Monday, January 14, 2019

Hope of the World: Isaiah 42

1 “Look at My Servant, whom I (the living LORD God) strengthen (support, uphold). He is My Chosen One (the Elect), who pleases (delights in) Me. I have put My Spirit upon Him (Servant). He will bring justice to the nations. 2 He will not shout or raise His voice in public. 3 He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice (in truth) to all who have been wronged. 4 He will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth. Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for His instruction (law)…. 6 I, the LORD, have called You (Servant) to demonstrate My righteousness. I will take You by the hand and guard You, and I will give You (Servant) to My people, Israel, as a symbol of My covenant (agreement) with them. And You will be a Light to guide the nations. 7 You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons (darkness).” Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7 New Living Translation 2nd Edition

Isaiah 42 has been called by biblical scholars the first of the five Servant Songs included in the prophecy of Isaiah. These famous Servant Songs are contained within the second great section of Isaiah; some biblical scholars call “Deutero-Isaiah.”[1] In this section called “Deutero Isaiah,” the prophet Isaiah is comforting and encouraging Israelites living in Assyrian and Babylonian captivity in foreign lands. The prophet Isaiah is assuring God’s people living in exile from the Promised Land that the living LORD God has not forgotten His beloved people. Beginning with Isaiah 40, the prophet Isaiah shifts away from judgment and toward comfort, restoration, and compassion of God’s hurting people living in exile. The comfort will come through the living LORD God’s glorious arrival to earth (e.g., see Isaiah 40:3-5). To show His love, the living LORD God through the prophet Isaiah predicts the coming of His Righteous Servant – the Servant of the LORD – that will bring not only Israel deliverance but deliverance, comfort, and hope to all the world!

Isaiah 42 is the first of the famous Isaiah prophecies concerning the “Servant of the LORD” (see Isaiah 42:1-9). Many biblical scholars identify five Servant Songs concerning the famous “Servant of the LORD” in Isaiah’s prophecy. These Servant Songs are found at Isaiah 42:1-9; Isaiah 49:1-13; Isaiah 50:4-9; Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Isaiah 61:1-3. For some scholars, the Servant Songs are the highpoint of Isaiah’s prophecies. The Servant of the LORD is the One that will ultimately fulfill the mission of Israel.

For centuries, scholars have struggled with identifying the Servant. In the Holy Scriptures, the servant of the LORD has applied to the patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (also known as “Israel”) (e.g., see Exodus 32:13).[2] Also, many other great Old Testament leaders have been identified as the servant of the LORD including Moses (see Numbers 12:7-8), Joshua (see Judges 2:8), and David (see 2 Samuel 7:5; Isaiah 37:35). Some scholars have identified the servant of the LORD as the people of Israel. In his prophecy, Isaiah sometimes identified Israel (Jacob) as the servant of the LORD (Isaiah 41:8-9; Isaiah 44:1-2, 21; Isaiah 45:4; Isaiah 48:20; Isaiah 49:3; see also Luke 1:54). Others think the servant refers to the faithful people of the LORD or the “ideal” people of Israel. Still, others think of the Old Testament prophets as the servant. Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets are identified as servants of the LORD – messengers of Good News (e.g., see Isaiah 20:3; Isaiah 41:27; Jeremiah 7:25; Jeremiah 25:4; Daniel 9:6; Zechariah 1:6). However, others identify anyone who proclaims the living LORD God’s message faithfully as a servant of the LORD (e.g., see Act 13:46-47; Acts 26:16-18).

Also, Isaiah identified Cyrus of Persia (559-530 BC) as a servant of the living LORD God (see Isaiah 45:1-4). In fact, some biblical scholars note that that the prophet Isaiah, who ministered between 740 and 680 BC, called Cyrus by name over a century before he was born (see Isaiah 44:28). The living LORD God called Cyrus from the east to attack from the north and defeat several kingdoms, including Babylon (see Isaiah 41:2, 25; Isaiah 46:11). The living LORD God used Cyrus of Persia to overthrow and punish the Babylonians in 539 BC for their atrocities against His people Israel and to restore His people to His land in Palestine as well as rebuild the Temple (Isaiah 45:13; see also 2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4; Ezra 6:3-5). Some scholars call the Israelites returned from Exile by Cyrus a “new Exodus.” The prophecy of Isaiah reveals that the living LORD God is greater than and controls ALL nations and kings of the earth (e.g., see Isaiah 40:12-17). Indeed, the king’s heart is in the hand of the living LORD, and like the rivers of water, the LORD turns it wherever He wishes (see Proverbs 21:1). The living LORD God is sovereign and providential, and only He’s hand controls the world (e.g., see Daniel 4:34-35)!

Another large group of scholars believes that the “Servant of the LORD” is the Messiah (Christ). This Servant is the model Israel (see Isaiah 49:3). Amazingly, the New Testament incorporates the prophecies of Isaiah and identifies Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah and Servant of the LORD. For example, Isaiah 42:1-4 is quoted as fulfilled in Jesus at Matthew 12:18-21. Also, Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is quoted at such New Testament passages as Matthew 8:17, Luke 22:37, John 12:38, Acts 8:32-33, and Romans 10:16 as fulfilled with Jesus’ ministry. In fact, Jesus quoted from Isaiah’s prophecies and identified Himself as the Servant from Isaiah (e.g., see Luke 4:18-21). When Jesus walked the earth, He lived as an obedient Servant of the LORD (e.g., see Matthew 20:28; Luke 22:27; Acts 3:13; Acts 4:27, 30; Philippians 2:7). Importantly, the Gospel writer John states that the prophet Isaiah saw Jesus’ glory centuries earlier (e.g., see Isaiah 6:1; Isaiah 7:14; John 12:41). Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets (see Amos 3:7).

Beginning with the first verse of Isaiah 42, the living LORD God (Yahweh) through the prophet Isaiah promises to send His Servant – the Messiah (Isaiah 42:1; see also Matthew 1:1, 16-17; Matthew 12:18-21). Messiah (Hebrew) and Christ (Greek) both mean Anointed One or Spirit-Filled. The prophet Isaiah predicts the Servant will be the Chosen One or the Elect of the living LORD God (Isaiah 42:1; see also 1 Peter 2:4, 6). Also, the living LORD God will delight in His Servant and will be pleased with His righteous ways (Isaiah 42:1; see also Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 17:5; Luke 9:35; 2 Peter 1:16-17). Moreover, Isaiah foretells the living LORD God strengthening, protecting, and empowering His Servant with His Spirit – the Spirit of the LORD (Isaiah 42:1, 6; see also Isaiah 11:2; Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:18-21; John 3:34-35; Acts 10:38). By His Spirit, the living LORD God will give His Servant to the world as personal confirmation of His covenant with them (Isaiah 42:6 see also Isaiah 49:6, 8). In other words, the Servant will become the living LORD God’s covenant with all the people.

Importantly, Isaiah predicts the Chosen One will reveal and bring the living LORD God’s justice, righteousness, and truth to all nations of the world (Isaiah 42:1, 3-4, 6; see also Isaiah 5:16; Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 11:4-5; Jeremiah 23:5-6). In His truth and justice, the prophet Isaiah proclaims God’s Servant will be the Prince of Peace – gentle and quiet, and He will not shout nor quarrel in the streets (Isaiah 42:2-3; see also Isaiah 9:6). Even though the Servant is gentle and quiet, the prophet Isaiah prophesied God’s Servant would encourage the fainthearted and those tempted to despair and depression (see Isaiah 42:3). Even more, God’s Servant will bring forth justice in truth to all who have been wronged, oppressed, and unjustly mistreated (Isaiah 42:3; see also Psalm 9:8; Psalm 72:2, 4). God’s Servant will not be satisfied nor grow weak until truth and justice prevail throughout the earth and every distant land place their trust and hope in Him (Isaiah 42:3-4; see also Psalm 96:13; Isaiah 2:3-4; Matthew 12:21; Matthew 28:18-20). Furthermore, the prophet Isaiah predicts the nations of the world will trust and look to God’s Servant for His teaching and law – Torah (Isaiah 42:4; see also Matthew 5:1-7:28; Luke 6:17-49). Some biblical scholars declare the Servant will be the new Moses (e.g., see Deuteronomy 18:15-18; Acts 3:21-23, 26).

Moreover, God’s Servant shall be a Light to guide the nations to the living LORD God of heaven and earth (Isaiah 42:6; see also Luke 1:79; Luke 2:28-32; John 8:12). God’s Servant will open the eyes of the blind and release those who are bound by the evil one’s darkness and despair, so they too can come to the Light of living LORD God of heaven (Isaiah 42:6-7 see also Isaiah 49:6, 9; Isaiah 61:1-3; Matthew 11:4-6; Matthew 15:29-31; Luke 1:79; Luke 4:18-19; Hebrews 2:14-15). Finally, the living LORD God declares His Servant will bring into the world a new salvation work (Isaiah 42:9; see also Isaiah 43:19; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Significantly, the living LORD God (Yahweh) through the prophet Isaiah proclaims He and He alone created the heavens and stretched them out and created the earth and all living creatures (Isaiah 42:5; see also e.g., Genesis 1:1, 6; Psalm 136:5-7; Isaiah 40:12-14, 21-22, 26, 28; Isaiah 44:25; Isaiah 45:12, 18; Acts 14:15). Only the living LORD God gives life, breath, and spirit to everyone in all the world (Isaiah 42:5; see also e.g., Genesis 1:27-30; Genesis 2:7; Acts 17:24:25). Moreover, the living LORD God sits above the circle of the earth (e.g., see Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 40:22; Isaiah 66:1-2). He judges all people of the earth – great and small, and He can bring great people of the world to nothing (see Isaiah 40:23-24). Only the living LORD God is all knowing – omniscient – and knows the beginning from the end (e.g., see Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 48:12). No one and no other gods compare to the living LORD God Almighty – the Holy One of Israel (see Isaiah 40:25-26; Isaiah 43:10-11). Furthermore, Isaiah declares that the living LORD God is eternal and everlasting (see Isaiah 40:28). Truly, the living LORD God is the nations’ only King, Ruler, and Redeemer and apart from Him, there is no God (see Isaiah 44:6).

Nevertheless, the living LORD God sees our troubles, and He cares for the brokenhearted and humble (see Isaiah 40:27, 29; Isaiah 41:10, 13; Isaiah 57:15). Those who trust in the living LORD God will find new strength, and they will run and not grow weary nor faint (Isaiah 40:31). The living LORD God – who has unlimited power – gives His power, strength, and wisdom to those who love and trust to Him (see Isaiah 40:29, 31). This concept of “trust in God” is not simply to mark time; rather, it is to live in confident expectations of the living LORD God’s action to solve ALL our problems, worries, and needs not only for Israel but for ALL PEOPLE (e.g., see Isaiah 8:17; Isaiah 25:9; Isaiah 49:23; Isaiah 64:4).

Even more, the living LORD God through His prophet Isaiah proclaims that only He is the LORD (Yahweh) our Savior, and that is His Name (Isaiah 42:8; see also e.g., Exodus 3:15; Exodus 6:2-3; Exodus 20:2; Isaiah 43:3, 11, 15; Isaiah 46:9; Isaiah 49:23). The living LORD God declares He will not give His glory to anyone else nor share His praise with any man-made idols or so-called gods (Isaiah 42:8; see also Exodus 20:3-5; Isaiah 48:11). Only the living LORD God deserves all the glory and the praise! Anyone who places their hope and trust in man-made idols and not the living LORD God of heaven will be greatly disappointed, ashamed, and eventually rejected in disgrace (Isaiah 42:17; see also Psalm 97:7; Isaiah 44:9-11; Isaiah 45:16). The prophet Isaiah promises the living LORD God, who is also a Mighty Warrior, will punish His evil enemies that rebel against Him and trust in their man-made idols, governments, or gods (see Isaiah 42:13-15, 17). Therefore, the prophet Isaiah declares NEVER place your trust in money, career, family, government, or even military power but trust in the living LORD God FIRST and FOREMOST!

Originally, the living LORD God called the nation of Israel to be His light and to proclaim His justice, righteousness, and truth to all nations of the world (Isaiah 5:1-7; Isaiah 42:21-22; see also Genesis 22:18; Exodus 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 4:5-8; Jeremiah 2:21). The living LORD God carried the people of Israel on eagles’ wings and brought Israel to Himself (see Exodus 19:4). The living LORD God gave Israel His righteous covenant and promised Israel if they would obey Him and keep His covenant, Israel would be His own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth (e.g., see Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 7:9; Titus 2:14). Out of all the nations of the earth, the living LORD God called Israel, who was His vineyard, to be His Kingdom of priests and His holy nation and to proclaim His righteousness standards (Isaiah 5:1-7; see also Exodus 19:5-6; 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10; Revelation 1:5-6).

Instead of righteousness and truth, the people of Israel and Judah did evil and wickedness throughout God’s land, Palestine (Isaiah 5:4, 7, 20-23; see also Isaiah 1:2-4, 16-17, 23). Israel and Judah violated the living LORD God covenant and committed all kinds of evil and unjust behavior, including murder, lies, envy, greed, lust, adultery, pride, and treachery (e.g., see Jeremiah 5:1-2, 7-8, 11, 26-28; Jeremiah 6:13). In fact, the prophet Isaiah called Israel blind and deaf because of their continual disobedience, idolatry, and rebellion against the living LORD God (Isaiah 42:18-19; see also Jeremiah 1:16; Jeremiah 2:4-5, 8, 11, 13, 20, 27, 34; Jeremiah 4:17, 22; Jeremiah 5:6, 23; Ezekiel 12:1-2). Israel and Judah knew the righteousness commands (Torah) of the living LORD God, but they refused to obey Him and His commands (Isaiah 6:9-10; Isaiah 42:20-21; see also Jeremiah 5:20-21). Thus, the living LORD God allowed His people Israel to be robbed, enslaved, imprisoned, trapped, and exiled, with no one to protect them because of their continual disobedience and sins toward Him and His righteous commands (Isaiah 42:22-25; see also Jeremiah 2:17-19). The living LORD God allowed such destructions and wrath against His servant Israel and Judah, so they would REPENT and wholeheartedly turn to Him with all obedience and love (Isaiah 42:9, 25; see also Jeremiah 4:4, 14; Jeremiah 5:3).

Despite Israel and Judah’s punishment, the prophet Isaiah assured God’s people that the living LORD God still loved and cared for them. Israel and Judah’s past failures did not nullify the living LORD God’s love and compassion for His people nor did His judgments for their disobedience reverse His plans for His people (Isaiah 40:1-2; see also Deuteronomy 7:6-8; Jeremiah 29:4-14). The prophet Isaiah assured Israel and Judah that the living LORD God could be trusted to keep and protect them if they would only TRUST and OBEY Him (Isaiah 7:9; see also 2 Chronicles 20:20; Proverbs 3:5-6). Even more, the living LORD God through His servant Isaiah promised to defeat Israel’s enemies, protect Israel from harm, and strengthen them for victory (see Isaiah 41:11-12, 15-16; Isaiah 54:16-17). The living LORD God is Israel’s Redeemer, Ruler, and King (see Isaiah 41:14; Isaiah 43:14-15; Isaiah 54:5).

Therefore, the prophet Isaiah encouraged Israel (and all believers in Jesus, who are incorporated into Israel) to fear not and not be afraid (Isaiah 41:10, 13-14; Isaiah 43:1, 5; Isaiah 44:2, 8; see also Jeremiah 42:11-12). The living LORD God is with Israel and Judah (see Haggai 1:13). Moreover, the prophet Isaiah encouraged EVERYONE – human and animals alike – on the earth to sing a new song onto the living LORD God and sing His praises (see Isaiah 42:10-11). The whole earth is full of the living LORD God’s glory and power (Isaiah 42:12; see also Isaiah 6:3)!  

When the New Testament opens, we see the Lord Jesus Christ fulfilling the prophecies of Isaiah. Jesus is the glory of the LORD (Divine Presence) because He is One with His Father, the living LORD God (e.g., see Isaiah 40:5; Matthew 16:16; Mark 14:62; John 1:14, 18; John 10:30; John 14:9). The living LORD God revealed His glory and salvation through the birth of His Son Jesus over 2000 years ago in the small Jewish Palestine town of Bethlehem (e.g., see Luke 2:4, 8-12; Luke 3:6; John 17:24; 2 Peter 1:16-17; 1 John 4:14). Jesus is the salvation sent from the living LORD God (e.g., see Isaiah 40:3-5; Luke 2:30; John 3:16; Acts 4:10-12). In Jesus’ Name, EVERYONE can find hope because Jesus is the hope of the world (Isaiah 42:4; see also Matthew 12:21). The Apostle Paul states in clear terms: Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (see Philippians 2:11). The Jesus Christ is God with us (e.g., see Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:23)!

Amplified Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1987).
Apologetics Study Bible: Understanding Why You Believe (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2012).
ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008).
Douglas, J.D. and Tenney, Merrill. NIV Compact Dictionary of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 1989).
Message Bible (Colorado Springs, CO:  NavPress, 2002).
Oswalt, John. The NIV Application Commentary: Isaiah (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003).
Ryrie Study Bible (Chicago, IL: Moody, 1995).
The Living Bible Paraphrase (Tyndale House, 1971).
Zondervan NIV Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).
Schwab, George, Senior Professor of Old Testament (Due West Campus, SC: Erskine Theological Seminary, 2018).
Wiersbe, Warren W. Bible Exposition Commentary – Old Testament (Victor Books, 1989).

[1] This author acknowledges that some biblical scholars believe that multiple writers are responsible for creating the book of Isaiah. However, this author believes in predictive prophecy and the prophet Isaiah wrote the entire Old Testament book of Isaiah.
[2] The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch listed with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and sometimes to the nation Jacob (e.g., see Genesis 32:28; Isaiah 14:1). The living God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, which means “he fights or persists with God” (in prevailing prayer) (see Genesis 32:25-28). Jacob’s divinely given name, “Israel,” indicated that “he struggled with God” and prevailed, growing spiritually in the process. Jacob’s great struggle with God can be found at Genesis 32:22-32.

Monday, December 31, 2018

A New Beginning

1 “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink — even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk — it is all free! 2 Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to Me (the living LORD God), and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. 3 Come to Me (the living LORD God) with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David….” 6Seek the LORD while you can find Him. Call on Him now (the living LORD God) while He is near. 7 Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that He may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for He will forgive generously.” Isaiah 55:1-3, 6-7, New Living Translation 2nd Edition

As the Christmas season ends, people turn their hearts to a New Year and new beginnings. With this New Year, let everyone listen to the words of the prophet Isaiah and come to the living LORD God now!

In Isaiah 55, the living LORD God – the Holy One of Israel – invites ALL PEOPLE to come to Him with our whole hearts (see Isaiah 55:1, 3). Coming to the living LORD God is ABSOLUTELY FREE and costs NO MONEY (see Isaiah 55:1). The living LORD God promises that when you come to Him with your whole hearts, He will FREELY give you a new life, heavenly blessings, goodness, and peace for our soul through His Holy Spirit (Isaiah 55:1-2; see also Isaiah 44:3-4; Isaiah 45:21-22; John 3:6; Acts 17:28; Galatians 5:25; 2 Corinthians 3:6, 8). When you come wholeheartedly to the living LORD God, He freely comes to live in your hearts and minds through His Spirit – also known as the Spirit of the LORD or the living Water (e.g., see John 4:10, 14; Revelation 21:6-7; Revelation 22:17). The Spirit of the LORD brings the living LORD God’s blessings, gifts, abundance, and grace into your lives NOW and for all eternity (e.g., see Isaiah 41:17-18; Isaiah 58:11; Matthew 5:6; Luke 6:21; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Revelation 3:18).

Next, the living LORD God urges ALL PEOPLE to listen diligently and obey His instructions (Isaiah 55:2-3; see also Leviticus 18:4-5; Joshua 1:6-8). The living LORD God declares that His life-nourishing instructions and commands are alive, active, eternal, and everlasting (Isaiah 55:10-11; see also Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33; Hebrews 4:12). Wholehearted allegiance to the living LORD God and obedience to His Word leads to life, goodness, and an everlasting covenant relationship with the living LORD God (Isaiah 55:2-3; see also Deuteronomy 30:15-16, 19-20; Isaiah 1:19-20; Jeremiah 32:40-41). The living LORD God wants everyone to have a continual relationship with Him. Even more, obedience to the living LORD God and His Word leads to wisdom and understanding (e.g., see Deuteronomy 4:5-6; Psalm 111:10). Through our wholehearted allegiance and obedience to the living LORD God comes an outpouring of His life-giving love, mercy, reward, blessings, and forgiveness that He previously gave to His servant David (Isaiah 55:3, 12-13; see also Proverbs 4:4; Isaiah 49:4; Isaiah 59:21; Romans 5:5).

The living LORD God found David to be a man wholeheartedly devoted and obedient to Him and His commandments (e.g., see 1 Samuel 13:14; 1 Kings 2:1-4; Psalm 63:1-2; Psalm 143:6; Acts 13:22). David sought and served the living LORD God with his whole heart and mind, and he encouraged others to do the same (e.g., see 1 Chronicles 16:8-22; 1 Chronicles 28:8-9; Psalm 27:8; Psalm 145:3). Because of David’s allegiance to the living LORD God, the Spirit of the LORD rested on David, and he enjoyed God’s favor (e.g., see 1 Samuel 16:12-13; 1 Samuel 18:12; 2 Samuel 5:3; Acts 7:45-46). Moreover, David proved the living LORD God’s presence and power in his life when he conquered other nations and giants (Isaiah 55:4; e.g., see also 1 Samuel 17:45-50). Even more, the living LORD God made David a leader for His people, and David became Israel and Judah’s most celebrated king (Isaiah 55:4-5; see also 1 Chronicles 28:4).

Even more important, because of David’s wholehearted allegiance to Him, the living LORD God promised to send His Messiah-King from David’s family, and David’s Seed would become Ruler (Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 11:1, 10; Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 53:2; see also Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 37:24-28; Matthew 1:1, 17-18; 23; Matthew 2:2; Acts 13:22-23; Romans 1:3-4; Hebrews 7:14; Revelation 1:5; Revelation 5:5; Revelation 22:16). Previously, the living LORD God through His servant Nathan promised David that his Descendent would rule as King forever (Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 11:1; see also 2 Samuel 7:11-16; 1 Chronicles 17:11-14; Luke 1:32-33). Like His servant David, the living LORD God promises you will also become blessed with His power and presence from on high when you wholeheartedly love and obey His righteous commands (Isaiah 55:5; see also 2 Chronicles 7:17-18; John 14:15, 21, 23; John 15:1-5, 7, 10; 1 John 2:5; 1 John 5:3). The living LORD God MUST be the only King and God of your heart (Isaiah 46:9; see also e.g., Joshua 24:14-15; 1 Samuel 12:12).

However, the living LORD God declares if your hearts turn away from Him and His Word, and you walk in continual evil and disobedience the Spirit of the LORD will depart your life, and your life will become dry, thirsty, and dead (e.g., see Deuteronomy 30:17-18; 1 Samuel 15:17-23; 1 Samuel 16:14; 1 Samuel 18:12; 2 Chronicles 7:17-22; Jeremiah 2:13; Romans 6:23). The living LORD God of heaven and His mercy are with those who wholeheartedly seek and love Him, confess their sins, and obey His righteous commands (e.g., see Leviticus 26:40-42; Deuteronomy 4:29-31; 2 Chronicles 15:2, 4; Psalm 103:11; Jeremiah 29:10-14; 1 John 1:5-9). However, if you reject and disobey the living LORD God, He will reject you (Isaiah 1:20; see also e.g., 1 Chronicles 28:9; 2 Chronicles 7:19-22). Rebellion against the living LORD God and His commands lead to the living LORD God’s disfavor and destruction (e.g., see Leviticus 26:14-17; Joshua 24:20; 1 Samuel 12:15). Continual sin and wickedness will lead to your downfall (e.g., see Ezekiel 18:30).

Thus, the prophet Isaiah calls upon EVERYONE to seek and call upon the living LORD God of heaven and seek His righteousness NOW (Isaiah 1:17; Isaiah 51:1, 4; Isaiah 55:6; see also Amos 5:4, 6; Matthew 6:33; Hebrews 3:12-15). Isaiah declares the living LORD God is the only God, and He will answer you when you seek Him (Isaiah 45:22; see also Exodus 20:3-5; Deuteronomy 4:29). As you seek and call upon the Name of the living LORD God, you find the living LORD God’s grace, hedge protection, and salvation from evil and the evil one (e.g., see Psalm 32:6-7; Joel 2:32; Zephaniah 2:3; Romans 10:13).

A clear example of the living LORD God’s protection and grace is found in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, often called the “Prayer of Jabez.” Jabez had a painful beginning in life (see 1 Corinthians 4:9). Despite his painful beginnings, Jabez sought and prayed to the living LORD God to bless him and expand his territory (border) (see 1 Chronicles 4:10). Even more, Jabez prayed to the living LORD God that His presence would be with him in all that he does and to keep him from all trouble, harm, evil, and pain (see 1 Chronicles 4:10). The living LORD God answered Jabez’s prayer request (see 1 Chronicles 4:10). Nothing is too hard nor too impossible for the living LORD God (e.g., see Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17, 27; Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 1:37).

Moreover, the prophet Isaiah encourages everyone to REPENT by turning away from their evil, selfish, false, and wicked deeds and seeking the living LORD God (Isaiah 1:16, 19; Isaiah 55:7; see also Zechariah 8:17; Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17). In fact, the prophet Isaiah urges EVERYONE to turn and remove from their minds and hearts the very thought of doing wrong, evil, and wicked (Isaiah 55:7; see also Jeremiah 4:14; James 4:7-8). Instead, the prophet Isaiah encourages EVERYONE to humbly and wholeheartedly REPENT and come to the living LORD of heaven and find the living LORD God’s FREE mercy, grace, salvation, and lavish forgiveness NOW and for all eternity (Isaiah 55:7; see also 2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 56:2). Though our sins may be like scarlet and red as crimson, the prophet Isaiah promises the living LORD God will cleanse our hearts and minds like pure snow as we come to Him (e.g., see Isaiah 1:18; Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 44:22). The living LORD God freely forgives EVERYONE who turns away from the wickedness they have committed and do what is just, right, and good (e.g., see Ezekiel 18:27-28).

Moreover, the living LORD God declares that His ways, thoughts, and plans are not the same as any human on earth (see Isaiah 55:8). Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, the living LORD God proclaims that His ways, thoughts, and plans are higher and greater than any fragile human (Isaiah 55:9; see also Isaiah 40:13-14). Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but the living LORD God’s purposes and plans always triumph in the end (e.g., see Psalm 33:11; Proverbs 19:21). The living LORD God is not human or mortal, but He is the strong and sovereign Creator of the universe (Isaiah 40:6-8; Isaiah 51:12-13; see also e.g., Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29). Only the living LORD God (Yahweh) is the only true God, and only He knows the end from the beginning of all things (Isaiah 44:6, 8; Isaiah 45:5-6, 18, 21; Isaiah 46:9-11; see also Deuteronomy 6:4).

Finally, the living LORD God throughout His Holy Scriptures calls EVERYONE to love, goodness, and fairness toward one another, particularly toward the oppressed, fatherless, and widows (Isaiah 56:1; see also Genesis 18:19; Micah 6:6-8; Isaiah 1:17; Romans 12:9; James 1:27). Doing what is right, loving, and good is the heart of the living LORD God’s commandments (Isaiah 56:1; see also Matthew 7:12; Matthew 22:37-40; Luke 10:25-37; Romans 13:8-10; 1 Timothy 1:5). Even more, doing what is right and good is more acceptable to the living LORD God than any religious ceremonies, rituals, or sacrifices (e.g., 1 Samuel 15:22-23; Proverbs 21:3; Isaiah 1:11). For the living LORD God loves justice and goodness, and He HATES stealing, lies, and wrongdoing (Isaiah 56:2; see also e.g., Psalm 11:7; Isaiah 61:8). The living LORD God’s very Name and nature is goodness, mercy, TRUTH, holiness; and justice (Isaiah 5:16; see also e.g., Exodus 34:6-7; Leviticus 11:44-45; 1 Peter 1:15-16). Thus, the living LORD God calls EVERYONE to flee and turn from doing anything evil (see Isaiah 56:2).

In His continual faithfulness, the living LORD God rewards and blesses EVERYONE who loves Him, and He makes an everlasting covenant with those who obey His righteous commandments (Isaiah 56:2; see also Psalm 112:1; Isaiah 61:8; Ephesians 6:24). Particularly, the living LORD God blesses those who worship Him and obey His Sabbath days of rest by not working (Isaiah 56:2, 6; Isaiah 58:13-14; see also Exodus 20:8-11; Leviticus 26:2; Deuteronomy 5:12-15). The living LORD God gives His FREE grace, joy, and blessings to ALL PEOPLE – whether young, old, black, white, Jew, Gentile, foreigners, or homosexual – who love, worship, and obey Him (Isaiah 56:3-7 see also Ephesians 2:11-16). The living LORD God’s salvation and grace are for ALL PEOPLE without respect to persons who seek and obey Him (Isaiah 56:8; see also Isaiah 2:2-5).

In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus continued the message of the prophet Isaiah. The Lord Jesus, who is One with His Father the living LORD God of heaven, urged everyone to come to Him and find life NOW and for all eternity (e.g., see John 3:15-17, 36; John 6:26-27, 53-58; John 10:30; John 14:6, 9-11). As we come to the Lord Jesus and His Father, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside our hearts (e.g., see John 3:3-8; John 7:37-39; John 14:23). The Holy Spirit brings heart peace and rest for our souls (e.g., see Matthew 11:28-30; John 16:33).

In summation, the living LORD God through the prophet Isaiah is calling EVERYONE to faith in Him and repentance (turning) from sin and evil. Seek the living LORD God this New Yew, and the living LORD God will come into your hearts through His Spirit – the Spirit of the LORD (e.g., see Isaiah 30:9; Zechariah 1:3; Malachi 3:7; James 4:8). Repent and live (e.g., see Ezekiel 18:30-32)!

ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008).
Message Bible (Colorado Springs, CO:  NavPress, 2002).
The Living Bible Paraphrase (Tyndale House, 1971).
Zondervan NIV Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Jesus, the Prince of Peace

1 Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a Shoot — yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. 2 And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him — the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might (power), the Spirit of knowledge and the (reverential and obedient) fear of the LORD. 3 He will delight in obeying the LORD. He will not judge by appearance nor decide based on hearsay. 4 He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of His word, and one breath from His mouth will destroy the wicked. 5 He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment. Isaiah 11:1-5, New Living Translation 2nd Edition

The prophet Isaiah has sometimes been called by scholars the “prince of the prophets.” Isaiah made startling predictions about the future, including the coming Anointed One – the Messiah-King, the son of David!

The prophet Isaiah predicted a new Branch or Shoot would grow from King David’s family (see Isaiah 11:1). David was from the small town of Bethlehem in Judah, located in the southern kingdom of Israel, and David’s father was named Jesse (see 1 Samuel 17:12). The LORD God Almighty found David to be a man wholeheartedly devoted and obedient to Him and His commandments (e.g., see 1 Samuel 13:14; 1 Kings 2:1-4; Acts 13:22). King David was Israel and Judah’s greatest king. The Spirit of the LORD rested on David, and he enjoyed God’s favor because of his obedience to the LORD God (e.g., see 1 Samuel 16:13; 1 Samuel 18:12; 2 Samuel 5:3; Acts 7:45-46). After King David’s death, Israel and Judah were ruled by many evil and disobedient rulers that did not fully obey the LORD God Almighty (e.g., see Isaiah 1:17; Isaiah 5:7). Thus, the prophet Isaiah envisioned that the royal line of David would be cut off and chopped down to a stump or stem (see Isaiah 11:1).

However, the prophet Isaiah prophesied that a holy seed or stump would emerge (Isaiah 6:13; Isaiah 11:1; see also 2 Kings 19:30-31). From the stump or seed of David’s family, the prophet Isaiah predicted a Righteous Shoot or Branch of the LORD will grow (Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 11:1, 10; Isaiah 53:2; see also Acts 13:22-23; Hebrews 7:14; Revelation 5:5; Revelation 22:16). The prophet Isaiah predicted this Righteous Shoot from David’s family would become Ruler as the LORD God will give Him authority, glory and sovereign power (Isaiah 9:6-7; see also Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 28:18). Previously, the living LORD God through His servant Nathan promised David that his Descendent would rule as King forever (Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 11:1; see also 2 Samuel 7:11-16; 1 Chronicles 17:11-14; Matthew 1:1; Matthew 2:2; Luke 1:32-33).

Moreover, Isaiah predicted a Messiah-King from David’s family line would produce and bear good fruit for the world to enjoy (see Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 27:6). The prophet Isaiah foretold that the Messiah-King would be filled and empowered with the Spirit of the LORD (Isaiah 11:2; Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 61:1-3; see also Luke 4:18-19; John 3:34). The Spirit of the LORD would give the Messiah-King from David’s family line the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, and knowledge (Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 11:2-3; see also 1 Corinthians 1:24, 30; Colossians 2:3). Even more, the prophet Isaiah predicted the Spirit of the LORD will teach the Messiah-King to honor, respect, and obey the LORD God (see Isaiah 11:3). Honoring and respecting the LORD God would be the Messiah’s joy and delight (Isaiah 11:2-3; see also Exodus 20:2-7).

Even more, the prophet Isaiah predicted the Messiah-King would be an understanding and fair Judge (see Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 11:3; Isaiah 16:5). The Messiah-King will not judge by appearance, false evidence, or hearsay, but He will judge with fairness, truth, and mercy (Isaiah 11:3, 5; see also 1 Samuel 16:7; Jeremiah 33:15). The prophet Isaiah predicted the Messiah-King would judge by examining a person’s heart, thoughts, and intentions (e.g., see Matthew 9:4; John 2:25; John 7:24). The Messiah-King will seek justice, loving kindness, and goodness for ALL PEOPLE (see Isaiah 16:5). The prophet Isaiah predicts the Messiah-King will bring forth justice to the earth (see Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 42:1-4).

Furthermore, Isaiah predicted the Messiah-King would defend the needy and the exploited, and He will punish the evil leaders and rulers who oppress them with His rod and sword (Isaiah 11:4; see also Isaiah 3:13-14; Revelation 19:15, 21). The prophet Isaiah envisioned the Messiah-King ALWAYS doing what is right, good, kind, and wise for all people and give honest and fair decisions for the earth’s poor, humble, and exploited (Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 11:4; Isaiah 16:5; Isaiah 42:1, 3-4; Isaiah 61:1; see also Jeremiah 23:5-6; Jeremiah 33:15). Moreover, the Messiah will be clothed with righteousness, goodness, and faithfulness (Isaiah 11:5; see also Acts 10:38; Ephesians 6:10-20; Revelation 19:11). Righteousness will be the Messiah’s belt and faithfulness the sash around His waist (see Isaiah 11:5). In fact, the Messiah’s Name will be the “LORD Our Righteous Savior” (Jeremiah 23:6; Jeremiah 33:16; see also 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

Furthermore, the prophet Isaiah prophesied the Messiah-King would bring transforming peace on earth for humans and animals alike (Isaiah 11:6-9; see also Hosea 2:18). Some biblical scholars have characterized this peace as a restored Eden where humans and animals live in harmony (see Genesis 2:4-25). The living LORD God Almighty has always wanted to create peace on earth through our love and obedience to Him and His commandments (e.g., see Leviticus 26:1-12; John 14:21-23; Galatians 6:7-10; James 1:22-25).

Under the Messiah-King’s leadership, the prophet Isaiah envisioned the LORD God Almighty creating a new heaven and new earth (Isaiah 65:17-25; Isaiah 66:22; see also 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1). In that future day, the prophet Isaiah predicted the wolf and the lamb would lie down together, and the leopard and goats living at harmony (Isaiah 11:6; see also Isaiah 65:25). Also, Isaiah envisioned the calf and lion eating from the same trough, and a little child tending and leading these animals (see Isaiah 11:6). Even more, the prophet Isaiah predicted in the future cows grazing among bears; cubs and calves living together, and lions eating grass like the cows (see Isaiah 11:7). Moreover, babies will crawl safely among poisonous snakes, and a little child will place his hand in a nest of deadly serpents without harm (see Isaiah 11:8).

Most important, the prophet Isaiah envisioned neither animal nor human hurting or killing on the LORD God’s holy mountain (Isaiah 11:9; see also Ezekiel 34:25-27). All nations and people will flow to the holy mountain of the LORD God (Isaiah 2:1-4; see also Revelation 21:10). As the waters fill the sea, so the earth will become full of the knowledge of the LORD God’s glory and power (Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 66:18-23; see also Habakkuk 2:14). Isaiah predicts the whole world will FINALLY acknowledge there is only One God – the LORD God Almighty, and worship Him (e.g., see Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 45:5-7).

Even more, the prophet Isaiah envisioned the Messiah-King becoming a signal, hope, and banner of salvation to ALL NATIONS and PEOPLE, not just the Jews (Isaiah 11:10, 12; Isaiah 42:7-7; Isaiah 49:6; see also Luke 2:30-32; Acts 11:18; Romans 15:12). All nations and people of the world will worship the Messiah-King and look to Him as a standard for living (see Isaiah 11:10). The Messiah will have a Kingdom filled with His glory (see Isaiah 11:10). Truly, the Messiah will transform the world!

Then, the prophet Isaiah predicted the LORD God of heaven will open oceans and highways once again to restore the faithful remnant of Israel who wholeheartedly trust and obey Him and His Messiah-King (Isaiah 10:20-22; Isaiah 11:11, 15-16; Isaiah 27:12-13; see also Zechariah 10:20-21; Romans 2:28-29). The LORD God will gather His faithful Israel and Judah refugees scattered around the world and return them into His Promised Land (see Isaiah 11:11-12). Also, the prophet Isaiah predicted there would be peace and unity amongst His people, Israel and Judah, and the Messiah-King will rule God’s people (Isaiah 11:13; see also Ezekiel 37:16-18, 22). There will be no more rivalry, anger, and jealousy between Israel (also known as Ephraim, or the northern kingdom) and Judah, the southern kingdom (see Isaiah 11:13). Together and united, the LORD God’s faithful people will destroy the wicked and evil nations of the world (see Isaiah 11:14).

Notably, not only did the prophet Isaiah see and predict the coming Messiah (Christ) (e.g., see Isaiah 6:1; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 52:13-53:12; John 12:41), but also many other Old Testament prophets of God saw the coming Messiah from a distance and trusted Him. For instance, the writer of Hebrews noted that Moses saw the coming Messiah (see Hebrews 11:26). Moses prophesied the coming Jesus as the Great Prophet and Savior whom the LORD God would speak through (see Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-19; Matthew 17:5; Acts 3:22-23, 26; Acts 7:37). Because Moses foresaw the coming Christ, Moses believed it was far better to suffer for the promised Messiah (Christ) than to own all the treasures of Egypt (Hebrews 11:26; see also Luke 14:33; Philippians 3:7-8). As with other faithful servants of the living God, Moses was looking forward to the LORD God’s great rewards in His Son Jesus the Messiah (Hebrews 11:6, 26; see also Matthew 6:33; Hebrews 10:35).

Moreover, Joshua met the Lord Jesus just before conquering the Promised Land at Jericho (e.g., see Joshua 5:13-15). The living LORD God through His servant Nathan promised that a Descendent of David would rule as King forever (e.g., 2 Samuel 7:12-16). Like Isaiah, Jeremiah predicted the Lord Jesus’ coming as a Righteous Branch of David that will rule a King (Jeremiah 23:5-6; Jeremiah 30:9; Jeremiah 33:17; see also Luke 19:38). Prophet Jeremiah prophesied the Lord Jesus as King will execute justice and righteousness on the earth (e.g., see Jeremiah 33:15-16). Even more, the prophet Zechariah also predicted the LORD God Almighty sending a Branch from David’s family that would become the earth’s King forever (e.g., see Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 9:9). Moreover, the prophet Zechariah predicts the Messiah-King rebuilding God’s Temple filled with both Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) (Zechariah 6:12-13; see also Ephesians 2:20-22). Then, the prophet Daniel saw the Lord Jesus coming in the clouds of glory to meet the Ancient of Days sitting on His throne (e.g., see Daniel 7:13-14).

Notably, the prophet Ezekiel made similar predictions about the coming Messiah-King from David’s family line, who would be an obedient and Good Shepherd of God’s people (Ezekiel 34:23-24; see also Isaiah 40:11; John 10:11, 14-16). Like Isaiah, the prophet Ezekiel predicted a Messiah-King would come and usher peace and abundance in the land among humans and animals alike and become the LORD God’s Prince (e.g., see Ezekiel 34:24-29; Ezekiel 37:24-25). Most importantly, all people will know and obey the LORD God Almighty and His Servant, the Messiah (e.g., see Ezekiel 34:30-31). In summary, the Old Testament is filled with predictions of the Lord Jesus’ coming into the world! Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy (e.g., see Romans 10:4).

The New Testament declares the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Jesus the Messiah (e.g., see Matthew 1:1, 16-18, 21-23)! Messiah (Hebrew) and Christ (Greek) both mean Anointed One. All four Gospel writers and the author of Acts wrote that Jesus was filled with the Spirit of the LORD (e.g., see Matthew 3:16-17; Mark 1:10-11; Luke 3:22; John 1:32-33). In fact, Jesus was filled with the life-giving Spirit of the LORD from His birth (e.g., Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:35). During His time on earth, Jesus the Messiah filled with the Spirit of the LORD went around doing good to ALL PEOPLE – the poor, the blind, prisoners, the oppressed, etc. – with compassion, justice, and mercy (e.g., see Matthew 4:23-25; Luke 4:18-19; Acts 10:38).

Moreover, Jesus is the righteous Descendent and Branch of David the living LORD God Almighty has graciously given to the world as Savior (e.g., see Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:10-11; John 3:16-17; John 4:42; Acts 5:31; Romans 1:3-6; Titus 2:13-14). Even more, the Gentile wise men from the East acknowledged the Lord Jesus as King of all people – Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) (e.g., see Matthew 1:1; Matthew 2:1-2; Luke 1:32-33). Many first century Israelites recognized Jesus as not only the Christ (Messiah) and Son of God but also the long-awaited Son of David who would royal David’s throne (e.g., Matthew 9:27; Matthew 20:29-34; Luke 1:31-32, 69; Luke 19:38; John 1:49; John 20:30-31). Even more amazing, Jesus the Messiah specifically states Isaiah’s prophecy applies to Him (e.g., see Matthew 12:18-21, quoting Isaiah 42:1-4).

The New Testament writers teach and proclaim that Jesus the Messiah has come into the world as a light to ALL PEOPLE – Jews and Gentiles (e.g., see Matthew 4:14-16; Acts 11:17-18; Acts 13:47; Acts 26:23). Jesus the Messiah is the King from David’s family the LORD God Almighty has given to bring salvation to ALL PEOPLE (e.g., see Acts 13:22-23). Even more, through faith in Jesus the Messiah, the apostle Paul teaches we become the righteousness of God (e.g., see Romans 1:16-17; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). The apostle Peter teaches that Jesus the Messiah took away and absorbed our sins in His body on Calvary’s Cross as the prophet Isaiah predicted, so that we might STOP SINNING and live for righteousness (1 Peter 2:24; see also Isaiah 53:4, 11; Acts 13:38-39; Romans 6:18-19; Hebrews 9:28).

As we STAY CLOSE and have FAITH in Jesus the Messiah, the LORD God Almighty and His Son Jesus fills believers with the life-giving Spirit of the LORD (e.g., see John 3:3-8; John 14:23; John 15:5, 10). We become brand new (e.g., see 2 Corinthians 5:16-17), and the LORD God is with us (Isaiah 7:14; see also Matthew 1:23). Always trust in the LORD.


Amplified Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1987).
Apologetics Study Bible: Understanding Why You Believe (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2012).
ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008).
Message Bible (Colorado Springs, CO:  NavPress, 2002).
The Living Bible Paraphrase (Tyndale House, 1971).
Zondervan NIV Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Light of the World!

1 Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever…. 2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great Light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a Light will shine. 3 You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before You as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. 4 For You will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod…. 6 For a Child is born to us, a Son is given to us. The government will rest on His shoulders. And He will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God (Yahweh), Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Wholeness). 7 His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of His ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen! Isaiah 9:1-4, 6-7, New Living Translation 2nd Edition

Christmas! The Christmas season is the MOST wonderful time of the year. Yet, some people are often angry and sad during the Christmas season for many reasons. For some, Christmas is a time we remember our family and friends that are now living with the LORD in heaven, possibly a family breakup, or a job loss. No matter the reason, the prophet Isaiah gives EVERYONE a reason to HOPE and REJOICE! 

The prophet Isaiah ministered to Israel and Judah during a sad time. Sadly, a civil war split and divided the Israelites into the North (Israel) and the South (Judah) after King Solomon’s death (see 1 Kings 11:9-13; 1 Kings 12:16-20). The prophet Isaiah lived in the more pious southern kingdom of Judah where Jerusalem and the Temple were located (see Isaiah 1:1; Isaiah 2:1). The prophet Isaiah ministered and served four kings of Judah – Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (see Isaiah 1:1).

When Isaiah began his prophetic ministry, Judah and Israel seemed strong and wealthy. However, the prophet Isaiah saw people using their power and wealth to plot evil, deny justice, and oppress the poor, widows, orphans, and aliens (Isaiah 1:17, 23; Isaiah 5:7, 23; Isaiah 10:1-4; Isaiah 59:1-4, 12-15; see also Jeremiah 5:23-28; Zechariah 7:9-10; James 1:27). Men went around drunk, and women cared more about their clothes and outward appearances than their neighbor’s hunger, hopelessness, and oppression (e.g., see Isaiah 3:16-24; Isaiah 5:7-12). The LORD God saw the people of Israel and Judah as drunken fools who did not honor Him and took bribes to pervert justice while letting the wicked go free and hurting the innocent, the poor, and the foreigner (Isaiah 1:23; Isaiah 5:11, 21-23; Isaiah 10:1-2; see also Exodus 23:6-9; Proverbs 17:15; Proverbs 23:20-21, 29-30; Ezekiel 22:12). People gave “lip service” to God with their many religious ceremonies, rituals, and fasts, and they kept up an outward appearance as righteous and good, but inwardly they neglected mercy, truth, justice, faithfulness, and goodness towards others (see Isaiah 1:10-15; Isaiah 5:7-24; Isaiah 58:2-5; Amos 5:21, 24; see also Matthew 22:37; Matthew 23:23; Luke 10:25-37).

The covenant LORD God of heaven commands our mercy, kindness, goodness, fairness, and justice towards others, particularly foreigners, the fatherless, the poor, oppressed workers, and widows (Isaiah 1:17, 23; Isaiah 56:1; Isaiah 58:6-7; see also e.g., Exodus 22:21-22; Leviticus 25:17; Deuteronomy 10:17-19; Psalm 33:5; Jeremiah 22:3; Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:6-8; Matthew 5:7; Matthew 9:13; Luke 11:42; 1 Timothy 6:11-12). The living LORD God Almighty wanted His creation to stop doing wrong, learn to do right, and seek goodness and justice for others in need and not just more ceremonial rituals and self-serving fasting (e.g., see Isaiah 1:16-17, 23; Isaiah 58:3-4). The living LORD God – Yahweh – loves justice, goodness, and mercy, and He hates robbery, evil, and wrongdoing (Isaiah 61:8; e.g., see also Psalm 11:7; Psalm 33:4-5). Thus, the living LORD God wanted His people to follow His righteous example and pursue love, justice, goodness, and mercy towards others, especially the poor, the homeless, foreigners, orphans, prisoners, and the oppressed (Isaiah 58:6-7; see also Matthew 5:3-16; Matthew 25:34-36; Luke 6:36; Galatians 5:22-23).

Because of Israel and Judah’s injustice, evil, and neglect, the LORD God of heaven raised up the Assyrians as a tool to punish His unfaithful and wicked people (see Isaiah 8:4-8; Isaiah 10:5-7, 12). The LORD God became a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both Israel and Judah (Isaiah 8:14-15; see also 1 Peter 2:8). Even worse, because the people ignored the covenant LORD God and His righteous commands, they walked in darkness, depression, and despair (Isaiah 8:20, 22; see also Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 58:8). For the people came under the LORD God’s contempt and judgment because of their continual sin, rebellion, and disobedience against Him and His holy covenant (Isaiah 3:14-15; Isaiah 8:22; Isaiah 9:1; Isaiah 10:1-4; see also Exodus 20:2-23:13).

Moreover, the LORD God of heaven raised up His servant Isaiah and many other holy prophets to warn the people to walk in all faithfulness and obedience to Him and His righteous covenant (Isaiah 1:16-17; Isaiah 7:9; Isaiah 8:13-14; see also 2 King 17:13; Jeremiah 18:11; Jeremiah 35:15-16; Luke 3:8; Acts 26:20). The prophet Isaiah did not walk in the ways of rebellious Israel and Judah (Isaiah 8:11; see also Ezekiel 2:8). Instead, Isaiah honored and obeyed the LORD God (Isaiah 8:13-14, 17; see also Deuteronomy 10:12-13; 1 Samuel 2:30). Moreover, Isaiah always hoped and trusted in the living LORD God of heaven for his strength, help, and guidance, and he encouraged everyone to do likewise (Isaiah 8:17, 19-22; see also Isaiah 40:28-31). The prophet Isaiah promised that the living LORD God of heaven would keep His people in perfect peace if they humbly and wholeheartedly obeyed and trusted in Him FIRST and followed His righteous ways (Isaiah 7:9; Isaiah 12:2; Isaiah 26:3-4; Isaiah 48:17-18; Isaiah 50:10; see also Habakkuk 2:2-4; Matthew 6:33; John 16:33; Romans 1:16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Philippians 4:7). The living LORD God called for Israel and Judah to come and seek Him and His righteousness with their whole hearts FIRST and FOREMOST to find rest, life, and peace (Isaiah 45:22; Isaiah 55:1-7; Isaiah 58:9; see also Deuteronomy 4:29; Amos 5:4, 6, 14-15; Matthew 11:28-30).

Amid Israel and Judah’s judgment, the prophet Isaiah gave a promise and certainty of the LORD God’s deliverance. Isaiah predicted Israel and Judah’s gloom and darkness would end because the living LORD God of heaven would send His greatest Gift! Isaiah saw the LORD God of heaven sending His Light into the world to end suffering, darkness, and bring salvation to ALL PEOPLE (Isaiah 9:1-2; Isaiah 42:6-7; Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 61:1-3; see also Matthew 4:15-16; Luke 2:28-32; Acts 26:23). The LORD God is Light, and in Him is no darkness (Isaiah 10:17; see also 1 Timothy 6:16; James 1:17; 1 John 1:5).

This great Light from heaven would be filled with God’s glory and righteousness, and He would shine on the world (Isaiah 9:1-2; see also Malachi 4:2; Luke 1:78-79; John 1:4-5, 9, 14; Ephesians 5:8, 14). Whoever followed and obeyed this great Light would never walk in darkness but will have the light of life and become people of the Light (e.g., see Matthew 5:14; John 8:12; John 12:35-36, 46). Moreover, Isaiah predicted that the LORD God of heaven would send this great Light to bring joy and gladness into the world (Isaiah 9:3; see also Luke 2:10). Even more, this great Light would break the chains of oppression, war, and depravity for the poor, widows, and the outcast, and bring justice to the nations (Isaiah 9:4-5; see also Isaiah 42:1, 4, 6-7; Isaiah 61:1-3; Matthew 11:28-30; Luke 4:18-19).

Amazingly, Isaiah predicted this great Light would come as a Child, who will also be the Son of the LORD God of heaven (Isaiah 9:6; see also Luke 1:31-33; Luke 2:11-12; John 1:1-5; John 3:16; John 20:31). The living LORD God of heaven promised to send His Son as Immanuel into the world to be with and save His people from their sins (Isaiah 7:14; see also Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 53:6, 10; Matthew 1:18, 21-23; John 3:16, 34-36; John 17:23). Moreover, the prophet Jeremiah predicted this coming Light would also be called: The LORD Our Righteous Savior as He will give the LORD God’s righteousness to all who believe and accept Him (Jeremiah 23:6; Jeremiah 33:5-16; see also Isaiah 42:6-7; Romans 3:21-22; 1 Corinthians 1:30).

ALL governments of the world will look to this great Child as King, Ruler, and Lord (Isaiah 9:6; see also Matthew 2:2; Acts 2:36). The living LORD God would give all His authority in heaven and on earth to this great Child (e.g., see Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 11:27; Matthew 28:18; Luke 10:22; John 3:35; John 17:2; Romans 14:9; Ephesians 1:10, 20-22; Philippians 2:9-10). For in this Child, all the fullness of the God will live in human form, and He will be the head over every power, principality, and authority (e.g., see John 1:1-5, 14, 16, 18; John 14:9; Philippians 2:6; Colossians 2:9-10; Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 2:7-8).

The prophet Isaiah predicted this great Child’s royal titles: “Wonderful,” “Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Everlasting Father of Eternity,” and “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6; see also Isaiah 25:1; Isaiah 40:9-11; Luke 2:10-11; Acts 2:36; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1). This great Child will be One with His Father, the living LORD God and King of heaven – Yahweh (e.g., see John 5:19; John 10:30; John 14:9-11; John 17:11, 21-22; 1 Timothy 6:15). The living LORD God of heaven will anoint His Son an ever-expanding and peaceful government and Kingdom that would never end (Isaiah 9:7; see also 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:14, 18, 27; Matthew 3:17; Luke 1:32-33; 1 Corinthians 15:25-28; Hebrews 1:8-9; Revelation 11:15). This Child would grow in wisdom and understanding as the Spirit of the LORD would anoint Him (Isaiah 11:2; Isaiah 61:1; see also Matthew 3:16-17; Luke 2:52; Luke 3:22; John 1:32-34). He will become the Ruler of the kings of the earth (e.g., see Revelation 1:5; Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16). Furthermore, this great Child will honor, respect, and love His Father, the living LORD God of heaven (see Isaiah 11:3).

Even more important, the prophet Isaiah predicted this great Child will become King, and He will rule from the royal throne of His ancestor, David of Judah (Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 11:4-5; see also Genesis 49:10; 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:15-17 Matthew 1:1; Matthew 2:2; Luke 1:29-33; John 18:36-37; Romans 1:3). This great Child from the living LORD God of heaven will bring justice, goodness, and peace to ALL people of the world as He will only do what is just and right (Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 11:3-5; Isaiah 42:1, 4; see also Jeremiah 33:14-16). For this great Child Himself will become our peace (e.g., see Luke 2:14; John 14:27; John 16:33; Ephesians 2:14). Finally, Isaiah assured Israel and Judah this will happen because the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies is true and faithful, and He always keeps His promises (Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 46:9; see also Deuteronomy 7:9; Deuteronomy 32:4; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13: 2 Corinthians 1:18, 20).   

Sadly, upon hearing the prophet Isaiah’s great predictions, the people of Israel and Judah laughed and scoffed at Isaiah (see Isaiah 9:8-9). Even worse, the people of Israel, with pride and arrogance, indicated they were strong enough without God’s help and resources to protect their cities and walls from foreign destruction (see Isaiah 9:9-10). Israel and Judah placed their trust in themselves rather than in the living LORD God. In response to Israel and Judah’s continual sin and pride, the living LORD God promised to raise up their enemies against them and even cause infighting between Israel and Judah (Isaiah 5:25; Isaiah 7:1, 8, 17, 20; Isaiah 9:11-12, 17, 21; Isaiah 10:4-5; see also Leviticus 26:14-15, 17; Deuteronomy 28:15, 25; 2 Chronicles 28:16-20).

Even with Isaiah’s warning of the living LORD God’s coming judgment and wrath, the people refused to repent by turning from their sins and wholeheartedly seeking the living LORD God of heaven with all humbleness, love, and obedience (Isaiah 9:13; see also Jeremiah 5:3; Hosea 7:10). Sadly, Israel and Judah sought guidance, help, and protection from every source, including foreign governments, mediums, spiritists, military forces, astrology (starry hosts), and even the dead but not the right Source, the living LORD God of heaven (Isaiah 8:19-20; Isaiah 30:1-2; Isaiah 31:1; see also 2 Kings 16:7-9; 2 Chronicles 28:16, 22-25; Jeremiah 5:1-3; Hosea 7:10; Zephaniah 1:6-7).

Moreover, the living LORD God of heaven promised to destroy the leaders and lying prophets of Israel and Judah (Isaiah 9:14-15; see also Jeremiah 5:30-31). For these worthless leaders and prophets corrupted and led the people down the wrong path and tolerated the people’s sins and wickedness (see Isaiah 9:16-18). The leaders judged for bribes and kickbacks, priests taught for a price, and the prophets told lies and illusions for money and committed sexual sins (Isaiah 1:23; Isaiah 10:1-2; Isaiah 30:10; see also Exodus 23:8; Leviticus 19:15; Jeremiah 6:13; Jeremiah 23:13-14, 32; Ezekiel 13:8-16; Micah 3:11; Micah 7:3). Even the young people, the widows, and orphans had become filthy-mouthed, uncaring, and wicked liars because of these evil leaders and lying prophets who were deceiving the people (Isaiah 9:17, 20-21; see also Jeremiah 14:14, 18). The people came to love the darkness (see John 3:19).

Thus, the LORD God of heaven promised to bring His anger, judgment, and discontentment against rebellious Israel and Judah (Isaiah 9:17-21; e.g., see 2 Kings 15:29-31; 2 Kings 17:4-23; 2 Kings 25:1-24; 2 Chronicles 16:4). Israel and Judah rejected the living LORD God’s sign – the coming Light of the world and the Prince of Peace because they loved darkness (John 3:19-21; see also John 1:4-5, 9)! Therefore, the living LORD God of heaven promised no heart peace but discontentment, darkness, and despair (Isaiah 9:20; see also Isaiah 8:21-22). However, EVERYONE who accepted Isaiah’s message and turned to the living LORD God found light, peace, and deliverance (e.g., see Isaiah 26:3, 12; Isaiah 40:1-2, 31).

Amazingly, Isaiah’s message of hope and Light was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus! The prophet Isaiah saw Jesus and the holy LORD God Almighty (Isaiah 6:1; see also John 12:41). After Isaiah saw Jesus and the LORD God Almighty’s glory and goodness, Isaiah saw life with a renewed hope and our need for obedience and trust in God (see Isaiah 6:1-8). 

The New Testament writers saw Jesus fulling the prophet Isaiah’s predictions. The apostle John declared Jesus as the great Light of the world as predicted by the prophet Isaiah (John 1:4-5, 9; John 3:19; John 9:5; John 12:46; 1 John 2:8; see Isaiah 9:2). In fact, Jesus referred to Himself as “the Light of the world" (see John 8:12). The same message recurs in the Holy Scriptures’ final pages, where the new Jerusalem in heaven is illuminated not by the sun and moon but God’s glory and Light (Revelation 21:23-24; Revelation 22:5; see also Isaiah 61:1-2, 19-20; Zechariah 14:6-7). Moreover, the apostle Matthew quotes from the book of Isaiah in describing Jesus’ ministry of coming into the world as Child and Light (Matthew 2:1; Matthew 4:14-16; see also Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7; Isaiah 42:7; Isaiah 61:1-3). Jesus is our Immanuel – God with us and the Light as predicted by Isaiah (Matthew 1:23; Matthew 28:20; see also Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 8:8, 10).

Importantly, Jesus encourages everyone who believes and trust in Him to shine light in the world and flew the darkness and evil (Matthew 5:14; John 8:12; see also Proverbs 4:18; Isaiah 2:5; Ephesians 5:8, 11; Philippians 2:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:5). The living LORD God of heaven sent His Son Jesus to rescue His people from the darkness and walk in the light of good works and deeds (Isaiah 42:7, 16; see also e.g., Matthew 5:16; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 5:9; Colossians 1:13; 1 Peter 2:9). Our good works and deeds bring glory to Jesus’ Father, the living LORD God Almighty of heaven (Matthew 5:16; see also 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 2:12, 15). Moreover, Jesus calls EVERYONE to produce good fruit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – for His Father’s glory (John 15:8; see also Galatians 5:22-23; Philippians 1:11; Titus 2:7, 14; Titus 3:1, 8, 14). For the fruit of light is found in all that is good, right, and true (e.g., see Matthew 7:16-20; see Ephesians 5:9). Even more, Jesus calls EVERYONE to be merciful, just as His Father is merciful (see Luke 6:36).

Amplified Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1987).
ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008).
The Living Bible Paraphrase (Tyndale House, 1971).
Zondervan NIV Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).

Monday, November 12, 2018

Theology of Isaiah

I.                   Overview
For many people, the Westminster Confession of Faith provides a systematic and concise understanding of the Holy Scriptures, God, and His creation. The Westminster Confession of Faith is organized into thirty-five chapters to systemize the entire Bible into topics such as the Holy Scriptures, God and of the Holy Trinity, God's Eternal Decree, Creation, and Providence. Amazingly, the Old Testament book of Isaiah produces a very different picture of God and theology. 
The book of Isaiah could be called the Holy Bible in miniature. Numerous theology themes fill the pages of the prophet Isaiah’s sixty-six chapters. Many biblical scholars believe that the Old Testament book of Isaiah is a theological masterpiece filled with insights into the glory and nature of the living holy God. Because of the book of Isaiah’s length, some people find Isaiah’s book hard to grasp.[1]
Of all the books of the Holy Scriptures, the book of Isaiah provides a complete picture of the true and living God. Isaiah describes the living and true God as unique and transcendent (beyond our experience). Yet, Isaiah reveals the holy and exalted God as our Immanuel, “God is with us” (see Isaiah 7:14). The true and living God is close and near to the humble of heart who seek and love Him (Isaiah 57:15; see also Psalm 145:18). Therefore, the living God’s nearness prepares Isaiah’s readers to receive the living God incarnate (in human flesh) as Immanuel, Christ Jesus our Savior (see Matthew 1:23).
Isaiah’s name means, “Yahweh is salvation”[2] or the “the LORD saves.”[3] The book of Isaiah calls on all people to turn away from their many false saviors and gods to the only true and living God, Yahweh, for our salvation (e.g., see Isaiah 45:21). Isaiah proclaims the only way to receive the God’s salvation and blessings is through our wholehearted surrender and trust in Him and not any other false gods, foreign nation, nor military alliance (e.g., see Isaiah 7:1-25).
Moreover, the book of Isaiah also tells the story of God’s righteous judgment on His sinful and rebellious people through the great Exile (see Isaiah 5:7, 24-30). However, Isaiah also declares God’s redemption and restoration (see Isaiah 40:1-2). The living God promises to cleanse and preserve a faithful remnant that will glorify Him among the nations and demonstrate that He alone is the true and living God (see Isaiah 6:13; Isaiah 53:6, 10). Isaiah promises the holy God will set aside a faithful remnant for Himself (Isaiah 4:2-3; Isaiah 6:13).
Furthermore, the book of Isaiah promises the coming Kingdom of God, and God’s Kingdom will be centered in Zion (new Eden or the new Jerusalem) (e.g., see Isaiah 59:20). In the book of Isaiah, the Holy One of Israel identifies Himself with holy Zion, His symbolic dwelling place (see Isaiah 18:7; Isaiah 24:23; Isaiah 27:13; Isaiah 56:7; Isaiah 60:1-22). Isaiah promises Zion will be populated by God’s faithful, merciful, and obedient people, and ruled by God’s Righteous Servant, the Messiah (Christ) (e.g., see Isaiah 1:27-28; Isaiah 33:5). God’s Righteous Servant will build Zion on the power of mercy, holiness, and goodness rather than oppression and injustice (see Isaiah 62:11).
The Holy One of Israel is a key phrase in Isaiah. The Holy One is the King (see Isaiah 6:5), the righteous and just One (see Isaiah 26:7), the incomparable God (see Isaiah 40:25), and the Redeemer of His faithful people (see Isaiah 41:14). Even more, the Holy One of Israel is filled with power and strength (see Isaiah 52:10). Isaiah describes the true and living God as holy and morally perfect (see Isaiah 6:3, 5). God’s holiness requires our purity, holiness, and goodness (see Isaiah 1:15-20; Isaiah 5:7; Isaiah 6:3-5; Isaiah 33:14-15). Anyone coming to the Holy One must worship Him in wholehearted reverence, obedience, and awe (see Isaiah 66:1-3).
Moreover, the Creator and Holy One of Israel is just, and His justice (mishpat) is part of His divine order (e.g., see Isaiah 5:7; Isaiah 16:5; Isaiah 56:1-2). The theme of God’s justice and righteousness runs throughout all of Isaiah e.g., Isaiah 1:17, 21-23; Isaiah 5:7-23; Isaiah 32:6-7; Isaiah 58:2). The living God rules and governs His world with justice (e.g., see Isaiah 5:16; Isaiah 10:22; Isaiah 30:18). For the LORD God loves justice, and He hates evil, robbery, and wrongdoing (e.g., see Isaiah 5:16; Isaiah 61:8). The Holy One of Israel also looks for justice from His people toward all people, especially the poor, widows, and the oppressed (e.g., see Isaiah 5:7; Isaiah 10:1-2). The living God blesses and rewards those who also seek justice, good deeds, and righteousness (Isaiah 30:18; Isaiah 56:1-2; see also e.g., Psalm 11:7; Matthew 5:10).
God’s nature as justice explains the prophecies of judgment, which condemn the leaders and wealthy for their injustice. God’s vengeance is just, because people get no worse than they deserve (e.g., see Isaiah 3:9-11; Isaiah 13:11; Isaiah 59:18). Moreover, God’s justice explains the prophecies against the Gentile nations because of their oppressive, proud, and unjust ways. Justice is central to God, and humans are condemned for failing to uphold God’s justice in His world (see Isaiah 28:17; Isaiah 29:21). Justice demands relating rightly to God and dealing fairly and mercifully with our fellow human (Isaiah 1:21; see also Micah 6:6-8; Zechariah 7:9; Matthew 22:34-40; Luke 10:25-37). 
The Good News is that the Holy One of Israel is also our Redeemer that seeks, rescues, and saves all who seek Him and turn from sin and wickedness (see Isaiah 49:7). In the book of Isaiah, the living God promises to send His Righteous Servant to cleanse and atone for our sins and rebellion (Isaiah 53:4-10; see also John 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 2:13-14). The Holy One promises to wash away one’s filth and promises to be present with His faithful and obedient people (e.g., see Isaiah 12:6; Isaiah 35:8-9; Isaiah 62:12).
Even more, Isaiah declares the living God’s Righteous Servant, Jesus the Messiah, will usher in a just and merciful world (e.g., see Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 11:2-5; Isaiah 16:5; Isaiah 32:1-2), and His Spirit will transform the world into a place of justice, righteousness, and peace (Isaiah 25:4; Isaiah 32:15-17; Isaiah 61:1-2; see also Luke 4:16-20). God’s Righteous Servant will proclaim the new order of justice and righteousness to the world (see Isaiah 42:3-4). When God’s Kingdom is fully established, the world (Eden or new Zion) will too be just and righteous (Isaiah 1:26; Isaiah 28:6; see also 2 Peter 3:13).
Finally, Isaiah proclaims Good News for all people, not just Israel (see Isaiah 52:7). Particularly, Isaiah proclaims Good News to the poor, oppressed, the blind, the prisoner, and needy, whose rights have been denied by the rich and powerful of society (see Isaiah 61:1-4). Even more, Jesus as God’s Righteous Servant receives His Father’s just judgment on as a willing substitute (Isaiah 52:13-53:12; see also e.g., Romans 6:22-23; 1 Peter 3:18). As God’s Righteous Servant, Isaiah promises He will bring God’s glorious light to all nations and all people (Isaiah 9:1-2; Isaiah 42:7; see also Matthew 4:15-16).
B.     Setting
The book of Isaiah starts around 740 BC, at the time of King Uzziah’s death (see Isaiah 1:1; Isaiah 2:1; Isaiah 6:1). King Uzziah, also known as Azariah in some biblical translations, ruled in Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel, from 792 to 740 BC (e.g., see 2 Kings 14:21-22; 2 Kings 15:1-7, 13, 30, 32, 34; Chronicles 26:1-23). Isaiah lived at a crucial time, midway between the founding of the kingdom under Saul and David, and its eventual destruction.[4] Sadly, a civil war split and divided the Israelites into the North (Israel) and the South (Judah) after King Solomon’s death (see 1 Kings 11:9-13; 1 Kings 12:16-20). The prophet Isaiah lived in the more religious southern kingdom of Judah where Jerusalem and the Temple were located (see Isaiah 1:1). The prophet Isaiah ministered and served as an advisor for four kings of Judah – Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (e.g., see Isaiah 1:1; Isaiah 6:1; Isaiah 7:1; Isaiah 37:2-39:8).
When Isaiah began his prophetic ministry, Judah and Israel seemed strong and wealthy. However, the prophet Isaiah saw people using their power and wealth to harass and oppress the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the alien (e.g., see Isaiah 1:16-20, 23; James 1:27). Men went around drunk, and women cared more about their clothes than their neighbor’s hunger and the oppressed (e.g., see Isaiah 3:16-24; Isaiah 5:7-12). People gave “lip service” to God with their outward religious ceremonies, rituals and fasts, and they kept up an appearance as righteous and good, but inwardly they neglected mercy, truth, justice, and goodness (e.g., see Isaiah 1:10-15).
Also, during this time, Judah faced a major crisis from the Assyrian empire. The Assyrian conquest reached southwestward from its homeland in what is now northern Iraq toward its ultimate destination, Egypt.[5] The small nations of the Mediterranean coast, including Israel and Judah, stood in Assyria’s path. Assyria took Galilee and much of Israel’s territory east of the Jordan River.[6] However Assyria would be satisfied only with total control of Israel, Judah, and all the other smaller nations in the area.
During King Uzziah’s reign as king of Judah, Judah has a strong army (see 2 Chronicles 26:11-15). After Uzziah’s death, ungodly King Jotham and King Ahaz began to reign as king of Judah.[7] Then, God gave Isaiah a vision to reveal that He is the true King and Lord not only of Judah but the ENTIRE world (see Isaiah 6:1-8). After seeing the living and glorious God, Isaiah gave a message to King Ahaz to trust in the living God because God is dependable (see Isaiah 7:1-25). However, King Ahaz ignored Isaiah’s message to trust the living God, and he foolishly placed his trust in human efforts and human alliance (e.g., see 2 Chronicles 28:16-21; Isaiah 7:1-12). After King Ahaz’s death, eventually good King Hezekiah ruled Judah. This time King Hezekiah heeded Isaiah’s warning and trusted in the ling God to protect Judah. King Hezekiah and the people of Judah relied on God’s faithfulness, and as promised, God rescued the nation from the Assyrians (see Isaiah 37:21-36). Regrettably, the people of Judah did not remain faithful to God after King Hezekiah’s death. As a result, God eventually allowed Judah to be defeated by the evil Babylonians in 586 BC (see 2 Kings 25:1-21; Jeremiah 52:12-27).
However, the prophet Isaiah assured both Israel and Judah that the living God is still faithful to His those who are continually faithful and obedient to Him (see Isaiah 6:13). The living God promised comfort, restoration, and salvation to God’s faithful people (Isaiah 40:1-2; see also Ezra 1:1-4).
II.                Doctrine of Isaiah
A.    True Religion
The beginning chapters of Isaiah gives the prophet’s definition of “true religion.” In Isaiah 1:10-27, living LORD Almighty censored the leadership of Israel and Judah because of their multiple sins and rebellion against their fellow brothers and sisters. The LORD Almighty was sick of the people’s many outward religious sacrifices, ceremonies, offerings, prayers, and rituals as they continued in sin and wickedness (see Isaiah 1:11-15). The leaders, wealthy, and influential members of Israel and Judah were filled with murder, injustice, brides, thief, and oppression (Isaiah 1:15-16, 23; see also Isaiah 5:7-24). The people of Israel and Judah, particularly the rulers and elders, defrauded the poor, lied and cheated, and they stole and mistreated the fatherless, widows and the oppressed (e.g., see Isaiah 3:13-24; Isaiah 59:1-15).
The prophet Isaiah encouraged the people to stop their sin and wickedness and do good, be fair and help the poor, the fatherless, and widows (Isaiah 1:16-17; see also James 1:27). If they would seek and do goodness, righteousness, and mercy for the poor, fatherless, and widows, the LORD Almighty promised to remove their sins, make the people as white and pure as snow, and pour out His abundant grace from heaven (Isaiah 1:18-19; see also Matthew 23:23). However, the LORD warned Israel and Judah if they continued their path of wickedness and sins against the poor, the fatherless, and widow, it will lead to His wrath and destruction (see Isaiah 1:20-25, 28-31).
The Holy God reveals Himself Holy and Righteous as practiced by the community of faith. Thus, God's people who use His name in worship gives God a bad name with their bad acts. If they claimed alliance to a Holy God, Israel and Judah were expected to embody the LORD’s character. The LORD's righteousness as seen in the righteousness of His people. Thus, according to Isaiah theology, the LORD calls upon His creation to do good and not evil, do justice to the disadvantage, stop hypocritical religious, and feed the poor. Justice, mercy, and faithfulness are more important to the LORD than our religious rituals, ceremonies, and fasting (e.g., see Isaiah 58:3-6; Isaiah 59:14-15). Orthodoxy is not an excuse for callous orthopraxy.
In the book of Isaiah, the LORD promises a coming Ruler that will eliminate oppression and injustice and bring the LORD’s justice and mercy for all nations and all people (Isaiah 30:18; see also e.g., Hosea 2:19; Matthew 23:23). The LORD’s Righteous Servant will be filled with the LORD’s Spirit and bring forth justice to throughout the nations, and not just for Israel and Judah (see Isaiah 42:1-4). The Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled the prophet Isaiah’s predictions as during His public ministry, the Lord Jesus went around doing good, performing acts of compassion, and mercy for all (e.g., see Matthew 4:23-25; Matthew 9:35-36; Acts 10:36).
B.     God is the Holy One of Israel
Throughout the Old Testament book of Isaiah, the living God is called the Holy One of Israel. The theme of God as the Holy One of Israel unites all sixty-six chapters of the entire book of Isaiah (e.g., see Isaiah 1:2-4; Isaiah 31:1). God as the Holy One of Israel means that God demands our wholehearted love, honor and honor (e.g., see Isaiah 6:3; Isaiah 66:1-2). Even more, the Holy One of Israel also commands His people to be holy and reflect His holiness in His creation (see Leviticus 11:44; Leviticus 20:26; Psalm 34:9). All that God does is motivated by His holiness. In fact, the entire goal of redemptive history is to acknowledge God as holy (see also Revelation 4:8), and God’s people are to imitate God’s holiness (see Isaiah 4:3; Isaiah 10:20, Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 60:9).
C.    No god Compares with Yahweh
Next, the prophet Isaiah proclaims that the Holy One of Israel (Yahweh) is unlike any other god or religion. The book of Isaiah declares that Yahweh is incomparable, and He is sovereign over all the nations (see Isaiah 40:15-18). Isaiah ridicules all manmade objects of worship as meaningless (see Isaiah 40:19-20; Isaiah 44:14-20). In fact, the entire polytheistic religious system is like a block of stone or of wood overlaid with precious metal with no real divinity (see also Isaiah 41:7; Isaiah 44:9-20). Thus, Isaiah teaches only Yahweh is the only true and living God of the world (see Isaiah 66:1-2). Yahweh is too big to be represented by an image as NOTHING compares to the holiness, perfection, and glory of Him. Only Yahweh knows the future, the beginning from the end, and the entire sweep of history (see Isaiah 41:21-29; Isaiah 46:8-11).
D.    Trust Yahweh vs. Fear of Humans
Because there is only one true and living God (Yahweh), Isaiah repeatedly declares throughout the book of Isaiah that the LORD God (Yahweh) is the One to wholeheartedly trust and not to fear humans (e.g., see Isaiah 31:1). In fact, trusting God first and foremost for all our needs and protections and not fearing humans is an important theme of Isaiah as well as the entire Holy Scriptures (Isaiah 2:22; Isaiah 17:7-8; Isaiah 22:11; see also e.g., see 2 Chronicles 32:8; Psalm 146:3; Jeremiah 17:5-9). The prophet Isaiah repeatedly encourages Israel and Judah to trust in God and not trust in humans (e.g., see Isaiah 7:1-17; Isaiah 31:1; Isaiah 51:12-15).
Notably, the prophet Isaiah declares to King Ahaz at Isaiah 7:9: “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” This same verse can be translated, “if you will not be Amen, then you will not be Amen” This is a wordplay. Sadly, King Ahaz failed to trust in God even when the prophet Isaiah gave Ahaz a salvation oracle, Immanuel (see Isaiah 7:14). However, Ahaz’s son King Hezekiah was given a second chance, and Hezekiah trusted in God and defeated the mighty Assyrian army with the help of Almighty God (see Isaiah 36:1-37:38).
E.     The Watchmen
Finally, Isaiah declares that God's holy prophets and leadership are God’s watchmen (Isaiah 56:10-11; see also Jeremiah 6:17; Ezekiel 33:7). As God’s watchmen, God’s holy prophets and leaders are to warn others of sin, wickedness, and other spiritual dangers in the world (Isaiah 58:1; see also Jeremiah 25:4-6). Moreover, God’s calls His holy prophets and leaders to encourage the people to wholeheartedly love, honor, and obey God and His Word (e.g., see Jeremiah 31:6; Ezekiel 3:17-21).  If God’s holy prophets and leaders will not lead the people in God’s righteous ways, God will punish these prophets and leaders for the people’s sins, rebellion, and wickedness (e.g., see Ezekiel 3:17-21; Ezekiel 33:7-9).  
III.             Eschatological Themes of Isaiah

The book of Isaiah has numerous eschatological themes linked to the future hope for Zion and a Righteous Servant that will reign in Zion with the King of glory. These themes are part of the future picture of the book of Isaiah.
A.    Eden and Zion Theology
The theology of Isaiah envisions a new Eden in the future, and this Eden is a future image of Zion. In the future Zion, the sin and rebellion of Genesis 3 that corrupted all aspects of life – spiritual, psychological, social, and physical – will be reversed and all creation will be restored (see Isaiah 11:1-16; Isaiah 35:1-10). Isaiah draws on motifs from Genesis and creation such as Abraham and the patriarchs (see Isaiah 51:1-3). In the future, there will be a restoration with a new heaven and earth and a new Jerusalem like the book of Revelation (see Isaiah 65:17-25). Thus, the spiritual corruption and sin of Israel and Judah in Isaiah chapters 1 through 5 will be transformed in Isaiah chapters 60 through 66 into a holy and beautiful worship community that reflects God’s holiness originally planned in Eden. Moreover, the glory of future Zion will be for all people – the nations, and the nations will bring their wealth to Zion (e.g., see Isaiah 60:1-5). Yahweh will be established as the King of Zion and the whole world be remade with the recreation of Zion (see Isaiah 66).
B.     David Theology
Importantly, the prophet Isaiah along with the other Old Testament prophets predict a coming King from the line of David (Isaiah 11:1; see also e.g., 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Psalm 132:11; Jeremiah 23:5; Matthew 1:1).  This coming King from David's family line will rule and reign as the Spirit-Anointed King of all the world – the Messiah (Isaiah 11:2; Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 59:20-21; Isaiah 61:1-2; see also Matthew 2:2; Revelation 22:16). This Anointed King sitting on David’s throne will establish justice, mercy, and peace (Isaiah 11:4; Isaiah 16:5; Isaiah 32:1, 16; Isaiah 33:5; Isaiah 42:1; see also Matthew 12:18-21). This King will rule over the whole world, and the Spirit will rest on Him (see Isaiah 11:1-10). The Messiah will the righteous Judge, and He will delight and smell out the truth in the fear of Yahweh (God) to reveal one’s true motives and heart intentions (Isaiah 11:3-5; see also 2 Corinthians 2:14-16). Furthermore, Isaiah predicted the Anointed King will have a nose for justice and righteousness (see Isaiah 11:4-5).
Moreover, the nations that will seek the Anointed King from David’s family line as their King (see Hosea 3:4-5; Amos 9:11; Zechariah 12:7-8; Zechariah 13:1; Ezekiel 37:21). Most important, Isaiah predicts a victorious and Anointed King and Messiah that will complete the conquest where the nations will fall at His feet as He rules and reigns as King (see Isaiah 9:6-7).
C.    The Destiny of the Nations
Throughout the book of Isaiah, a constant theme is the destiny of the nations as originally planned by God through His servant, Abraham (Genesis 12:3; Genesis 18:18; Genesis 26:4; see also Galatians 3:8). Yet, Isaiah’s predictions for the nations are paradoxical. Isaiah envisions the destructions of the nations (e.g., see Isaiah 35:4; Isaiah 41:11; Isaiah 49:25-26; Isaiah 54:15). Even more, Isaiah envisions Israel’s victory over the nations and the nations coming to Israel (e.g., see Isaiah 10:26; Isaiah 19:1-4; Isaiah 31:8; Isaiah 49:26). Significantly, Isaiah predicts the nations of the world will become subservient to Israel (e.g., see Isaiah 19:21-25; Isaiah 49:22-23; Isaiah 45:14).
Nevertheless, Isaiah envisions the nations will participate in God’s salvation. To bring salvation to the world, Isaiah predicts God will send His Righteous Servant as a Light to the nations and the nations will stream to Zion (e.g., see Isaiah 2:2-4). Isaiah’s future prediction is the opposite of Exodus theology because it will be an eisodus of the redeemed remnant of Israel and the Gentiles will come to God.
D.    The Servant of the Lord
Importantly, Isaiah envisions the coming Righteous Servant of the Lord throughout all sixty-six chapters of the book of Isaiah. In fact, the word “servant” occurs exactly 40 times in Isaiah. However, who is the Lord’s servant? The prophet Isaiah is named as God’s servant (see Isaiah 20:3). At Isaiah 22:20, God calls Eliakim the son of Hilkiah His servant. Moreover, Isaiah identifies David as a servant of the Lord (see Isaiah 37:35) and Moses as God’s servant (see Isaiah 63:11).
Furthermore, Isaiah identifies Israel or Jacob as God’s servant that He has formed (see Isaiah 41:8-9; Isaiah 44:1-2, 21; Isaiah 45:4; Isaiah 49:3). The living God redeemed His servant Israel to obey His righteousness commands and serve Him as God’s witness and light to the nations (see Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 48:17-20). However, Isaiah called Israel blind and deaf messengers of God that have not faithfully obeyed God (see Isaiah 42:18-19), and Israel needed God’s forgiveness (see Isaiah 44:21-22).
Nevertheless, Isaiah envisions the perfect Israel and perfect Vine in God’s Righteous Servant that will establish justice, light, and righteousness to the nations (Isaiah 42:1-4; see also John 15:1, 5). Isaiah predicts a coming Righteous Servant of the Lord that will suffer and atone for Israel’s sins (see Isaiah 52:13-53:12). Moreover, God’s Righteous Servant witnesses and proclaims redemption to all people (see Isaiah 61:1-4; Isaiah 62:1-5). This Righteous Servant of God is obedient and represents the godly in Israel. Jesus Christ fulfilled the role of the Righteous Servant envisioned by Isaiah (e.g., see Matthew 12:18-20; Luke 4:16-20). 
IV.             Raw Theology: Isaiah Theology in Metaphor
Many terms can be used to describe the living God. God is described as omnipotent, infinite, invisible, impassible, unchangeable, immutable, and transcendent. However, the theology of Isaiah gives many metaphors or comparison to describe the living and true God. The book of Isaiah paints a beautiful and colorful picture of God. No one can match Isaiah’s imagery.[8]
A.    God is the Vinedresser
In the book of Isaiah, the prophet describes God as the Farmer and Cultivator that tends and cares for His vine, Israel and Judah (e.g., see Isaiah 5:1-7; Isaiah 27:2-6). As the Farmer and Cultivator of the vineyard, God expected good fruit from His vineyard (e.g., see Isaiah 5:7). Sadly, God’s vineyard – Israel and Judah – were unfaithful and produced bad and inedible fruit (Isaiah 5:7-24; see also Ezekiel 15:1-8).
B.     God is the Rock
Also, Isaiah describes the living God as our refuge, fortress, and protection (Isaiah 17:10; see also Psalm 46:1, 7, 11). The living and true God is our everlasting Rock we can depend upon for our all our needs and shelter (e.g., see Isaiah 26:3-4; Isaiah 31:8-9, Isaiah 32:8, Isaiah 44:8). Therefore, Isaiah declares to God’s people not to be afraid or discouraged for the LORD God is our strength, victory, and protector (Isaiah 41:10, 13-14; Isaiah 43:2, 5; Isaiah 44:2; see also Romans 8:31).
C.     God is the Potter
Throughout the entire book of Isaiah, the living and true God is described a Potter (e.g., see Isaiah 29:15-16). The living God as the Potter formed and created all life (e.g., see; Isaiah 45:9; Isaiah 64:8). As the Potter, Isaiah teaches it is folly to question or criticize God's ways as the Potter (see Isaiah 45:9). Instead, Isaiah teaches that all humans must love, honor, and submit to the living God as our Potter and Creator (e.g., Isaiah 29:16).
Remarkedly, Isaiah’s theology connects the living God as the Great Potter to Genesis 2. In Genesis 2, God is described as forming man or Adam from the dust of the earth (see Genesis 2:7). In the book of Isaiah, God is forming the nation of Israel as He originally formed man (see Isaiah 43:1, 21; Isaiah 44:2; Isaiah 45:18). Thus, Isaiah describes the living God creating all things not by fiat or speaking as in Genesis 1 but as a Potter (yatzar).
D.    God is Father
Moreover, the book of Isaiah describes the living God as our loving and loyal Father (e.g., see Isaiah 1:2; Isaiah 63:7-64:11). Isaiah teaches that even if others forsake us the true and living God would always be your loyal Father (e.g., see Isaiah 63:15-16; Isaiah 64:8). Moreover, Isaiah describes the living God as our Ancestor, Father and Potter, that created all humankind, particularly Israel (e.g., see Isaiah 45:10-11).
E.     God is our Husband and Lover
Moreover, the book of Isaiah teaches that the true and living God of all the earth is our faithful Husband and Lover (e.g., see Isaiah 54:5-10). God is jealous and passionate for His creation as Husband. The living God longs to live inside and delight in His creation (e.g., see Isaiah 62:4-5). In Isaiah 62:4-5, the phrase “My delight is in her" is a translation of “Hephzibah” and this is a sexual image that God loves Israel intimately and passionately as a faithful Husband and Lover (Isaiah 65:19; see also Psalm 45; Jeremiah 3:14; Hosea 2:7, 19).
F.     God Is Mother
Furthermore, Isaiah describes God as our loving and tender Mother (see Isaiah 46:3-5). The living God carries Israel as in His womb – rehem as a pregnant mother, and He tenderly nourishes and feeds His people (see Isaiah 46:3-4; Isaiah 44:2; Isaiah 49:1, 14-16). Because God is our Mother, we have no reason to accuse nor fault Him (see Isaiah 45:9-11). God is our comforting, caring, and nurturing Mother that gave birth to His people (see Isaiah 66:8-14).
G.    God is the Owner and Master        
In the opening verses of Isaiah, God is declared the Owner and Master (see Isaiah 1:3). The living God is our Master who lovingly redeems His people as His servants (see Isaiah 44:21-22).
H.    Redeemer
Isaiah declares the living God is our Redeemer (see Isaiah 43:1; Isaiah 44:6). As our Redeemer, the living God redeems and purchases His people back, and He pays our ransom. (e.g., see Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 41:14: Isaiah 43:14; Isaiah 51:10-11). Israel is redeemed without money because Israel was sold without money (see Isaiah 52:3).
I.       King
Importantly, the book of Isaiah describes the living LORD God as our reigning and sovereign King (e.g., see Isaiah 24:23; Isaiah 41:21; Isaiah 43:15; Isaiah 44:6; Isaiah 52:7). There are many kings mentioned in the Isaiah including Uzziah, etc. (e.g., see Isaiah 36:13). Isaiah proclaims the LORD of Hosts as the only true King of all the earth (see Isaiah 6:5)! Yahweh is the King of kings, Defender of Justice, and the Divine Warrior (Isaiah 59:15-19; see also Jeremiah 10:10; Jeremiah 51:57). The living God uses the nations as His weapons and tools in war to maintain His justice on His earth (see Isaiah 10:5-7; Isaiah 63:1-6). Yet, the living God is also our Shepherd-King that protects and tends His flock (Isaiah 40:10-11; Isaiah 49:8-13; see also Proverbs 27:23-27). 
J.      Glory
Finally, Isaiah describes the living God as glorious, and the whole earth is filled with His glory (Isaiah 6:3; see also Numbers 14:21; Psalm 72:19). Glory can mean the material well-being of the people or the visible condition of a nation. Glory can also speak to God's influence and powerful presence here on earth (e.g., see Exodus 16:7, 10; Exodus 24:16-17; Exodus 40:34-35; 1 Kings 8:11; Ezekiel 1:28). Isaiah declares the whole world will acknowledge God’s glory (Isaiah 2:11, 17; Isaiah 66:1-2; see also Psalm 46:10).
Similarly, Jesus is the Vine, and His Father is the Vinedresser (Isaiah 5:1-7; see also Matthew 21:33; John 15:1, 5). Jesus is the rejected stone and rejected stone, but He is the Cornerstone (e.g., see Matthew 21:42; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11). Also, Jesus is our Maker and our Savior (e.g., see Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:10-11; John 1:1-5; Ephesians 3:9). Jesus reveals the Father to the world and His faithful disciples – the Church – is His bride (e.g., see Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22; John 1:18). Moreover, Jesus is our Lord, Redeemer, and King that vanquishes Satan and his evil minions (e.g., see Matthew 2:2; Matthew 4:1-13; Matthew 12:29; Colossians 2:15). Yet, Jesus is also our Good Shephard, and He loves and cares for us (e.g., see John 10:11, 14-16). Jesus is also the glory of God, and He must also be worshipped (e.g., see Luke 9:32; John 1:14; Revelation 5:12). Even more, like His Father the living LORD God, Jesus is the Holy One of God (e.g., see Mark 1:24; Luke 4:1).
V.                MYTHS AND MONSTERS
Finally, the theology of Isaiah includes many mythological monsters and creatures believing Christians would never imagine. Remarkedly, the book of Isaiah includes dragons and flying fiery serpents called ophidian and Nahas (e.g., see Isaiah 30:6; Isaiah 14:29). Also, “seraphim” seen at Isaiah 6:1-2, 6 and Isaiah 30:6 have been translated “fiery,” “burning” ones with wings. Some biblical scholars have referred to seraphim as possible cobras or dragons.
Moreover, the book of Isaiah mentions “leviathans” (see Isaiah 27:1). Many scholars believe these creatures are coiling serpent or dragons. Yet, the identification of Leviathans is disputed, ranging from an earthly creature to a mythical sea monster. The name Leviathan is found elsewhere in the Holy Scriptures (e.g., see Job 3:8; Job 41:1-32; Psalm 74:13-14; Psalm 104:26). Some biblical scholars believe Leviathan also refers to a sea creature parallel to Rahab (see Isaiah 30:7; Isaiah 51:9). The Israelites and the prophet Isaiah were aware of ancient mythological creatures that battled one another including Baal verses Mot and Marduk verses Tiamat.
Moreover, Isaiah 13:21-22 and Isaiah 18:6 outline seven mythological creatures, monsters, and other wild beasts. These creatures were used by Satan to deceive humans. First of these creatures is ziyim. The ziyim are knowns as desert ghouls or wild desert animals. Next, the book of Isaiah sairim, which are hairy ones like satyrs, which are half man and half goat. The Greek translates sairim as sauyivua or demoniac and monstrous in the deserts. Next, Isaiah includes ya'nah are mythical beings or “sirens” deserts demons also known as “oeipnves.” Then, Isaiah mentions ohim or shriekers which are perhaps some desert fiend. Moreover, Isaiah names “tannim” and iyim. “Iyim” are known as wild, weird crying of an animal or a donkey. Finally, Isaiah lists an “et,” which are perhaps like harpies or evil creature.
Furthermore, Isaiah mentions Lilith at Isaiah 34:14 that could be translated as a “night monster.” Some theologians refer to Lilith as Adam's first wife in Jewish lore or a demonic creature. Also, Isaiah discusses Sheol, which literally means “grave” and Bilal – Satan (see Isaiah 14:9-21). With all these various creatures and monsters listed, Isaiah examines humanities’ place in the cosmos and the mystery of the world. Yet, Isaiah calls upon all humankind to trust in and look to God to find our security and comfort (see Matthew 16:18; Romans 16:20).
VI.             Conclusion
In summary, the theology of Isaiah is very different from the theology of the Westminster Confession of Faith. The book of Isaiah draws upon ancient myths and mythological creatures that are the corner of Isaiah's theology (e.g., see Isaiah 43:16-21). Yet, Isaiah paints a colorful and beautiful picture of the living God using metaphors and comparisons to describe an incomparable God. Nevertheless, Isaiah describes God as our Shepherd and Divine Warrior who holds His faithful people tenderly in His arm as a Mother and intimately as a loving Husband. No wonder many scholars have declared the book of Isaiah a masterpiece!

New Student Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992).
NIV Essentials Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013).
NLT Study Bible (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub., 2008).
Schwab, George, Senior Professor of Old Testament (Due West Campus, SC: Erskine Theological Seminary, 2018).

[1] New Student Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992).
[2] NLT Study Bible (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub., 2008).
[3] New Student Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992).
[4] New Student Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992).
[5] NIV Essentials Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013).
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid.
[8] New Student Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992).