I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the prophet Isaiah. As a Christian, many passages have great meaning for me. I have always used the K.I.S.S. method for interpretation because I am a simple man. (Keep it Simple silly, stupid, et al) I understand that in the prophet’s writings there can be more than one interpretation, in that they often had predictions for their own days, but they also were led by God to predict what will happen in latter days.
I believe Isaiah was one who had many predictions for years to come as well as for the times he lived in. It was the beginning of the 6th chapter that led me into what I have come to love doing, teach Bible classes.
Being an introvert, when the superintendent asked me to teach a class of older, better educated, and much wiser adults, I was ready to decline. But I did agree to pray about it. The very next day in my quiet time, I read this: 1. In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.
- Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” 4. And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. 5. Then I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” 6. Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.” 8. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” 9. And He said, “Go, and tell this people: `Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.‘
He was overawed by the holiness—the otherness—of his God and must have thought that the customary gifts of meat, grain, and flattery were unseemly or, at the least, irrelevant. Although, like Amos, Isaiah appears most often to speak in absolutes, it is indeed possible to interpret these two passages less strictly (as some scholars do) and to say that he spoke in relative terms and that, in his scale of religious values, he merely ranked moral conduct above ritual conformity
I had felt I was unworthy, but I also believe God was telling me to go ahead with the class. That decision to follow what I believed God speaking to me has led me on a long and different journey in life. It led me to become a chaplain through the auspices of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, then to include counseling as a part time chaplain at a local hospital. I followed what I believed to be God’s will, unlike King Ahaz that we read about soon after this incident with Isaiah.
Isaiah 7: 12. But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!” 13. Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14. “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. King Ahaz refused to test God, even after being told it was something he should do. His refusal led to the prophecy of the coming Messiah.
Christians also believe in the prophecy of Isaiah, chapter 53. It speaks of Messiah coming as a Suffering Servant.
- Who has believed our report? and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
- For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.
- He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
- Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
- But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
- All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
- He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not his mouth.
- He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
- And they made His grave with the wicked but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.
- Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
- He shall see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. by His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.
- Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Yeshaʿyahu (“God Is Salvation”), is the One to whom the true Christian looks, believing He bore our sins on that cross 2,000 years ago. As verse 12 states, He now makes intercession for us when we sin, when we goof up and miss the mark set by God the Father.
Listen to the prophet Hosea. 11:7. My people are bent on backsliding from Me. Though they call to the Most High, none at all exalt Him. 8. “How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you like Zeboiim? My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred. 9. I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God, and not man, the Holy One in your midst; and I will not come with terror. 10. “They shall walk after the Lord. He will roar like a lion. When He roars, then His sons shall come trembling from the west; 11. they shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt, like a dove from the land of Assyria. And I will let them dwell in their houses,” says the Lord. 12. “Ephraim has encompassed Me with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit; but Judah still walks with God, even with the Holy One who is faithful.
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is still watching over Israel. Isaiah 11: 9. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. 10. “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious.” The Psalmist wrote: 117: 1. Oh, praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! 2. For His merciful kindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!
That’s what we all need to do; Praise the Lord! That’s the call for both Jew and Gentile believer. Praise the lord. One day every knee will bow and praise Him. That day is coming soon. Are you ready?