of the LORD's Kingdom, not merely by the return of the people of Judah from their Babylonian captivity seventy years later, from which they later repeated their unfaithfulness, but the coming of the Messiah by Whom "Zion shall be redeemed with judgment."
"1:21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. 1:22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water: 1:23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. 1:24 Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: 1:25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: 1:26 And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.
The famous "For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks" (also recorded by the prophet Micah) was a vision of the return of Jesus Christ, as given to Isaiah.
"2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Isaiah 2:1-4 KJV)
Did Isaiah know only of the second coming of the Messiah? No. Isaiah was also given an amazing amount of detail about the first coming of the Messiah - that the Messiah not only fulfilled, but which was read and quoted by the Messiah during His Ministry. Consider the detail about the man named Jesus of Nazareth - that could describe no other human i.e. "the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
"53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isaiah knew that the Messiah would be born of a virgin.
"7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14 KJV)
That verse is verified as being fulfilled i.e. "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
"1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
Isaiah (the King James Version uses "Esaias" for Isaiah in the New Testament) knew that John the Baptist would prepare the way for the Messiah. Isaiah wrote of it centuries before it happened.
"3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." (Matthew 3:1-3 KJV)
The Messiah read the prophecies of Isaiah in the synagogue in Nazareth - that began the Messiah's Ministry. Isaiah wrote of it centuries before it happened.
"4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
Isaiah knew that the Messiah would then live by the Sea of Galilee. Isaiah wrote of it centuries before it happened.
"4:13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 4:14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 4:15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
Isaiah knew that the Messiah would heal by miracles. Isaiah wrote of it centuries before it happened.
"8:14 And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. 8:15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. 8:16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: 8:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." (Matthew 8:14-17 KJV)
Isaiah knew, and wrote of it centuries before it happened, of how corrupt people would reject the LORD. Isaiah also lived it during his own ministry. At the end of Isaiah's ministry, Judah and Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians; at the end of the Messiah's first Ministry, Judah and Jerusalem again fell, to the Romans (see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones?).
"15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
Studies For The Book Of Isaiah
Fact Finder: What did the Messiah have to deliver to God before the Messiah could be the Deliverer of humanity?
This Day In History, February 7
457: Leo I became the emperor of the Byzantine Empire.
1301: King Edward I of England revived the title of Prince of Wales and bestowed it on Edward of Caernarvon, who later became Edward II.
1550: Giovanni Maria del Monte was elected Pope Julius III.
1668: The Netherlands, England and Sweden signed a pact against Louis XIV of France.
1783: The Spanish and French Siege of Gibraltar was lifted after 4 years.
1792: Austria and Prussia (an area of Germany, not to be confused with Russia) formed an alliance against France.
1807: The Battle of Eylau. Napoleon fought a fierce but indecisive battle against Russian and Prussian forces.
1867: The British North America Act, to create the Dominion of Canada, was introduced in the House of Lords by the Earl of Carnarvon.
1878: Pope Pius IX died. His nearly 32 year pontificate was the longest in the history of the Roman Catholic church. He was the inventor of the anti-Biblical dogma of the "Immaculate Conception" in 1854.
1904: The biggest fire in the U.S. since the great Chicago Fire of 1871 broke out in Baltimore. It destroyed over 2,500 buildings.
1913: The Ottomans (a centuries-long ruling dynasty in Turkey; listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) lost 5,000 men in a battle with the Bulgarian army in Gallipoli.
1926: Average wage for common labour in U.S.: 54 cents per hour.
1986: It rained sardines in Ipswich, Australia. Scientists speculated that a violent storm caused updrafts that lifted the fish out of shallow waters and took them into the atmosphere.
1990: The Soviet communist party under Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to surrender monopoly on political power after 70 years.
1992: European Community ministers formally signed the Maastricht Treaty of European Union (see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!).
1999: Crown Prince Abdullah became the King of Jordan following the death of his father, King Hussein.
2009: Bushfires in Victoria left 173 people dead in the worst natural disaster in Australia's history.