Isaiah: Short thoughts on a long book

isaiahThe book of Isaiah demonstrates the trustworthiness of the Lord with regard to the two Kings that Isaiah advised. The aforementioned Kings are Ahaz and Hezekiah. A staunch comparison is drawn to delineate the way in which these Kings trusted the Lord. Ahaz did not trust God and suffered the consequences; however, Hezekiah did trust the Lord and Jerusalem was delivered. Much discussion has arisen over the topic of authorship. Many scholars believe in a three author approach to the work. They note that the literary styles shift and become more poetic and theoretical. However, Isaiah was an active prophet for over eighty years. Thus, it is easy to accept that his message and literary prose would change over time as he addressed different issues. The purpose of the work is to highlight the trustworthiness of Yahweh, the covenant God. The structure of the work suggests that the Lord will judge His people, yet offer hope. Ultimately, the work culminates in a Zion theology, promising the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.

isaiah 35A modern reader of the book of Isaiah should note that all of the messages in Chapters 40-66 are meant for a future audience. Ultimately, reconciliation is God’s ultimate goal. Though Israel was unfaithful under King Ahaz, the Lord was not unfaithful to the covenant He made. When Israel fails to be God’s nation, the Lord restores them to Him so that they may declare God’s glory among the nations. Likewise, when we stray from the Lord, we can reconcile that relationship with Him and become whole again. Furthermore, the suffering servant mentioned in chapter 52 alludes to the coming Messiah. Leviticus 16 describes the process of laying the burden on the scapegoat. Isaiah 52 parallels that idea, identifying the coming Messiah as the scapegoat for the sin of the world. The Lord is sovereign and gracious and is willing to reconcile broken relationships.

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