Pastor's Blog

Today we begin reading another one of the major prophets of the Old Testament. Isaiah faithfully spoke the Word of the Lord for a lot of years - from 739 B.C. to 680 B.C.. During the time of his ministry the northern kingdom of Israel was overrun and overthrown by the Assyrians. The majority of the people in Israel were deported to other nations, and foreigners were brought in to inhabit Israel. Judah was spared from the Assyrian’s because of a revival that took place during the reign of King Hezekiah. Isaiah’s book is made up of two major divisions. The first half of the book is made up of prophecies of judgment because of arrogance on the part of the people of God. The second half of the book is filled with prophecies of the coming Messiah and a kingdom of God filled with the glory of the Lord. In the first half of the book Isaiah tells Judah that Babylon is coming and will overthrow them. In the second half of the book redemption and restoration are foretold. Some of the greatest prophecies about Jesus are found in Isaiah’s writings.

Isaiah preached the word of the Lord for over 50 years. It would appear that he was a cousin to King Uzziah. He is the prophet that God used to confront ungodly King Ahaz — and he worked closely with Hezekiah all during his reign. Tradition tells us that Isaiah was sawn in two at the order of King Manasseh, the ungodly son of Hezekiah, because the king didn’t like the message that God was going to judge Judah. Isaiah had a difficult calling to fulfill. God told him early on (in chapter 6) that Isaiah would preach the word of the Lord and people of his day would not hear or receive it. Yet, Isaiah continued to preach what the Lord gave him to say all the days of his life.

When I read our passages in Isaiah and Jeremiah today – and consider how many years and how many prophets the Lord sent to Judah to call them to repentance I am reminded of the words of the New Testament where the apostle tells us that “God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” The messages of Isaiah and Jeremiah are clear – sin and unrighteousness are going to be judged. A person or a nation cannot go on in a lifestyle that ignores God and expect to prosper. Sin will be judged. Yet that is not what God really wants to do. God reveals what his true desires are for people in verses 18 and 19 of Isaiah 1 . . .

Isaiah 1:18-19

"Come now, let us reason together,"

says the Lord.

"Though your sins are like scarlet,

they shall be as white as snow;

though they are red as crimson,

they shall be like wool.

[19] If you are willing and obedient,

you will eat the best from the land;

One commentator says that in that era of time the color scarlet was the most “fast” color known. The bright red was a color that could not be bleached out. That is why God chose to use the words scarlet and crimson to describe our sins. There is nothing that man can concoct that will be able to remove the guilt of our sin – nothing! Yet God says if you are willing to repent and obey my Word I can make it like you have never sinned – your sins will be white as snow! Of course, we know that is possible through the blood that Jesus shed on the cross of Calvary in our stead. We sing, “what can wash away our sins?” and “what can make us whole again?” Then we answer the question with, “nothing but the blood of Jesus! Oh precious is the flow, that makes us white as snow. No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus!”

What is God’s desire for us? That we be redeemed from our sins. That our hearts be changed. That we live for him and not for ourselves, so we can live under the open heaven of his blessing. Are you willing? Are you obedient? . . .

Suggested Readings To Read Through The Bible In A Year

Friday     October 1, 2010   Jeremiah 25-27 & Isaiah 1

Saturday October 2, 2010   Jeremiah 28-30 & Isaiah 2

Sunday   October 3, 2010   Jeremiah 31-33 & Isaiah 3

Monday  October 4, 2010   Jeremiah 34-36 & Isaiah 4

Tuesday October 5, 2010   Jeremiah 37-39 & Isaiah 5


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