Dear 365 Readers,
Tomorrow (7/16) we start reading in Isaiah. Isaiah was a prophet – a preacher, poet, and politician. He was an advisor to the kings of Judah (the southern kingdom after the split) for some 60 years, outlasting four kings until finally wicked King Manasseh had him killed. He is a giant of Jewish history, often called the Shakespeare of Hebrew literature. The book of Isaiah is quoted more in the New Testament than all the other prophets combined, and no other Biblical author can match Isaiah for his rich vocabulary and imagery!
When Isaiah began speaking the nation of Judah seemed strong and wealthy, but Isaiah saw signs of danger. People used their power to harass the poor. Men went around drunk, and women cared more about their clothes than about their neighbor’s hunger. People kept up the outward appearance of religion but did little more. Outside of Judah’s borders other nations, like Egypt and Assyria and later Babylon, grew strong and dangerous.
Though he was an advisor to kings, Isaiah spoke the cold, hard truth and warned of disaster to come. From chapter one on the question is asked, “Why do you persist in rebellion?!” (1:5) As you read this collection of Isaiah’s sermons and warnings, watch for these things:
What are the sins the people have committed? (watch for the “woes”)
What judgments are rendered?
What promises and future hopes are mentioned? (watch for prophecies of the savior to come)
Watch also for “the Spirit of the Lord” (at least 10x) and see what you discover!