HANDS FULL OF BLOOD
We begin a series of messages through the book of Isaiah. In this first message, we are introduced to some key themes that get explored through the rest of the book. Specifically, Isaiah warns that God’s people cannot persist in their injustice and yet think their worship is acceptable to God. They must change their ways or face judgment.
IS THERE ANY HOPE?
When Assyria laid siege against Jerusalem, Isaiah interpreted it as God’s wrath against his people for their injustice and lack of faith. This little nation of Judah seems to be hopeless, but Isaiah believes that there is hope for God’s people in the form of a king from the line of David.
ORACLES AGAINST THE NATIONS
In Isaiah 13-23, the prophet warns Judah about the impending demise of the surrounding nations. The nations will fall because they participate in the spirit of Babylon, a spirit of pride and rebellion against God—the spirit with which Jesus does battle in the wilderness. Their fall implies that Judah should neither fear the nations nor lean on them.
THE DAY OF THE LORD
Isaiah believes a day is coming when the present age will pass away and a future age of peace and life will arrive. This future age invades the present at the resurrection of Jesus.
DON'T TRUST EGYPT
The prophet criticizes Judah for leaning on foreign nations instead of God.
BEHOLD MY SERVANT
Isaiah 40 begins the second half of the book of Isaiah, which is all addressed to an audience living 160 years after the audience of the first half of the book. What are we to make of this shift in time?
In this section, Isaiah 40-47, God is giving his defense against his people who are angry about the Babylonian exile. He exclaims that he still is in charge and that he still loves his people. He calls those who are now heading home to become his servant in very particular ways. But Jesus’ arrival several hundred years later demonstrates their ultimate failure to become the servant.
BEACON OF HOPE
In Isaiah 48-55, God calls his people to be a beacon of hope for the nations. However, they prove to be just as corrupt as the people around them. God disciplines his people with exile, but they remain just as stubborn as before. It is only by the power of God’s own Spirit living within his people that they can change and hope can be seen in the world.
LIGHT OF THE WORLD
In Isaiah 60-61, God shines in the darkness of the hearts of his people. Having thus purified them, he calls them to the tasks of compassion, liberation, justice, and enlightenment. Jesus then takes on these same four tasks, and he empowers us to do them as well.
At the culmination of human history, God makes a distinction between the proud and the humble. The humble inherit a new creation, while the proud are excluded.