Introduction to Isaiah – The author is definitely a man named Isaiah who lived in Jerusalem in the 8th century B.C. He most likely started his ministry in the 740s  B.C. Like the other OT prophets, he wrote during Israel’s declining years and was sent by God “in the eleventh hour” in an attempt to get the people to turn back to God. This usually did not happen, so then the prophet was used to comfort and encourage the survivors of the judgment. God still loved them and had a purpose for their lives. The Book consists of a collection of predictions and visions. Although Isaiah is not always easy to follow, it is the most often quoted OT Book in the New Testament and contains some quite amazingly specific prophecies of the coming Messiah.

Isaiah 1:

v1-9: Though God Himself parented this nation, they have revolted and refused to follow Him. Even animals recognize their human masters, but Israel is so bad that it does not know its Creator. If God was not faithful to His promise to Israel, then no survivors would have existed. Israel would have been the equivalent of Sodom and Gomorrah.

v10-15: Application for Today – When people’s hearts are far from God, He hates religious rituals even if based on His Word, and even if they multiply their prayers, He will not answer. Religious people tend to do this very thing. They think that their multiple repetitions of prayers will get God’s attention when their hearts remain steeped in self-centeredness. God is not mocked (fooled) – Galatians 6:7.

v16-20: Repent and change your ways. God is even willing to “sit down with us” and reason together. If people are willing, He will make their sin totally clean. If not, destruction will follow.

v21-31: God will destroy His enemies, but there is hope for many others.

Isaiah 2 – Isaiah sees the “last days” and proclaims that God will be exalted and He alone will be glorified, and peace will reign. No more war. When he says “mountain of the house of the Lord” it means the government or Kingdom of God, and this is the only form of government that will last forever. Fallen man’s powers and kingdoms will all fade away in time. The problem with the fallen human race is that when it prospers materialistically, people form idols and get proud of themselves and forget God. Therefore, God must abase all human pride for the sake of His Kingdom and all idols must be cast down forever.

Application for Today: We should not esteem mankind and his accomplishments since they are all temporal. We should esteem the things of God’s Kingdom because it is right and it is the only thing that will last forever. Therefore, walk humbly with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and allow Him to have His way every day. This does not mean that we do not do anything or accomplish goals, but it simply means that our priority is Him, not us.

Isaiah 3 – At this point in history, Israel was going away from God. So Isaiah prophesied that capable leaders would vanish and incompetent ones would take over. There is mention of a faithful minority that would not be affected by the coming judgment. Even the women were proud of the way they looked and perhaps even their social stature. So God would take away their outer beauty.

Application for Today: Our country seems to have too many poor political leaders and judges. Perhaps it is a sign of God’s judgment against our nation.

Many of these prophecies took place during the Babylonian captivity, and during the Assyrian captivity of the Northern Kingdom. The concepts are obvious and strong: 1) God does things right, 2) believers have failed, 3) God brings judgment, 4) God’s providence and mercy secures a remnant of true believers who prevail in the end, 5) God creates things anew.

Isaiah 4 – I think these chapters are alluding to the End-Times, not merely OT historical Israel. The “Branch” refers to Jesus in other Scriptures as well. The “fruit of the earth” and the “survivors of Israel” refer to The Church (all who are saved). Verse 5 speaks of a new heavens and new earth. Verse 6 describes the safety and peace of heaven on earth.

Isaiah 5 – This chapter reveals God’s lovely “vineyard” for which He has high hopes and great love. It’s the apple of His eye. The vineyard is the Jewish nation, and they constantly rebelled and disobeyed by not allowing God to rule in their hearts. This angered God, but He always gave them fair warning via His prophets before He destroyed them. This gave them opportunity to turn things around. If they did not, God would always preserve a remnant in order to fulfill His promise to Abraham, and to see the fulfillment of His Church in the Latter Days.

Verse 5 mentions a “hedge” being removed from Israel by God. This indicates that He gives protection to His kids, although it is invisible most of the time.

Verse 20 proclaims woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light.

Application for Today: If we want God’s protection, we must follow Him in our hearts. This protection is not to be taken for granted, but prayed for over time. Again, do not just pray the prayer and not follow Him in your heart. He is never fooled by religious hypocrisy.

Verse 8 may be a warning about our urban plight of today – “Woe to those who build house to house…until there is no more room.” Crime rates are always higher in crowded, urban areas.

Verse 20 describes people today who view Christianity as being a narrow-minded and judgmental religion while embracing universalism and/or liberalism. These can be described  as a philosophy that promotes abandoning “restrictions” described in the Bible such as waiting until marriage to have sex while promoting “thinking for oneself” (i.e. don’t let the Christian God tell you what to do). These kinds of beliefs are viewed as healthy and good for mankind. Rather than freeing human souls, this kind of liberalism enslaves them to sin and rebellion against what their Creator has said which is for their own protection.

Isaiah 6 – Isaiah is somehow allowed to see God on His throne in glory and realized what a sinner he was. Certain seraphim (special angels) were there, and one approached a repenting Isaiah with a burning coal that, when it came into contact with Isaiah, took away his iniquity and atoned for his sin. With that done, God then asked for a volunteer to speak to His people on earth, and Isaiah quickly asked to be sent. The message was that the Jewish people would be presented with Truth but It would be rejected time and time again. Jesus quoted this segment of Scripture when the Jews were stiff-necked against Him. So this “detachment” from God and the Jews lasted quite a long time. Isaiah wanted to know how long. God said until the land is left utterly desolate, but the remaining “stump” will contain the “holy seed.” This refers to the “stump or root of Jesse” in King David’s lineage which eventually led to the birth of the Messiah (Isaiah 11:10; Romans 15:12).

This brief chapter gives us a look into what is behind the most remarkable history of the Jews and their nation. In 70 A.D., Jerusalem was utterly destroyed and the Temple did not even have one stone left upon another (which Jesus predicted). The nation of Israel was literally wiped off the map. Most Jews were killed, but some were taken captive. The Christian Jews heeded Jesus’ warning in Luke 21:20 and fled to Pella just before the destruction came. This is what probably saved the Church from extinction. The Jews were exiled from their land until 1948 when they became a nation once again. In 1967, the majority of people living in Jerusalem were Jewish as a result of the “Six-Day Miracle War.” If this is following the prophetic words in the Bible, then the Second Coming of Christ is closer than many may think.

Isaiah 7 – This contains one of the most amazing Messianic prophecies in the Bible. Verse 14 says there is sign coming and it would be that a virgin shall bear a son and His name will be Emmanuel (God is with us). Not surprising, there has been much controversy over the Christian interpretation of the Hebrew word used here for “virgin.” In brief, “‘almah” may refer to “young maiden” or “virgin” in various other verses in the Bible. The orthodox Jewish teaching is that this woman was Isaiah’s wife who gave birth to a son in Isaiah 8:3. His name, however, was not Emmanuel. Clearly the context of Isaiah’s chapter revolves around kings at war and threatening King Ahaz of Jerusalem, but sometimes prophets suddenly transcend their contemporary realm and project far into the future giving people (especially those living many years later) a perspective of God’s bigger plans.

With all due respect to contemporary Jewish interpretations of the OT, I must side with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit who gives illumination to the Word of God. The New Testament clearly states that Isaiah 7:14 refers to Mary, the virgin. As Christians, our conviction is that the Holy Spirit penned each NT word through different men, therefore, this case is closed. There are other examples of the NT clearing up OT prophecies. The OT ends with Malachi 4:5-6 proclaiming that Elijah would be sent before the day of the Lord. So people were anticipating a literal return of Elijah himself which John the Baptist denied in John 1:21. However, Jesus cleared up any interpretive doubts concerning the Malachi prophecy in Mt.11:10-14; Luke 1:16-17; Mark 9:11-13. John the Baptist came in the “power and spirit” of Elijah and this is what was meant by the Spirit speaking through Malachi.

Application for Today: We need to allow and depend upon the Holy Spirit to guide us through God’s Word if we are to gain its full power and truth. Remember that Jesus had to open the Apostles’ mind to the real meaning of the Scriptures at one point (Luke 24:45) regarding the Messianic prophecies. Don’t get me wrong, studying and reading man’s ideas about the Bible is all right. We cannot, however, rely upon man’s ingenuity or intellectual capacity to determine the meaning of the Bible. This was, in part, King Ahaz’ problem – rather than depending on God and His word through Isaiah, he leaned on an earthly king to help him in his time of need. This is like depending upon big government to solve all our problems…doomed to fail.

Isaiah 8 – Isaiah describes a time when people of Judah were primed for God’s judgment, and history bears this out. Perhaps a deeper, more complete picture is being drawn for the human race, however. Two kinds of people are described here. One trusts in God’s Word and is in the minority (the remnant). The other trusts in worldly things and ways of thinking. When this mind-set is allowed to ferment over time, the inevitable result is advocation of seeking mediums and wizards (the occult) for individual and national guidance. Hitler was known to do this. In the midst of all this OT description, the Word of God to Isaiah reveals the concept of the New Testament Cornerstone – “a stone to strike” in verse 14 most likely refers to the crucifixion of the Messiah, and “a rock to stumble over” may refer to Jesus becoming the chief cornerstone of the Kingdom of God that people will have rejected not realizing who He was and is. Jesus has been represented by “a stone” in Daniel Chapter 2 as well, where He, over the course of human history, will be the only government that lasts forever.

Again, with OT prophets, they recorded actual, contemporary, historical events, but those recordings and descriptions also give readers of future generations a glimpse into God’s bigger picture. I’ve often believed that what God did in the natural (physical realm) in the OT, He accomplishes in the spiritual via the NT (1 Corinthians 15:45-46). I think OT circumcision leading to a greater significance (circumcision of heart) in the NT is a good example of this. When we read the OT with NT “eyes” (aid of the Holy Spirit), we perceive more of what God is saying to us. It would not surprise me if the Word contains meanings so deep that we cannot grasp it all today. I’ve sometimes wondered if we will be forever perceiving those meanings in His Word throughout eternity. No end to the meaning of His Word?? There’s a concept for the Twilight Zone.

Isaiah 9 – Once again in the midst of profuse evil and doom in Israel, the prophet promises light from darkness. He specifically identifies the geographical location of the coming Messiah in verse1 (Galilee). The burden on the people will be broken (v4). This may be referring to Jesus taking away sin. Verse 6 identifies the Messiah as a male baby born and His names include: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God (nice deity of Christ support here), Eternal Father (again, deity support), and Prince of Peace. Verse 7 reveals that His government (kingdom) shall ever increase. This may mean that Heaven will always be on the increase (not sure what increases, but it sounds great) or it may mean that the number of people entering it will rise until His Second Coming.

Isaiah 10 – Verse 1 contains a warning to judges and lawmakers who make unfair decisions (politicians will be held accountable). God speaks up for the poor people and those who can be taken advantage of easily such as widows and orphans (and the unborn). God also uses evil nations to punish His people when they rebel, then goes after that nation when the punishment of His people is complete. God does not make nations evil. He uses their evil to stem its tide. In verses 20-22, God mentions that remnant again. He promises that out of all the evil the Hebrew nation has done throughout their history, there will still be a small portion that will have eternal life. This is the remnant. Verse 33 repeats a common Biblical theme of the proud being debased by God’s judgment.

Isaiah 11 – A glorious description of the coming Messiah and His peaceful kingdom that would eventually be established. Verse 1 identifies David’s dad Jesse as being part of the royal line of the Messiah. At first, verses 1-3 one may think it refers to King David. Verses 6-8, however, describe the perfect peace that only Christ can bring to earth, not King David. Verse nine describes the end goal of God – that this “earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

Isaiah 12 – This describes the joy of true salvation and knowing God through His Messiah. We are to make His deeds known to others and praise Him in joyful songs.

Application for Today: Every one of us has a testimony about how we were saved and what Jesus has done for us. God wants us to tell others about those things. We are not to keep those things to ourselves. If you struggle with this, ask Him to help you and He will.

Isaiah 13 – Again the prophet is possibly speaking prophetically to his own time period, and/or to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and/or to the end of this age. Words in verse 10 are quoted by Jesus in Matthew Chapter 24 when He was describing both Jerusalem’s fate of 70 AD and the end of the world. Anytime Scripture mentions the darkening of the sun and moon, it means judgment is coming. The sun and moon never stop emitting light when that judgment takes place. These phrases are not literal. They reflect the symbolic language that God consistently uses in both Old and New Testaments.

Isaiah 14 – While going after an evil king of Babylon, Isaiah suddenly shifts into the supernatural realm in verses 12-17 by describing Lucifer’s fall from grace due to his pride. Lucifer seemed to covet two things: power and to be worshiped (cult leaders have this same problem). This is probably why power has such power to corrupt. If we are children of the devil, we will want the same things as he does. The Bible, especially the OT, says little about the devil and demons, so we must pay close attention when it does. These verses about Satan also may be saying that departed souls will be, at that future time, shocked when they gaze at the fallen Lucifer stripped of all his power of deception. Those souls will be surprised that he was so successful at destroying nations on earth.

Isaiah 15 – The judgment and destruction of Moab is predicted.

Isaiah 16 – Further description of Moab’s demise. Excessive pride is the cause, yet it breaks God’s heart to see them pray to their false gods knowing that no one would rescue them. As in the case of the Jews, even Moab will be blessed with a remnant, although it would be not mighty. The fulfillment came when Assyria invaded Moab sometime between 715 and 713 B.C. or, perhaps, when Sennacherib destroyed it in 701 B.C. I am always impressed with God. Here, He still has compassion on a godless nation that opposed His people.

Isaiah 17 – The judgment and destruction of Damascus (Syria) is predicted.

Isaiah 18 – Judgment against Cush (probably Ethiopia).

Isaiah 19 – Most of this chapter is probably referring to Egypt in about 700 B.C., but verses 20-25 seem to be about a truly remarkable event that has yet to happen – Egypt will know the Lord. Here, God is causing Egyptians to strike Egyptians, much like is what’s happening now in some Arab countries. Perhaps the current political unrest in the Arab countries will lead to something good. Something that could not take place before with tyrants in control.

Isaiah 20 – More judgments against Egypt and Cush (perhaps Ethiopia).

Isaiah 21 – Judgments against Babylon, Edom, and Arabia.

Isaiah 22 – Judgments against Jerusalem because they continued to trust in the world rather than God for their protection and sustenance. When they should have been weeping in repentance, they were drinking and making merry.

Application for Today: We need to realize that God ultimately controls the fate of nations, not social, economic, and political conditions. Israel’s main problem of trusting in the things of this world for life can be a major problem for us as well. It is natural to trust in things seen rather than things unseen. So this is a continuing battle for Christians.

Isaiah 23 – Judgment against Tyre. It had been a world power because of its of international trade via a great shipping system. Its primary goal was to grow rich, not to be a political power. As such, Tyre symbolizes worldly materialistic wealth, and God did not want His people to follow suit.

Isaiah 24 – This is very different from the preceding chapters. The focus of judgment is on the whole earth this time. It speaks of pollution and immorality, and reveals that a curse is eating away at the earth where its people are held guilty. Verse 20 reveals a geologic truth about earth over a thousand years before science proved it by stating it totters to and fro. The earth is wobbling on its axis, and, according to astronomer George Dodwell (1937), it has been tottering for about 4500 years which takes us back to the time of Noah’s global flood. Dodwell concluded that earth was struck by a meteor at that time.  However, Dr. Danny Faulkner (2022) from Answers in Genesis doubts Dodwell’s data and theory.

Verse 20 also says the earth will fall never to rise again. So this chapter is most likely describing the very Last Days before Christ returns. Verse 21 seems to say that judgment will also be against “hosts of heaven” (fallen angels?) and rulers of earth. Verse 23 seems to be describing what Revelation 21:23 and Revelation 22:5 say. In fact, the OT often uses this same symbolic language (sun and moon being darkened) to represent coming judgment. How do we know this is always symbolic? Those orbs have never stopped shining. Why dispensationalists will suddenly believe this description is literal in the Book of Revelation is frustrating to me. It reflects little regard for what and how God has spoken in the past. I believe God is consistent about how He communicates His Word to us.

Application for Today: With mounting world problems, unrest, and instability, plus weather getting quite violent, many Christians are wondering if our time is short. According to Acts 2:17 and Hebrews 1:1-2, the End-Times or “Last Days” began with Christ’s coming. So 2,000 years later, we find ourselves much closer to the Second Coming of Christ than in Paul’s day. Jesus lists many signs that are to occur in these Last Days, and many of them have been going on for years. The earthquakes and famines were to be only the beginning of the “birth pangs.” If this metaphor can be extended a bit, I would think that these signs would be on the increase toward the End just like contractions nearing the birth of the baby. This seems to be happening recently. Some signs that are quoted from Isaiah by Jesus are more difficult to understand. Can they be taken literally or figuratively? Daniel and Revelation describe an or THE anti-Christ. Has the Anti-Christ already come in the form of the “Holy Roman Papacy” and has been defeated by the Reformation (spread of the Word of God which is symbolized by a sword coming out of Jesus’ mouth) or is he still to be revealed as the whole world struggles with insurmountable problems making it more vulnerable to a one-world government? No one knows for sure. We do know that this world and its solar system is finite. According to science, it cannot exist forever (the sun will eventually burn out, for example, albeit millions of years later). So I think it is safe to say to unbelievers that life, as we know it, will not last forever. It will come to an end. Jesus said we will not know the exact date of His return and the end of this age (world), but He did say that we can recognize those signs and know that it is near.

In Matthew 24:5-14 some believe Jesus was speaking about what will occur during the entire Church Age (from His Ascension to His Second Coming). In other words, those verses describe an overview of hundreds of years. Jesus was preparing His disciples to what He was to say next in verses 15-27. Here, it seems He described what would happen to Jerusalem and Israel in 70 AD (mass destruction). So when He said “this generation shall not pass away until all these things take place” in verse 34, He meant that within the next 40 years Jerusalem would be destroyed, and it was. Preterists such as John L. Bray believe that all of Matthew 24 has been fulfilled. He documents interesting info in his book, “Matthew 24 Fulfilled.”

In any case, all people need to prepare to meet their Maker because death “comes as a thief in the night” as well. We must convey a realistic picture to the unsaved because their deaths will be the Second Coming of Christ for them. At the same time, we are not to ignore what the Bible says about the End-Times. It is the only Book that has so many warning signs about this inevitable event and must be taken seriously. It is up to us to project this to others. The Holy Spirit can certainly use our knowledge of the End-Times from the Scriptures to convict unsaved of their desperate need. I don’t think it is wise to stand on street corners with signs communicating the “end is near.” There have been too many people with the spirit of error that have done this. People just laugh. Yes, the “crying wolf” has happened too many times. But if we say what Jesus actually said about these times, we have a better chance to make a dent in people’s hearts.

Isaiah 25 – Praises God as a defender of the defenseless and needy. It reveals what is written in the Book of Revelation that He will wipe away every tear and end death for all time, and remove the reproach of His people.

Isaiah 26 – More praise and longing to be with God. God will have His people on earth but other people will not “see” Him. His people know He is there. The unsaved will be punished and destroyed and there will be no remembrance of them (v14). God’s people, however, will rise again and have rooms to enter (perhaps this is alluding to the many mansions and places that Jesus is now preparing for us – John 14:2-3). God brings His people into the safe haven of their rooms while indignation on earth runs its ugly, painful course as punishment for the sins of the unsaved dwellers on earth at that time.

Isaiah 27 – Again, this seems to describe a futuristic picture similar to the Book of Revelation. The reference to leviathan here can be confusing. In Job 41, I strongly believe that leviathan is a literal beast – a serpent with great strength and protection. Some kind of creature that no man in his right mind would want to tangle with. In this chapter, however, it may symbolize the immense spiritual power that rails against Israel, God’s people. In any case, the Lord will punish it, and God’s people are guaranteed protection and a great life with Him.

Application for Today: One of the strongest themes running through both Testaments is how God has intervened on mankind’s behalf time and time again. The erroneous belief that He made everything and then merely sat back to watch how we decide to go in life insults the great care and love He has for the people He created. Agnosticism asserts this error. The old movie “Oh, God” starring George Burns and John Denver was full of this lie. It is our duty to tell others how much He has done over the centuries for the Jews and for His people of the New Covenant.

Isaiah 28 – Mysteries revealed through Christ. Specifically, this was a judgment against Ephraim, a city. In general, however, it was a rebuke against God’s people because they were trusting in neighboring nations rather than God for security. As Isaiah seems to be speaking about physical and historical things, but in verse 16 he suddenly reveals the spiritual plan that God has had in mind before He laid the foundations of the world! He would place a “cornerstone” to be the foundation of His eternal kingdom that would not be of this world. He further describes this cornerstone as being tested, firm, precious, and safe to build on. So it is with Jesus the Christ. He who believes in Him shall not be disappointed (1 Peter 2:6-7 which also draws together Psalms 118:22 that reveals this precious stone would be rejected by the builders yet it became the cornerstone). This is typical of OT prophets. They fixate upon some contemporary issue then suddenly launch into a deep prophetic jaunt that reveals amazing parts of God’s overall plan for man. I do not think that even the prophets, rabbis, or Pharisees realized the extent of this. It took an ordinary man like Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit to write verses 6 & 7 in his second chapter. This new religion called Christianity was, for the first time, revealing proper interpretations of the OT Scriptures. Christ had opened their eyes!

Isaiah 29Many churches today need to change. Judgments against Jerusalem because they were honoring God with their lips but their hearts were far from Him (v13-14). Jesus also later used this against the Jews in His day.

Application for Today: We need to consciously avoid “spiritual” or religious ruts. Doing and saying the same thing all the time is not conducive to spiritual growth. I think church services should bend over backward to make each service different somehow. Pastors need to allow the Holy Spirit freedom to move among the people and trust that the Spirit will do this. Unfortunately, humans like to control things (even God’s Spirit) because it somehow gives the feeling of security and safety. I recall my boyhood church always singing 3 hymns and the sermon always lasted exactly 20 minutes (seemed like an hour). I prided myself being ready for the next agenda item in the bulletin. My eyes and attention was on that bulletin schedule, longing for its end. Little did I know at that time that I was falling into the category of Isaiah 29:13! My old church made the most exciting man in human history…boring! Quite a feat.

Now I’ll go out on a limb – even what I would deem as “spirit-filled churches” have dulled their spiritual senses by having the same routine every Sunday. Let us not put God in a box. I remember one Sunday my pastor preached a great sermon, and at the end he said that at the last minute, the Spirit told him to not preach from his prepared notes, but rather wing it! Now there is faith and freedom! Why not let worship continue “past the ordained time” sometimes? Why should worship always contain songs? We should do what the Holy Spirit wants us to do when we gather in Jesus’ name. Maybe that means to stimulate a discussion among the congregation about some Biblical topic, rather than a traditional sermon. Maybe people could get up and share testimonies for an entire or part of a service. Maybe we could put down the musical instruments once in a great while, etc., etc. C.S.Lewis maintained via his Chronicles of Narnia books that Jesus is not a tame lion, but He is good.

Church structure today, perhaps unwittingly in many cases, has played “lion tamer” all too often. At first, few notice. But over time, the Spirit fades from the service, or it isn’t quite as strong as it could be. If services were more free, more people would come with higher anticipation. High anticipation is faith within the heart of the believer that God will speak to them and that they will also be used by God to touch someone else. That attitude is being gradually lost, even in good churches…ouch!

I am not advocating pastors allowing people to go crazy in the church. There are parameters of common sense and decency. What I am saying is let us not fall into a routine that over time will become dull, or not what it should be. Many churches start out great but lose something over time. The Holy Spirit is the best One that can “think outside the box.” People’s needs will be met if we truly allow that Spirit free reign.

My church, for example, often finds humorous videos from the Internet to play before a sermon that helps set the stage for the topic. My pastors also have this thing called “Pastor’s Corner,” where they both sit down in front of the congregation and talk to each other about a topic. Sometimes they do a sermon together, and they feed off each other in a good way. They have also involved people in producing funny videos that make great spiritual points (I would have never known about some of the great talent among our people! Some should be on TV). Recently, my pastors have allowed some Q&A time after a sermon! I love that! Twice a year our college students organize a Variety Show which has just about anything and everything included – quite an entertaining evening for a family. People are encouraged to start up a small group centering around a specific passion they have. I love Bible Studies, so that is my group. I also lead Creation vs Evolution groups. I’ve already led a “Defending the Faith” group and hope to do that one again sometime. Our people choose from about 20 groups which one they want to commit to for about 10 weeks. All this is “outside the box” thinking and causes friendships to form, increases spiritual growth, and makes people look forward to attending church. Pastors need to use the talent that God has blessed them with within their congregations.

Isaiah 30 – Dinosaur birds in the Bible?

Judgments went against rebellious children who made alliances with worldly kingdoms which was devoid of God’s Spirit. The Israelis were seeking security from Egyptian Pharaohs at this time in history which stirred the anger of God. They rejected God’s instructions and therefore wanted to be told lies, as long as it seemed pleasant to them. The Lord still longed to be compassionate to Israel and predicted that there will come a time when true repentance will save them.

Note on verse 6Flying serpents are mentioned here. I believe they were literal and probably became extinct years later. Today, evolutionists would most likely categorize their remains as being an ancient dinosaur asserting their age as being millions of years old and, therefore, never came close to seeing man. Bible history (HIS story), tells a different story. We are not millions of years old, only thousands, and these creatures saw man. Man has written about them and has drawn pictures of them. These may have been pterodactyls. Our western Indians in America saw and described these as piasaw birds years ago. The tentacles of evolution are far-reaching and have clouded the actual picture of earth’s history. Evolutionists assume evolution is true, therefore all evidence must be interpreted through that assumption, so they cannot “see” real history. There actually needs to be tons more instructions in DNA to account for the tremendous amount of complexity in life forms today. More scientists are doubting Darwin as information increases. The genetic information to form a bird from a dinosaur, for example, is just not there. So they can only imagine it happened slowly over millions of years with no tenable engine to cause it. Well, that’s not a scientific fact then, is it? Facts must be observed and repeated in experiments. With evolution, you can do neither.

Isaiah 31 – Was Romney or Obama Our Man?

Israel has ceased to look toward God for their needs and has trusted in Egypt because they have a strong army and good, young men. This angers God much and He proclaims that Egyptians are mere men, not God, and their horses are flesh, not spirit in verse 3. He further says that these worldly men will fall but not by the power of men. Somehow God would destroy Israel’s enemies by His Spirit.

Application for Today: We believers are in a war and fight on different fronts than this world. On one hand, we must deal with temptation to do wrong. On another hand, we must put our trust in something for our sustenance and protection. Our tendency, like the OT Jews, is to trust in man’s might or ingenuity for our protection rather than fully trusting God. Every sci-fi movie has the same theme — man’s ingenuity saves the planet in the end. Unknowingly in most cases, modern man worships human intellect and is under the deception that it will make this world a better place. No doubt that God has allowed, in these last days, knowledge to increase (Daniel 12:4), but what good is it when morality is worsening? I’ve often thought that our technology will eventually kill us all. I still think that what God was trying to teach the nation of Israel during OT times, is what He is trying to teach Christians today. Our nation has the strongest, most well-equipped armed forces in the world, but this does not mean we cannot lose a war. Many armies in the OT were far superior to Israel yet they lost. I’m all for strong armies, but unless the Lord does the fighting, we lose every time. We must be right with God to succeed – just like OT Israel. We should vote and be informed on politicians’ beliefs/values, but it is not the politicians that will turn around America, it will be repentance and revival in Jesus Christ that will do it. More of God’s people must act like God’s people and talk more about Jesus to others. I’m not sure if this will happen. In the end, God puts people in power, whether or not the nation is a democracy or communistic. All authority comes from God. When Israel slumped spiritually, God gave them King Saul despite warning them of his future failure. Israel did much better when God allowed a righteous king to rule – David (at least for a while), Hezekiah, Asa, Solomon (at least for a while). So perhaps the type of leader a nation has reflects the spiritual health of that nation. As for America – if we are depending on the next president to turn things around with better policies, and we do not improve our spiritual lives as a whole, then we will still be in decline. The answer is always God, not man. Unfortunately, most humans throughout history have failed to put this together – Jew and Gentile.

Isaiah 32 – This chapter finds fault with Jerusalem’s inhabitants and warns of hard times in the near future. Isaiah also describes a future king who will reign righteously along with his princes. Is this referring to Hezekiah or Josiah? These were the kings that lived after Isaiah that were good (most others were evil). I think this passage is most likely referring to Jesus, and the “princes” with Him may be us. Jesus did say we would rule over many cities (Luke 19:17, 19).

Isaiah 33 – The main theme is that God is our rock and refuge, and it is He who will deliver us and make life perfect again. He describes a Jerusalem that will be undisturbed and will never be torn asunder. This has to be prophetic because the Jerusalem that we have come to know throughout history has been destroyed and rebuilt more than once, and never seems to be surrounded by a spirit of peace. The last verse adds credibility to this interpretation – “No resident will say, ‘I am sick’; the people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity.”

Application for Today: Things are tough now, but there is a tremendous future in our Creator – beyond our wildest dreams!

Isaiah 34 – Deals with God’s sovereignty over the nations of the world. The major theme is that pride leads to humiliation whereas trust in the Lord results in exaltation. Intermixed is the consistent theme of the End Days (v4, which is also cross-referenced to Revelation 6:12-14).

Isaiah 35 – A tremendous picture of refreshment and life coming from a wilderness and desert. Messianic references to Jesus’ healing the blind, lame, deaf, and dumb in verses 5 and 6. It ends with a description of the “salvation road way” in verses 8 and 10.

Application for Today: Get on and stay on that road. It is the most important thing anyone can do in this life. If you are not sure you are really on that road, I urge you to take a “holy pause” and ask Jesus to forgive you and then ask Him to take over your entire life. That’s called surrendering to Him. I guarantee your life will change for the better.

Isaiah 36 – Who or What Do We Trust?

After conquering Judah, the mighty heathen nation of Assyria came threatening to destroy King Hezekiah and the Jews in Jerusalem. The Assyrian messenger tried to cut a deal with them. Strong, threatening voices tried to convince the Jewish people to not trust in their God because no other gods of other nations succeeded against the King of Assyria. All the Jews on the wall heard the threats but never said a word (they obeyed Hezekiah’s orders). Then the Assyrian said if they surrender, they will live and be given a good place to live, but it would not be in Israel.

Application for Today: At times, we all have threats against us in various forms. In these trials, we always seem to have worldly options to choose from to deal with them. Some can be very tempting to use. However, God wants us to turn to Him first and trust Him to turn things around whether it be for protection, basic needs for life, career advancement, or whatever. I have two friends that faced threats to their businesses. My hope was that they would keep their eyes on Jesus and handle things His way and not the way of this world. They did, and their businesses are still operating. The Jews under Hezekiah could have appealed to Egypt for help. Egypt often represents “the world,” which is opposed to God in Scripture. Fortunately for the nation of Israel, they did not seek a worldly solution for their personal security but rather called upon the name of their Lord to save them, and He did. When Christ has the preeminence in our lives (Colossians 1:18) we will turn to Him first and listen for the Holy Spirit’s voice.

We sometimes forget that Jesus Christ is now reigning. As a result of His earthly life’s victory over Satan, He was raised up with all authority. The following passages substantiate this claim: Luke 22:69;  Colossians 3:1;  Psalms 110:1-2 (a prophetic glimpse of the Kingdom given to Jesus);  Mark 16:19;
Daniel 13-14 (a prophetic vision of Jesus’ ascension and victory and lordship);  Matthew 28:18. Viewing Jesus in this context, helps us to seek Him first with all things and trust Him fully.

Isaiah 37 – When King Hezekiah heard about the Assyrian threat he became extremely upset and afraid for the lives of God’s people in his charge. He quickly appealed to the prophet Isaiah for God’s help. God, through Isaiah reassured Hezekiah that their enemies would leave the scene soon due to the Lord putting a spirit in their leader that would cause them all to abandon their assault plans and that leader would die in his own land by the sword. Still, Hezekiah got before the Lord and prayed fervently for deliverance. Isaiah prophesied to Hezekiah that deliverance will come because Hezekiah sought and prayed to the Lord for it. Soon after, an angel of the Lord killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. After returning to their land, King Sennacherib, while worshiping his false gods in a temple, was slain with a sword by his two sons.

Despite Jerusalem being preserved this time, verses 31-32 may be prophesying about something far into the future because they mentioned that only a remnant shall survive and go forth from Jerusalem and Mount Zion (which is in Jerusalem). Predicted also by Jesus, a remnant of Jewish Christians escaped the horrible judgment against Israel in 70 AD for rejecting God. The Jewish believers at that time remembered that Jesus told them to flee when they see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place and the city of Jerusalem surrounded by armies (Luke 21:20-24; Matt.24:15-16). This happened in 67 AD when Roman armies (Gentile abomination) began a siege against Jerusalem (holy place) but were suddenly called back out of the region, perhaps due to the death of Nero. This was a window of opportunity for believers to escape the Roman return. So they fled to Pella and carried the Gospel to many nations as a result! By 70 AD, Jerusalem and its inhabitants were slain except for a few who were taken captive. Many Jewish zealots killed thousands of Jews who were not going to fight Rome. Starvation drove some women to kill their own babies for food according to the Jewish historian Josephus, who wrote an accurate account of this great tribulation. The Temple was flattened and not one stone was left upon another as Jesus predicted. Intense fire melted the gold in the Temple and it seeped between the stones, so the soldiers pried apart each one to get at the gold. These two verses may be yet another example of God describing an historic event many years earlier only to suddenly project about something that would happen centuries later. Deuteronomy 28:47-57 also described this horrible time well before it happened in history.

Isaiah 38 – Hezekiah was one of the few good kings and brought good reforms to his nation, but God spoke through Isaiah and told the king that he will die soon and to “get his house in order.” But Hezekiah did not want to die and reasoned with the Lord, and God changed His plans. Fifteen years were added to his life. As proof of this, God caused the shadow to move backward 10 steps on a stairway. God also promised to deliver him from the grasp of the Assyrians.

Application for Today: There are a few examples in Scripture where God had apparently made up His mind to do something when mere humans got Him to change. Moses did this a few times. In Christ, we can do all things (including change God’s mind). I’m not saying every instance, but be encouraged (not egotistical) that we can do such an amazing thing.

So, did the sun literally move backward causing this sign as many Christians and scoffers ask? Well, this passage does not say that it did. Only the shadow moved backward. Big difference. Astronomically speaking, it would not be the sun that would move backward, but it would be the rotation of the earth that would have to stop, reverse briefly, then return to the normal rotation direction again. No one knows for sure how God did this. My guess is that it was a “local miracle,” meaning the earth’s rotation did not change. Perhaps light rays were bent by God for a brief time. If the earth stopped and reversed its rotation, I am not sure what other domino effect that would have on the solar system and even beyond. Of course, we could theorize that God prevented any ripple effect beyond earth. In fact we can say anything is possible with God, so why even formulate a dogmatic opinion on this question? The main point is that God showed Hezekiah a sign to assure him that his life would be extended and that it was really God doing it. That is precious.

Additional Note – There is absolutely no evidence that Christians ever proclaimed that the earth was flat. Others thought this, but no one ever used the Scriptures to advocate this erroneous statement. In fact the Bible reveals that the earth is round in Isaiah 40:21-22. The Hebrew word for the English word “circle” is “sphere.” Modern scoffers often like to stereotype Bible believers as being scientifically ignorant whatever generation they lived or live in. The truth is that strong Christian men established modern science as a credible discipline. They perceived the logic interwoven in His creation and thus believed that mankind, over time, could unveil this logic in order to improve the quality of life. Today, many scientists ridicule the Bible and its believers. Some even accuse us of holding back true scientific discovery. I believe the opposite is true. By rejecting the Bible and the God that inspired every word of it, and relying upon their own intellects for discovering truth, I think fewer truths have been unveiled. The bottom line, however, is that it is God Himself who allows knowledge to increase, not man’s own cleverness (Daniel 12:4).

Can fig cakes heal boils (verse21)? Several web sites say yes, but I do not know how reputable they are. I have my doubts. If we carefully examine verse 21, it does not have God saying that they have any power to heal. It was Isaiah’s suggestion to apply a “cake of figs” onto the boil “so that he may recover.” So it seems that Isaiah believed the figs would heal. We need to bear in mind that just because something is mentioned in the Bible, it does not necessarily indicate advocation. Abraham lied about his wife Sarah and David pretended to be insane in order to save his life. Neither case demonstrated a trust in God so they therefore should not be used to condone deceit. In any case, this verse does indicate that there is room for current/cultural medical practices to be used in conjunction with trusting God for healing. At one point Jesus spit into some dirt and used the mud to heal blind eyes. In those days, people thought that saliva had healing properties. Today’s science claims there are some components in saliva that promote healing and fight infection. However, there may also be bacteria within the saliva that can cause infection. So why did Jesus use the mud? No one knows for sure. My guess, and I emphasize the word “guess,” is that He used something that people of that day could more readily accept and may have lessened the chance of them thinking He was a witch of some sort. After all, He did gain a reputation of being “The Great Physician.”

Isaiah 39 – After his recovery, Hezekiah was pleased with the son of the king of Babylon because he had heard of his recovery and brought presents when he came for a visit. Then Hezekiah kind of showed off his wealth which displeased God. God, speaking through Isaiah, told him that all his wealth that he showed off will be taken to Babylon and that some of his sons would go there as well and become palace officials. Surprisingly, Hezekiah’s reaction was that this prophecy was good because there would be peace and truth for the rest of his days. Hezekiah’s response appears to be selfish at first glance, and it may have been. It also could have reflected his appreciation that God let him have peace until his death.

Isaiah 40 – This chapter is LOADED!

Powerful Messianic prophecies are described in verses 1-9, specifically, His First Coming. John the Baptist’s ministry is mentioned as well. Verse 9 proclaims that the God of Israel is right there with them (good support for the deity of Christ). Verse 10 seems to be describing His Second Coming because it mentions His strong ruling power. His First Coming was characterized by humility and the declining of the offer from Satan to gain world power. Verse 10 also says “His reward is with Him.” This may refer to the fact that His believers will be drawn together with Him on His way back to earth (Revelation 22:12). Verse 11 suddenly seems to refer back to The Church Age (the period of time between Jesus’ 3 year ministry and His Second Coming) because that is what He is doing now as I type these words – gathering together and tending His flock (Bride) gently. If these interpretations are accurate, this is a classic case where an OT prophet skips around making it sometimes difficult to see the linear timeline of history.

Verses 12-25 challenges the humanistic thinking of mankind (i.e., we are gods and the center of the universe and make our own rules). Verse 22 reveals that the earth is a sphere shape before science proved it. Christians who knew the Bible were never flat-earthers as some have charged. Nations may be great in our eyes but not in God’s eyes. They are like a speck of dust to Him. So these verses reveal how much higher and more powerful the One true God is compared to anything on this earth. I believe verse 26 describes Jesus knowing us by name, and not one person’s soul that the Father has given to Him will be lost (see John 17:12).

Application for Today: Get excited. God has done and is doing a great work before us and among us, and its end (start of the beginning of “Phase 2”) will be something that no human could ever imagine!

Isaiah 41 – God assured fearful Israel that He will guide and protect and prosper them. Israel became easily afraid of surrounding nations that hated them (much like today). This is understandable. We Americans do not know what it is like to be surrounded by strong enemies on every border. But God remained committed to His people and would use them to accomplish His purposes in the world. God continually uses the Jewish/Arab conflict to demonstrate His existence to the rest of this world. He typically likes to take something weak, small, and “insignificant” and elevate it to a successful level. Jews have always been outnumbered by enemies, yet they still exist today. Their OT battles were against all odds for victory. It has always been “David vs. Goliath.” Jesus taught this prevailing Biblical concept when He talked about the mustard seed. God wants to make it clear that it is He who intervened and influenced history, not idols made by man or man’s own strength/ability. Verse 4 has God claiming to be the “first and the last.” Jesus claimed the same in Revelation Chapter 1. The deity of Christ is again made clear from the Scriptures.

Isaiah 42 – Describes another prophecy of the Messiah. It reflects the precious relationship between God and Jesus (He is HIS servant and He holds fast to Him).

Verse 2 states that the Christ will not make an “overly showy” appearance with His ministry.

Verse 3 says He will “not break a bruised reed.” In Biblical times, children would take fresh reeds and blow in them to make sounds. After a while, the lip and air pressure would ruin the necessary rigidity for noise-making, so kids would just break them and throw them away regarding them as worthless. So I think this verse is saying that the Messiah will not condemn or disregard “bruised” people (sinners in great need of a Savior). Awesome.

This chapter gives us a decent glimpse into His big Plan for mankind. When we realize how wonderful it is, we will easily fulfill verse 10 and sing new songs to Him in praise. Our God makes all things new…even our songs we sing to Him.

Verse 4 may be describing Jesus not becoming disheartened as He faced the crucifixion. When He Comes again, He will reign on earth (establishing justice in the earth) with no more enemies to put under His feet.

Verse 5 mentions that God “stretched out the heavens.” Scientists now realize that the universe is expanding. Actually it is expanding away from our galaxy which means earth is part of the central mass that everything is moving away from. This indicates to me that we are special and unique in all the universe. I’m not sure if this verse speaks to that or not, but it might.

Application for Today: Allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with the joy of the Lord, and then we will be renewed, and may even sing new songs to Him in praise. If you can’t sing well, remember that God looks at the heart…and you can always sing in a large group. 🙂

Isaiah 43 – He starts by seemingly addressing Jews of the OT, but soon seems to be describing Gentile believers in verses 5-7. Verse 10 states that we are His witnesses. This means we should tell others about Him. Verse 11 says there is no savior beside God. This is excellent support for the deity of Christ. Verses 18-19 tell us not to ponder on the past because God is always doing something new. This is liberating and exciting. Verse 25 says God will not even remember our sins.

Isaiah 44Verse 2 says God formed us in the womb which lends credibility to the Pro-Life stance regarding the beginning of life. Verse 6 has Jehovah and the Redeemer both saying, “I am the first and the last, and there is no God besides Me.” Jesus Himself claims to be the first and the last in Revelation 1:8. So we have two voices claiming to be one. This is the mystery of the deity of Christ revealed hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus. God goes on to mock idols worshipers because they will take some wood and use half of it for trivial things, then use the rest to form a god to worship! God seems almost beside Himself because these people don’t even stop to think how ridiculous this all is. His point, I believe, is how can something so trivial or worthless suddenly become something so powerful as God, especially considering nothing was added to it!

Application for Today: In modern times, especially in our culture, people don’t carve wooden idols to worship. However, they do turn to futile things when in need such as drugs, sex, TV, entertainment, food, mysticism, the occult (such as astrology), etc. Whatever we love the most or rely upon when in need, that is our god. We need to tell others how great the real God is. He tried telling the Jews for 4,000 years and many of them just weren’t interested in Him, so He closed their minds to Him (v18) as He does even today to those (Jew or Gentile) who do not have the love of the truth in their hearts (2 Thessalonians 2:10).

Isaiah 45 – Lots of support for the deity of Christ again. Several times God says He is One and there are no gods except Him. Yet in verse 21 He says He is also the Savior and in verse 23 He says that “every knee shall bow and every tongue will swear allegiance” to Him. Philippians 2:10-11 says the exact same thing about Jesus.

Verses 1-6 a man named Cyrus is mentioned and it was predicted that he would subdue nations. He is called out by name so that people will know that a supernatural God is behind it all. Most theologians agree that these words were penned before Cyrus was born adding credibility to the prophecy.

Verse 7 claims that God creates calamity. How can a loving God do this?

1) To show mankind the fruit of rebelling against God,
2) to punish evil doers,
3) to cause people to repent,
4) to remind people that things of this world are not as important as they think,
5) to cause long-term improvements,
6) to remind people who is in charge.

We can trust that anything God does is right and done with the best motives possible.

Application for Today: To judge God from the perspective of wallowing in a sinful state of body, mind (heart) and spirit, having never seen Him, and, at least for most, never reading His Word, it is indeed the “clay complaining to the potter” as verse 9 mentions. Even Job, who had some good points, could not uphold His criticism of God when he tried. Only the combination of ignorance and arrogance tries to find fault with the God of all creation.

Isaiah 46 – God declares the end from the beginning. Nothing takes Him by surprise. He knows all of human history. He promises to accomplish His good pleasure. I think this means that in spite of our sin and rebellion against Him, He will still make things right, and there will be His Holy, righteous Kingdom in existence forever and we, His remnant, will be undeservedly a part of it.

Isaiah 47 – At first read, this is a typical judgment against a nation. In this case, it is Babylon and the Chaldeans. God judged His people the Jews by allowing them to be captured by the Babylonians. But the Babylonians, of course, did not realize that God did this. So they thought they did it themselves and that they were above the Jews. Therefore God began letting them “have it.” As we read this chapter more deeply, however, there seems to be another message and target audience emerging. It begins with verse 8. Judgment is coming against those who are sensual (do what they feel like doing without regard for morality) and who think that no one beyond themselves realize what they are doing. In other words, they are like our modern-day humanists who assert that man is basically good and man lies in the center of the universe as far as importance is concerned. God is out of the picture. Humanists believe they are a god unto themselves and they are well-educated in science, philosophy, and the arts. They can now make up their own rules about morality. God tells these types of people that trouble is coming from Him that their own “charms” will have no power to fend off. Indeed, humanists will trust in man’s intellect and science rather than the God of the Bible, which they have decidedly rejected. Verse 13 even adds that mysticism such as astrology will not help. Mysticism to some degree, rejects the intellectual approach to man’s problems in favor of the use of occult practices. As I contemplate the world’s growing problems, such as the AIDS epidemic, murdering unborn humans, the economy, pollution, poor leadership, poor judges, violence, drug abuse, etc., I do not see how mankind’s science or intellectual knowledge will solve these issues. Yet many people alive today still maintain that man will do this. I don’t think so. I believe it is all leading up to something big.

Isaiah 48 – A reminder to Israel that if they had obeyed God, they would have been extremely blessed and prosperous throughout the earth. But because they were obstinate, there would be strife and judgments, yet still faithfulness on God’s part. God explains to His people why He proclaims things in advance – so they will not think idols are governing circumstances. He also reveals that at certain times things were kept hidden from His people because they would have dealt treacherously due to their rebellious nature. So He had to put them through fiery tests. Verse 12 again identifies God as being “the first and the last” as Jesus claimed in Revelation. Verse 16 may be supporting the Trinity concept because it has God sending “Me” (Jesus) and “His Spirit” while in the next verse it identifies God as “Redeemer.”

Application for Today: If God withheld certain truths from His people because they would do more harm than good with them, perhaps He utilizes the same restraint with us today. We always seem to want to be able to perform great miracles or have great words of knowledge, etc., but perhaps we would not use those gifts properly. Let us be faithful in the small things first and God will promote us to other things (Matthew 25:21). God has power, but in the hands of mere mortals, this power can do more damage than good if we do not stay close to Him who anoints us. Remember that Jesus Himself did not heal every person in his environment. He did heal all who came to Him. Those out of His way that he healed, the Father told Him to do so. All that power that Jesus had was totally submitted to the Father in Heaven (John 5:19; 5:30; 8:28; 12:49; 14:10). I do not say these things to discourage anyone from seeking the great gifts of the Holy Spirit. Please seek them! But stay humble and close to Jesus along the way. Whether it be just true words or miracle-making power, it must be done at the proper time, and only God knows when that is.

Isaiah 49 – Lots of descriptions for “My Servant” whom is most likely Jesus Christ. He shall reach the Gentile population and still remain faithful to Israel in spite of their failings. This is a tremendously joyful message.

Isaiah 50 – More viewpoints from Jesus’ perspective. He gives His back to those who strike Him. His beard gets plucked out. But He knows that God will raise Him up with great honor and no humiliation. Assuming verses 6-7 is describing Jesus Christ’s experience of being beaten and bloodied before being put up on the cross, these verses reveal that He would fight off feelings of disgrace with God’s help. Because of His trust in God, Jesus was able to “set His face like flint” against shameful feelings. Considering all He went through, this is quite remarkable!

Isaiah 51 – This earth and all its inhabitants are temporary, but God’s salvation is forever. Do not fear man or the reproach of men because they will perish, but you will not. God’s salvation goes out to all generations.

Application for Today: The fear of man is a problem we all face. This chapter helps us put it in proper perspective. If someone scoffs at us because we stand for morality or for Jesus Himself, keep in mind that the scorn is temporal and our reward is eternal. That perspective can help. Sometimes we may be prompted by the Spirit to say something, but we worry about what others will think about us so we shut up. I’ve been there done that. But we all do need to speak the truth in love when given an opportunity. Pray for strength when your time comes to speak. And remember, the person we fear will not be standing with us before the Judgment Seat of Christ – only Jesus Christ and us.

Extremely interesting revelation in verse 10: It is a specific reference to the splitting of the Red Sea. For many years skeptics have claimed that the location of this event was the “Sea of Reeds” which was a shallow, reedy place located not far from Egypt in the northwest part of the Sinai Peninsula. However, this verse asserts that this event took place in great depths of water, so the Gulf of Aqaba site fits much better. In addition, I never could understand how the entire Egyptian forces could perish in a shallow reedy place. The Bible is clear, there was “walls of water” on both sides of the Hebrews as they walked on dry land through where the sea was (Exodus 14:29).

Isaiah 52 – An urgent and joyful message to Zion (Jews). They will be redeemed without money. God’s salvation will go forth from Jerusalem to all the ends of the earth. The Messiah is described again in verses 13-15. The horrifying notion of Him being marred more than any man is sobering, but from this He will clean many people from many nations. Even earthly kings will be humbled by Him.

Historical Note: The Gospel did spread from Jerusalem, and quickly! Jesus warned His followers to flee when they saw armies surrounding their city, and flee they did in 67 AD when the Roman armies unexpectedly withdrew their deadly siege of Jerusalem. The Romans returned shortly after and destroyed almost every Jew and literally flattened the Temple, which has never been rebuilt. This was, according to Jesus, God’s judgment against the nation of Israel for rejecting their God. Over the next several years, these Christian Jews who had escaped to a town called Pella, carried the Gospel far and wide!

Verse 7 reveals how pleased God is with people who share the Gospel with unsaved souls. Verses 11 & 12 most likely describe the first Christian Jews who fled Jerusalem and then spread the Gospel far and wide. It specifically states that they would not go out as fugitives. In their past history, any time there was a mass exodus from Jerusalem, it was because they were conquered and captured. But not so for that first group of Jewish Christians that heeded Jesus’ warning about the Temple’s destruction and escaped as free men and women.

Isaiah 53 – This is perhaps the most revealing, incredible revelation about the Messiah than all other OT chapters except maybe Psalms 22. It reveals:

  1. He’ll have humble beginnings.
  2. His form would not be attractive.
  3. He will be hated.
  4. He will have deep sorrow and grief.
  5. The griefs and sorrows He bore were ours, not His.
  6. He will be wounded (pierced through) for our sins.
  7. His scourging will heal us.
  8. Despite all of us going our own way away from God, God caused all our iniquity to fall on Him.
  9. Though oppressed and afflicted with much pain, He would not defend Himself (silent before Herod and did not defend Himself before Pilate).
  10. His grave would be with wicked men (crucified between two thieves).
  11. Would lie in a rich man’s grave (Joseph of Arimethea was a rich man who put Jesus’ body in his unused tomb).
  12. He would be sinless.
  13. He would intercede on the behalf of sinners.

In all this, God was pleased to bruise Him (v10) because He knew of the great glory and future in His Kingdom.

Isaiah 54 – I believe this chapter goes beyond referring just to Old Testament Israelis. It’s a message of great joy for saved people and God’s compassion that is forever upon us. Verses 7-8 seems to be describing our brief life on earth where God is hidden from us while we experience difficult things for what will seem like a “brief moment” when we exist in eternity. When we die, we will see Him and bask in His love forever. I can’t help but to apply this concept to the movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” The owner of the business had to put several children through tests to see who could inherit the whole business. When little Charlie, with an act of faith in Mr. Wonka even though he failed the test, found redemption and it gave Wonka tremendous joy to give over the whole business to Charlie (see Luke 12:32 for a huge surprise!!).

Application for Today: All Christians can take comfort in these promises. Knowing God’s Word to us can give us strength to endure this life, especially in light of verse 17 – “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper….”.

Isaiah 55 – A salvation invite and it is free of charge! People of earth are told to “seek the Lord while He may be found.” This may imply that there are seasons and times when God “knocks on the door of people’s heart.” If they do not respond during those times, they “miss the boat.” Or, it may mean that the only chance people have to meet Him for salvation is during life on earth. After that it’s too late.

Verse 5 seems to be speaking about the salvation of Gentiles.

Verse 8 reveals how superior God’s thoughts and methods are compared to humans.

Verse 11 promises that when His word goes out from His mouth, His purpose for sending it will be fulfilled. Notice that it says it must come from Him for it to work its wonder.

Isaiah 56 – Describes a wonderful invite to outcasts to come to God. These would include Gentiles. Verse 7 reveals that His Temple (House) is for ALL peoples. Jesus quoted this when some evil-hearted Jews set up money exchange tables in the Gentiles’ court (outer Temple area). Not only were the money exchanges unfair to foreigners, but they interfered with the Gentiles’ worship….i.e., totally corrupt in a very holy place at that time. Verse 8 further confirms God’s heart for Gentiles (see also John 10:16). “Keeping the Sabbaths” may reflect a heart that wants to commit to God. This then would be a prerequisite for salvation (along the lines with John the Baptist’s ministry of repentance). I don’t think He is saying that all His Laws had to be obeyed to have eternal life in OT times. The righteous shall live by his faith according to the OT prophet Habakkuk and Abraham became righteous only because he first believed God. The leaders of Judah received a scathing review – all were living for themselves.

Application for Today: When God’s own people fail miserably, He tends to send people out to “remote places” to gather in those who will respond to His Kingdom invite. That’s where you and I come in. O God, please, let us be those who bring glad tidings to the “outcasts.”

Isaiah 57 – Evil leaders are rebuked. If a righteous man dies, he is spared much evil on the earth and enters into peace. This may explain why “good” people die young sometimes. But for those who love evil and live, there is no peace and their deeds will really not prosper them. God dwells on high with the humble ones, it is they who take refuge in God that will inherit the earth. We can tell that Jesus spent time reading the OT (oh, wait, He wrote it). He repeated many things the prophets spoke thus authenticating what was recorded.

Isaiah 58 – Why the U.S. is Slipping Downward (Shocking Answer)

Israel is still not living they way they should and God lets them know it. He also seems to be correcting them regarding why they should fast: 1) to loosen bonds of wickedness, 2) undo hands of the yoke, 3) to free the oppressed, 4) to help the poor. If they fast for these reasons rather than just to be spiritual or to be heard by God, then He will answer their calls. Then the old-time good foundations will be restored to help society live righteously. A key to all this is that those people needed to delight themselves in the Lord rather than their own personal pleasures.

Sabbath Insights – Verses 13-14 deals with attitudes toward the 7th Day when God tells us to cease from our ways and words and delight Him. In stark contrast, people who seek there own pleasures on the Sabbath Day are dishonoring God. I’ve heard some guys say they feel closer to God on a golf course on Sundays than in church. According to Isaiah, the god they worship is not the God of the Bible. Our culture does its best to lure people into doing their own pleasures on Sundays – kid’s sporting events, pro sports (it’s known as “Super Bowl Sunday,” not Superbowl Saturday), every PGA Final round is on a Sunday, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc., etc. Everything but God’s Day!

Application for Today: Fasting for the right reasons produces a power weapon in us against what God’s enemies are doing to a society or to individual people. There are bonds of wickedness in geographical areas (Daniel 10:12-13), in people, in institutions, etc. It is all in the spiritual realm. God has given His people spiritual weapons to conquer these strongholds. Instead of complaining about people’s bad habits, we should be praying and fasting for those folks. Over the years, some Christians have sent me many emails finding fault or mocking politicians. This gets old fast for me. Instead of complaining about the state of our country, we need to be praying and fasting for it and its leaders. Just imagine if all Christians would do this what life would be like here. Finally, has the thought ever occurred that the reason our country is getting worse is that not enough Christians have lived righteously and have not led anyone to Christ? Scripture in 1 Peter 4:7 says “judgment starts with the household of God.” In 2 Chronicles 7:14 it says, “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and heal their land.” Therefore, the onus for a healthy country lies with the Church, not politicians.

Isaiah 59 – The Jewish people, in spite of their wicked ways and attitudes, were complaining that God wasn’t answering their prayers. Verse 2 tells why – sin separates people from God. This is why we cannot see Him face-to-face. This also reveals how morally bankrupt the nation was at this time. Verse 4 caught my attention because it says that “no one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly.” This reminds my of what’s happening in our court system today. In addition, people were trying to cover their sin with works – much like people today. It was so bad then that even God could not find one man to intercede on their behalf. So verse 16 reveals that salvation would come from His own arm (God, the Son). He would come to Zion and only to those who repent (v20). This reveals the important of the ministry of John the Baptist. He (Jesus) is described as having a helmet of salvation and a breastplate of righteousness which is exactly what Ephesians 6:14 talks about, so there is a strong Messianic connection here.

Application for Today: Because we have years of hindsight and all the Scriptures to glean from, we not only need to appreciate the fact that we can see more of God’s Plan for mankind than any generation that has ever lived on this planet, but we also must be motivated to tell others of this Great God and His Great plan of Salvation. There is nothing more important than that.

Isaiah 60 – Book of Revelation in B.C. Days

At first, some readers think this is speaking of a restoration of Israel to becoming the number one nation on earth. There are several hints, however, that indicate the whole chapter is referring to Heaven on earth. The fact that all the people there will be righteous and possess “the land” forever, nations will be subjected to this place, its gates will never close, there is no need for the sun or moon because God is the light, and the residents will be a redeemed people that were hated and forsaken during their earth days (much like Jews and Christians throughout history), lead me to believe that these are the very pieces mentioned again in Revelation 21:23-25. For me, this indicates that Isaiah Chapter 60 has not yet occurred in the past or ever yet, but will be fulfilled in the afterlife when God creates everything new (Revelation 21:5). It is extremely comforting to realize that the words recorded in Isaiah around 750 BC were again recorded some 800 years later on the island of Patmos by the Apostle John. To discover such consistency over so many hundreds of years testifies to the veracity of the Bible. Plus, this picture painted in the Scriptures should give us all hope and a longing to see the new things that Jesus will make!

Isaiah 61 – The prophet continues with his futuristic bent and describes what the Messiah will do and what things will be like for the children of the Messiah in the afterlife. The opening verses are claimed by Jesus in the synagogue to be fulfilled by His first coming. Therefore, this chapter is not referring to Isaiah’s time.

The Messiah will:

1) have God’s Spirit upon Him,
2) bring good news to the afflicted,
3) heal the brokenhearted,
4) proclaim liberty to the captives (i.e., sinners),
5) freedom to the prisoners (i.e., sinners),
6) proclaim the favorable year of the Lord (Jesus came in the Year of Jubilee when slaves were freed      and debts canceled),
7) comfort those who mourn (Beatitude teachings),
8) give the ability to praise rather than giving up,
9) make an everlasting covenant,
10) bring much glory to God.

His people will:

1) rebuild, raise up, and repair former things that were destroyed by many generations,
2) be called priests of God,
3) be served by foreigners,
4) have a double portion of everlasting joy rather than humiliation.

In the context of “existing in Heaven” interpretation, I am not sure what “served by foreigners” means, so maybe I’m missing something here.

Isaiah 62 – Again, the prophet is seeing the ultimate future victory of God’s Plan for man and a new Jerusalem will be its center. God assures us through this prophecy that He will not be quiet (passive?) until it’s all done. This is a great Scripture that goes directly against agnosticism which asserts that there is no way to know about God’s existence, yet He not only speaks His Word to this fallen world but came Himself and demonstrated miracle power and His love for us. God IS NOT FAR OFF, He is quite near. Verse 2 speaks of a new name given which may connect to Revelation 19:12 where Jesus places a new name on a white stone He gives to us in the afterlife. Verse 11 says, “Behold His reward is with Him” which ties in with Revelation 22:12 where it says the same thing. These close connections to the Book of Revelation sets these chapters apart as being futuristic in nature rather than relevant to Isaiah’s time on earth.

Isaiah 63 – This speaks of God Himself becoming the people’s Savior because no one else was worthy enough to do what had to be done (also stated in Is. 59:16). He took their affliction upon Himself (v9). But they (Jews) rebelled and grieved the Holy Spirit so God fought against them. Then they later remembered their God. There is prayer for God’s mercy and help at the end of the chapter. The literal time frame of these verses is difficult to establish. Sometimes these prophets weave a complex web of events that are not linear in history. The Messianic message comes through clearly, however.

Isaiah 64 – The context is that Jerusalem was totally destroyed by enemies, and now there is a desire that God would come back and shake the mountain like He did in Moses’ day, but, of course, this was not going to happen. Isaiah rightly realizes that even the good things a person might do cannot save their soul (v6) because our so-called righteousness is like filthy rags in comparison to the righteousness that is required for eternal life with God. A humble Isaiah also rightly states that people are mere clay while God is the potter which gives Him the right to form us the way He wants and place us where He wants rather than us planning and controlling our lives.

Application for Today: This degree of contriteness in us is most valuable to God because the Holy Spirit is free to use us in mighty ways. A carnal, self-centered person grieves the Holy Spirit and is not used in the way God wants.

Isaiah 65 – At great length and detail Isaiah describes the Jewish people as being evil as they followed after their own thoughts and continuously provoke God to His face. They were also unwilling to listen to spiritual reason as self-righteousness ruled their hearts (v5). As a result they would be destroyed by God but He will still have His servants who will prosper and be happy while His “original chosen ones” would have it tough. I don’t like thinking this, but I can’t help it when I read verses 13-14, and I compare the joy of the Lord within real Christians and what the Jewish experiences have been throughout the Church Age (33 AD-today).

Here’s a quick comparison from these two verses:

God’s People             vs.         The Other Group
Will rejoice                 vs.         Will be put to shame
Will shout joyfully  vs.         Will cry out with heavy hearts

In fact verse 15 prophetically states that God’s people will be called by a different name. I believe this refers to the term “Christian.” If all this interpretation is correct, it does not mean that all Jews are not saved. Many have come to accept Jesus as the Messiah. There is a strong group of “Messianic Jews” and a strong “Jews for Jesus” group. Perhaps they are that remnant that God keeps mentioning in the OT. Some theologians believe many Jews who have returned to Israel in these End Days will come to know Jesus as their Messiah. Please bear in mind, however, that all this is speculation. Portions of the Bible, especially the prophetic, are difficult to understand, and there are various methods of interpreting Last Day prophecies. Unfortunately, most Christians today are familiar only with the dispensational view. There are other views worth looking at. This chapter ends with details of that new heaven and earth that will come about someday (no matter what method of interpretation is used) – very exciting!

Isaiah 66 – This final chapter of Isaiah draws a sharp contrast between the saved and the unsaved. Those who are humble and contrite of spirit and fear God’s Word are the ones that He will look at while those who choose their own ways and love sin will be punished. Great promises to Israel are made and Jerusalem will draw all nations to worship the Lord. Verse 22 mentions the new heavens and new earth that the NT talks about as well.