Isaiah: The Lord Saves!
1:1-31, 9:6-7, 53:6 (Pastor Heo)
1 The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 2 Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the LORD has spoken: “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” 4 Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. 5 Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. 6 From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness— only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with olive oil. 7 Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers. 8 Daughter Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, like a hut in a cucumber field, like a city under siege. 9 Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah! 11 “The multitude of your sacrifices— what are they to me?” says the LORD. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? 13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— I cannot bear your worthless assemblies. 14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! 16 Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. 17 Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. 18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” 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 good things of the land; 20 but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. 21 See how the faithful city has become a prostitute! She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her— but now murderers! 22 Your silver has become dross, your choice wine is diluted with water. 23 Your rulers are rebels, partners with thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow’s case does not come before them. 24 Therefore the Lord, the LORD Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares: “Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes and avenge myself on my enemies. 25 I will turn my hand against you;I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities. 26 I will restore your leaders as in days of old, your rulers as at the beginning. Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City.” 27 Zion will be delivered with justice, her penitent ones with righteousness. 28 But rebels and sinners will both be broken, and those who forsake the LORD will perish. 29 “You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks in which you have delighted; you will be disgraced because of the gardens that you have chosen. 30 You will be like an oak with fading leaves, like a garden without water. 31 The mighty man will become tinder and his work a spark; both will burn together, with no one to quench the fire.”
9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
The gospel according to Isaiah…
Our Christmas text was Isaiah 9:6 – this is one of the biggest prophesies of Jesus’ first coming.
Today we will study Isaiah. From today’s book Isaiah to the last book of the OT, Malachi (17 books) – are called Prophetic books (prophesies). Yes, the books of the Bible are not arranged in chronological order, but writing style. These last 17 are Prophesies (except one, Lamentations) are written by the prophet as a main character in that book.
What is prophecy?
The revelation of God’s will based on the condition of the present moment.
Thus, God’s Word is a prophecy. Also, this sermon is “prophecy”, and evangelism also is a “prophecy.”
If we hear the Word of God in any of these forms and accept Jesus as our Savior NOW, then this is the prophecy.
Biblically, the written or vocal revelation of God’s will based on the condition of the present (prophecy).
Isaiah is one of the great prophets who lived in Jerusalem during the latter half of the 8th century BC. Sometimes, Isaiah is often thought of as the greatest of the written books.
Chp 1:1 – historical background
“The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem… during the reign of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah …”
- The kingdom of Israel was divided into two kingdoms (BC 930) – northern and southern.
- Northern kingdom was destroyed by Assyria (BC 722-721). At that time, Isaiah lived in Jerusalem. He began his ministry near the end of king Uzziah (10th king of the southern kingdom). – His ministry continued through 3 sons (Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah).
- He had two sons (chp 7:3, 8:3) – and we don’t know how he finished his work/life, but the Talmud suggests that he was martyred during the reign of Manasseh (Hezekiah’s son).
- Isaiah’s long ministry ran from 740 – 680 BC. At that time, Assyria was growing under its king Tiglas – he turned west after his conquest in the east (conquering countries around the Mediterranean coast – including northern Israel and much of Judah). Isaiah warned the kings against trusting in earthly kings instead of trusting in God.
- After the destruction of the northern kingdom in 722BC, Isaiah warned Judah of judgment – not by Assyria, but by Babylon (not yet powerful). At the time of the kingdom of Assyria, the godly king Hezekiah prayed earnestly and the southern kingdom was not conquered. The angel of the Lord struck the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 soldiers in the camp.
- After Hezekiah, his son Manasseh became king – he overthrew the worship of God and opposed the ministry of Isaiah. From this time, Judah began to decline rapidly. (Isaiah 36-39)
Isaiah = “The LORD Saves!” (also the topic of this sermon) – also “Salvation is from the LORD.”
This book, Isaiah, is a miniature Bible.
It’s a small Bible within the larger context of the whole Bible. Why? How can we say this?
- Example 1: How many books in the Bible? 66.
- How many chapters in Isaiah? 66.
- Example 2: The Bible has two parts, OT = 39 books, NT = 27 books
- Isaiah also has two parts, chp 1-39, part two = final 27 chapters (40-66)
- Example 3: OT ends with the warning of a curse (Malachi – last chapter, last verse, last word = “curse”).
- NT (Rev 22:3) ends with “no more curse”
Isaiah, from 1-39
Filled with condemnation, judgment on immorality and idolatry of man – Judah’s sin and surrounding country’s sins (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Ethiopia, Palestine, Arabia, etc). Judgment must come – God cannot allow such terrible sin to go unpunished forever.
- Part 1, Chp 1-39 = prophesies of judgment and condemnation
- Part 2, chp 40-66 = a message of hope (esp. Jesus) – “A Messiah is coming!” as a Savior to bear the curse, as a sovereign God to wear the crown.
- Part 1 = Condemnation
- Part 2 = Comfort (Consolation)
- Example 4: The whole Bible begins with the creation of the material heavens and earth (Gen 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…”). God created space, time, and material.
- Rev 21 = “new heaven and new earth” – the first heaven (Gen 1:1) had passed away. Rev 21:5 “I am making everything new.”
The creation of heaven and earth in Gen 1:1 = material, physical earth
The creation of heaven and earth in Rev 21:5 = spiritual, eternal heaven/earth
- Chp 1:2 “Hear, O heavens, listen, O earth…” – also Isaiah begins with the heaven and earth.
- Chp 65:17 “Behold, I will create new heavens and new earth…”
- Chp 66:22 “The new heavens and new earth I will make will endure before me forever and ever.”
- Chp 43:19 “I am doing a new thing. I am making a way in the desert. I am making streams in the wasteland.” (One of my favorites)
- Example 5: The ultimate purpose of man’s existence in the Bible = relationship with God / glory of God (Cor 10:31 = “Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it ALL for the glory of God.”
- Isaiah also reveals that God is creating human beings in spirit for himself to receive glory. 41:3? “Everyone whom I created for my glory.”
- Example 6: The WHOLE Bible focuses on Jesus Christ – this is the THEME / THESIS of the whole Bible. That’s why we began this sermon series with this word “The Bible is ALL About Jesus Christ” Jesus himself testifies about himself, and all Scriptures testify about him
- John 5:39 “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life, but these are the Scriptures that testify about me.”
- Acts 10:43 “All the prophets testify about Jesus Christ – that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins in his name.”
- Like this, the focus of Isaiah is JESUS CHRIST. Yes, he prophesied about many human countries at that time, but his FOCUS was on Christ.
Key verses: 9:6-7, 53:6 –
The OT has MORE than 300 prophesies about Jesus’ first coming (directly or indirectly).
Statistically, more than 10 of those being fulfilled by ONE person is a miracle – a marvel – a near impossibility. Yet, Jesus fulfills them ALL.
Did you receive the paper?
Prophecies about Jesus + Fulfillment
- Isaiah 7:14 = Matthew 1:22-23
- Isaiah 9:1-2 = Matthew 4:12-16
- Isaiah 9:6 = Luke 2:11
- Isaiah 11:1 = Luke 3:23, 32
- Isaiah 11:2 = Luke 3:22
- Isaiah 28:16 = 1 Peter 2:4-6
- Isaiah 40:3-5 = Matthew 3:1-3
- Isaiah 42:1-4 = Matthew 12:15-21
- Isaiah 42:6 = Luke 2:29-32
- Isaiah 50:6 = Matthew 26:67
- Isaiah 52:14 = Philippians 2:7-8
- Isaiah 53:3 = Luke 23:18 = John 1:11
- Isaiah 53:4-5 = Romans 5:6,8
- Isaiah 53:7 = Matthew 27:12-14 = John 1:29
- Isaiah 53:9 = Matthew 27:57-60
- Isaiah 53:12 = Mark 15:27 = 1 Peter 2:24
- Isaiah 61:1-2 = Luke 4:17-19, 21
Let’s give a big hand to Jesus who fulfilled ALL these prophesies. This is not all, just some – but these Messianic prophesies are CLEARER than any other book. And yet, there are still some in this book that are yet WAITING to be fulfilled by Jesus’ Second Coming.
Here is one:
Sometimes, his first coming, sometimes, his second coming, sometimes, mixed.
- Isaiah 11:1 = fulfilled by his first coming
- Isaiah 11:2-10 = waiting to be fulfilled at his second coming (esp from verse 6)
What time is it now? Still there is much to share – let’s go quickly.
Isaiah = a small Bible in the big Bible. There are 3 points more.
- Example 7: Isaiah’s name appears 22 times in the NT = “The Lord Saves” = “Salvation is from the Lord” – thus, the last part of Isaiah is a promise of salvation. “My salvation will not be delayed” – “I will make you a light for the Gentiles so you may bring my salvation to all nations, all generations, all the end of the earth.”
- Isaiah finishes with comfort, consolation of salvation.
- Like this, the name Jesus means “Salvation” – the angel of the Lord said to Joseph “you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.”
- Isaiah = “the Lord saves”
- Jesus = “he will save his people from their sins”
Acts 3 “There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
“There is a trustworthy saying that deserves to be fully accepted – that Jesus came to save sinners.”
In Rev, the choir sings in a loud voice “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne – and to the Lamb.”
If we agree and believe that salvation belongs to only Jesus Christ, we must be clear in our faith statement. Isaiah 1:3 “The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.”
Yes, we know that dogs know their owners, true? The dog knows its feeder, food-giver. No matter how terrible the dog may be, he accepts its owner and obeys its owner.
The Bible’s logic = if a man does not know his creator, Lord, master, Savior, sustainer, provider, he is LESS than a dog. This is the Bible’s logic, not mine.
Thus, the sin of sins is not believing in Jesus Christ.
Yes, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans)
We think that sin is doing bad things to other people (our neighbors) – yes, these are sins and we should remove them from our lives – but the sin of sins is the root of sin – rejecting Christ in rebellion against God – being an enemy of God.
External sins are only symptoms, visible fruits of the internal condition = sin – men do not believe in me.
Men are not sinners because they do bad things. Rather, they do bad things because they are sinners. Not believing in Christ is the sin of sins – the root of the problem.
- Example 8: The Bible is a mission manual handbook. Do you think so? In the NT, every book finishes with a world mission commitment. Ex: Matt “Go and make disciples of all nations…” Mark “Go into the world and preach the good news…” Luke “You are witnesses of all these things…” John “Feed my lambs…” Acts “And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will receive power and will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and all the ends of the earth…”
- Some people think God is only a missionary God in the NT and in the OT he hates outsiders. But that’s not true. Esp in Isaiah, we can see that God is a universal God, a missionary God.
- Isaiah 19:25 (last verse) – this statement was a very shocking word to Israel at that time “Blessed be Egypt, Israel, Assyria,…” – actually at that time, these three HATED each other – and the people thought that God hated them because Israel hated them.
- Egypt my people
- Israel my handiwork
- Assyria my inheritance
Remember, do you have some enemy? Do you hate somebody? God loves that somebody. God loves your enemies in equal portion to how much he loves you. This is the God of world evangelism – he does not show favoritism / partiality. He is equal in showing his love to ALL people so that ALL people may come to a saving faith and knowledge of his son, Jesus Christ.