The book of Isaiah is the first of the writings of the Prophets in the Bible; and Isaiah, the author, is generally considered to be the greatest prophet. He was probably reared in an aristocratic home and was married to a prophetess. In the beginning of his ministry he was well looked. But, like most prophets, he soon became unpopular because his messages were so difficult to hear. He called the people to turn from their lives of sin and warned them of God’s judgment and punishment. Isaiah had an active ministry for over 60 years before he was executed during Manasseh’s reign (according to tradition). As God’s special messenger to Judah, Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of several of its rulers.
The 39 chapters in the first half of Isaiah generally carry the message of judgment for sin. Isaiah brings the message of judgment to Judah, Israel, and the surrounding pagan nations. Judah had a form of godliness, but in their hearts they were corrupt. Isaiah’s warnings were intended to purify the people by helping them understand God’s true nature and message. However, they ignored the repeated warnings that Isaiah brought. We need not repeat their error; rather, we should heed the prophetic voice.
The 27 chapters in the second half of Isaiah generally bring a message of forgiveness, comfort, and hope. This message of hope looks forward to the coming of the Messiah. Isaiah speaks more about the Messiah than he does any other Old Testament prophet. He describe the Messiah as both a suffering servant and a sovereign Lord/ The fact that the Messiah was to be both a suffering servant and a sovereign Lord could not be understood clearly until the new Testament times. Based on what Jesus Christ has done, God freely offers forgiveness to all who turn to him in faith. This is God’s message of comfort to us because those who heed it find eternal peace and fellowship with him.
As you read Isaiah, imagine this strong and courageous man of God, fearlessly proclaiming God’s word, and listen to his message in relation to your own life – return, repent, and be renewed. Then trust in God’s redemption through Christ and rejoice. Your Savior has come, and he is coming again.
Isaiah, son of Amoz
The events of chapters 1 – 39 occurred during Isaiah’s ministry, so they were probably written about 700 B. C. Chapters 40 – 66, however, may have been written near the end of his life, about 681 B. C.
To call the nation of Judah back to God and to tell of God’s salvation through the Messiah.
To download a PDF outline of Isaiah click here.
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