found me immersed in
the prophecy of Isaiah. I learned that
prophets are persons who speak for God, though in Isaiah’s case, he was
preaching and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit was also foretelling the
future. Uppermost in his thoughts were
the sins of his people in the southern kingdom of Judah. They had forgotten
the grace of God and in
their idolatry no longer recognized their total dependence on Him.
S. Stewart, in his
sermon “My Times Are In Thy Hand”, wrote that human pride and self-sufficiency
is the basic sin, discounting our dependence on the sovereign Lord of the
universe. “The nation whose ultimate trust
is in its own power and resources; the scientific humanism whose final
confidence is in itself; the righteous man who regards his righteous deeds as
meritorious and creditable and self-justifying; the Church that regards itself
as a miniature Kingdom of God – all are guilty of the one fundamental sin of
which all other sins are but derivative.”
a time when Assyria
had captured and enslaved the northern kingdom of Israel Isaiah was calling
upon the rulers in Jerusalem to repent of their unbelief in the Lord God of the
universe. Failing to heed Isaiah’s
admonitions, Judah would itself be conquered one hundred years later by the
Babylonian Empire and carried into captivity for seventy years.
wonderful book was Isaiah’s vision of the distant future. A Messiah would
appear who would do away with
the people’s need for blood sacrifices.
“Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow”, he
In his own dramatic encounter with God, Isaiah’s
vocabulary is exhausted as he attempts to describe the awesome holiness of God
in recognizing his own sins. The Lord,
encompassed by angels and seraphim, speaks to Isaiah in the temple: “Who
will go for me?” Isaiah responds:
The final chapters
of Isaiah trumpet a great truth: something
intrinsic to human nature is eternal. All will either spend eternity with
His fellowship or will be alienated from Him in judgment, having rejected His
provision for life eternal through His Son who died on the Cross to take away
the sin of the world. Reading Isaiah,
those who yearn for a King who will avenge the great injustices of our time can
be assured that His return is certain.
How soon....and are we ready?