As we near the end of this first quarter of 2021, I will present an overview of the book of Isaiah, which we have been studying this entire quarter. In summary the book of Isaiah is a Bible in miniature, in that there are 66 books in the bible and there are 66 chapters in the book of Isaiah. The Old Testament consists of 39 books and the first 39 chapters of Isaiah parallel the message of the old testament – “I am your creator God and there is none other. I care for you and supply all your needs. When you turn your back on me and choose other gods I withdraw my care and when things get bad enough you return to me. I will never turn you away.” The New Testament has 27 books and chapters 40-66 of Isaiah parallel the New Testament – Messiah, judgment, salvation, establishment of world without sin!
Isaiah is the first of the 17 prophetic books of the OT. His overall imperative urges readers to humble themselves before “the Holy One of Israel”. Chapters 1-39 of Isaiah warn the kingdoms of Israel and Judah and the surrounding nations of impending judgment and destruction because of their sins of pride, idolatry, and oppression of the poor and downcast. Chapters 36-39 provide a historical interlude that leads to Judah’s captivity by Babylon. God’s efforts to get the attention of His children so they will return to Him.
The last half of Isaiah (chapters 40-66) remarkably presents the gospel message nearly 700 years before the birth of Jesus!
Isaiah is quoted in the New Testament many times – more than all the other prophets put together!! This is a remarkable book. Much of which is lost upon cursory reading. Through study reveals a wealth of knowledge and insight into the ways of our God and all he does to sustain us and woo us back to thorough relationship with Him.
And now I’ll take a broader look at Isaiah:
I. (chapters 1-6). Isaiah is called to address National Apostasy! He repeatedly appeals to all to return to God. A recurring theme is the blessing for those who seek God and follow His direction and the judgment for continued rebellion (opposition to one in authority or dominance) and apostasy (an act of refusing to continue to follow, obey or recognize a religious faith / an abandonment of a previous loyalty). And a vision of God’s majesty. Isaiah 1:18. “I can make you as white as wool.” Isaiah 6:8. “Lord, I’ll go! Send me.”
II. (Chapters 7-12). Judah’s deliverance from Syria and Assyria. The Assyrian invasion predicted as well as the fall of Assyria. And ultimate deliverance and restoration through the Messiah. Isaiah 9:6
III. (Chapters 13-23). Solemn messages concerning Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Damascus, Ethiopia, Egypt. Dumah, Arabia, Judah and Jerusalem, and Tyre!!
IV. (Chapters 24-35). Deliverance from the Dominion of Satan. Deliverance of God’s people. The Messianic kingdom and a song of the new earth chapter 35. Isaiah 26:3. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you.”
V. (Chapters 36-39). A Historical Interlude: The Assyrian invasion. Hezekiah’s supplication and from is deliverance. Hezekiah’s sickness and restoration
VI. (Chapters 40-53). The four Servant Songs. Isaiah 40:31. “But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength.” Isaiah 43:2. “WHEN YOU GO THROUGH DEEP WATERS… I WILL BE WITH YOU.”
VII. (Chapters 54-62). The message of salvation to go the the “Gentiles”. i.e. all people! Isaiah 59:16. “No one came to help except the Lord alone.”
VIII. (Chapters 63-66). Establishment of the Messianic Kingdom. God will triumph in the end because He will have won the battle against evil at the cross and He will have a people who have been sanctified and who are sealed and are safe to live forever. And just like Revelation, Isaiah ends with the earth made new! Isaiah 65:24. “I will answer them before they even call to me”