The final decades of the eighth century BC produced several great men, but perhaps the most significant of these was a blue-blooded prophet called Isaiah. That’s quite a statement when you consider his contemporaries were Amos, Hosea, and Micah.
We become superstitious when we’re unsure about God’s truth. Superstition is bondage. It puts us in chains, enslaves us, and steals our joy. Christ came to set us free from this oppression.
King Uzziah's extraordinary fame and success resulted in pride and arrogance, so much so that the high priest, Azariah, and 80 other priests confronted him, resulting in the Lord’s striking the king with leprosy, a punishment that would follow him to his grave. In the backwash of all this, a young, very-concerned prophet named Isaiah turned to the Lord to gain understanding.
Often people in my courses chattered about hidden metaphor and layers of meaning. Meanwhile I'd find myself staring at the work of a revered photographer and never have any sort of insight.
From the biblical text it didn't seem like Isaiah involved himself in changing the moral or spiritual landscape of his country—at least, not until he faced a heartbreaking loss and then had a life-changing encounter with God.
In other words, sometimes just getting something done is more important than doing a fantastic job. If you stipulate perfection or nothing, the result will be nothing…every time.
Puritans used to speak of “following hard after God” and “setting our faces like a flint toward God.”—Strange-sounding phrases in today’s fast-paced world! But these words need to be remembered, especially in our generation.
In the beauty of God's holiness, we see the ugliness of our wretchedness, yet we also find the encouragement to be holy…as He is.
As Christmas approaches, remember this, it is a perfect season of the year to remind us all: God keeps His promises. Never forget it.
If you aren’t Jewish, then you’re what the Bible calls a “Gentile.” Most folks who follow the Jewish Messiah, Jesus, are just that—Gentiles. And as Gentiles, most of us don’t always understand Jewish Scripture, the Old Testament. This is particularly true when it comes to reading the prophetic books of the Bible. However, it’s helpful to keep in mind that the Old Testament makes the first announcements of Messiah’s coming and ministry. And few prophetic books have more prophecies about Messiah Jesus than the book of Isaiah.