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  • The book of the prophet Isaiah

  • In the first video we explored chapters 1 to 39

  • Which was Isaiah's message of judgment and hope for Jerusalem

  • He accused Israel´s leader of rebellion against God and said that through Assiria and then Babylon

  • Israel´s kingdom would come crashing down in an act of God´s judgment

  • and so chapter 39 concluded with Isaiah predicting Jerusalem´s fall to babylon

  • and the exile

  • and a hundred years after Isaiah it all sadly came to pass

  • but Isaiah´s greater hope was for a new purified Jerusalem where God´s kingdom would be restored through the future messianic king

  • and all nations would come together in peace

  • and so chapters 40 and following explore this great hope

  • the first main section chapters 40 through 48 open with an announcement of hope and comfort for Israel

  • the people are told that the babylonian exile is over and that Israel´s sin has been dealt with and a new era is beginning

  • so they should all return home to Jerusalem where God himself will bring his kingdom and all nations will see his glory

  • Now stop for a moment because this opening announcement raises a big question

  • that is ¿who is saying all of this? who´s voice are we hearing in these words of hope?

  • the perspective of the profet in these chapters is that of somebody whose living after the exile

  • in other words in the time period described by Ezra and Nehemiah

  • but Isaiah died 150 years before any of that so what are we supposed to make of this

  • Oh they´re many who think that is still Isaiah in his own day speaking

  • but that he´s been profetically transported--so to speak-- 200 years into the future

  • and that he is speaking to the future generations as if the exile has passed

  • however the book of Isaiah itself gives us some clues that something else is probably going on

  • in chapters 8 and 29 and 30 we´re told that after Isaiah was rejected by Israel´s leaders

  • that he wrote and sealed up in a scroll all of his messages of judgement and hope

  • and that he passed it on to his disciples as a witness for days to come

  • eventually Isaiah died waiting for God to vindicate his words. Now remember chapters 1 to 39 were designed to show us that Isaiah predictions of judgement

  • were fulfilled in the exile, he´s a true prophet. And so after exile is over Isaiah´s disciples who have treasured his words for so long

  • open up the scroll and began applying his words of hope to their own day

  • so on this view the book of Isaiah consist of that first collection of Isaiah´s words

  • as well as the writings of his profethic disciples that God uses to extend Isaiah´s message of hope to future generations

  • whichever view you end up taking everybody agrees that these chapters are announcing that the future

  • hope has come, that God is fulfiling Isaiah´s prophetic promises

  • and so the prophet hopes that Israel will respond

  • by becoming God´s servant

  • that is after experiencing God´s justice and mercy through history

  • that they will now begin to share with the nations who God truly is

  • but that´s not what´s happening Israel instead of bearing witness to the nations is actually complaining

  • and even accusing God. They say:"the lord doesn´t pay attention to our trouble

  • in fact he´s ignoring our calls. The babylonian exile -- and understandably-- caused Israel to lose faith

  • in their God. I mean maybe he is not that powerfull, maybe the gods of babylon are way greater than our God

  • and so the rest of these chapters 41 to 47 are set up like a trial scene

  • God is responding to this doubts and accusations with the following arguments:

  • he says first: that the exile to babylon was not divine neglect

  • rather it was divinely orchestrated as a judgement for Israel´s sin

  • and second it was for Israel´s sake that God raised up Persia to conquer babylon so they could come back home

  • fulfilling Isaiah´s words

  • So the right conclusion that Israel should draw is that their God is the king of history

  • not the idols of the nations. In the fall of Babylon and the raise of persian king Sirus

  • Israel should see God´s hand at work and so become his servant telling the nations who he is

  • But by the end of the trial chapter 48 we find that Israel is still as rebellious and hardhearted as their ancestors

  • as so God disqualifies them as his servant but God´s still is on a mission to bless the nations and so

  • so the prophets says God´s going to a new thing to solve this problem

  • which moves into the next section 49 to 55. We´re introduced to a figure who´s called God´s servant

  • who´s going to fulfill God´s mission and do what Israel has failed to do.

  • God gives this servant the title Israel, and sends this person on a mission to -first of all- restore

  • the people of Israel back to their God, but second to become God´s light to the nations.

  • and we´re told that this servant is empowered by God´s spirit to announce good news and to bring God´s kingdom over all of the nations

  • it sounds just like the messianic king from chapters 9 and 11, but then we learn the surprising way of how this servant will bring God´s kingdom

  • he is going to be rejected, and beaten and ultimately killed by his own people

  • in reality as he´s been accused and sentenced to death he is dying on behalf of the sin of his own people

  • the prophet says the servant´s death is the sacrifice of atonement for the people´s evil and rebelion

  • and then after his death, all of a sudden, the servant is just Alive again, and we hear that by his death he provided a way to make people righteous

  • That is to put them in a right relationship with God

  • and so this section concludes by describing two ways people can respond to the servant

  • some will respond with humility and turn from their sins and accept what God´s servant did on their behalf

  • these people are called "the servants" and also " the seed" remember the holy seed from chapter 6

  • these are the ones who will experience the blessing of the messianic kingdom

  • but there are others who are called simply "the wicked" they reject both the servant and his servants

  • which brings us to the final sections of the book 56 to 66 where the servants inherit God´s kingdom

  • these chapters are beautifuly designed as a simetry that brings together all of the themes of the book

  • at the very center are three beautiful poems that describe how the spirit empowered servant

  • is announcing the good news of God´s kingdom to the poor and he reafirms all of the promises of hope from earlier in the book

  • the new Jerusalem inhabited by God´s servants will be the place from which God´s justice and mercy

  • and blessings flow out to all the nations of the world and surrounding these poems are to long prayers of repentance

  • where the servants confess Israel´s sin and they griev over all of the evil they see in the world arround them

  • and so they ask God to forgive them and that his kingdom would come here on earth as it is on heaven

  • now in each side of these prayers are collections of more poems that contrast the destiny of the servants

  • with that of the wicked who prosecute them. God says he´s going to bring his justice to all who pollute

  • his good world with their evil and selfishness and idolatry and it is going to remove them from his city forever

  • but the servants those who are humble before God and who repent and own their evil

  • they are forgiven they will inherit the new Jerusalem which we discover is an image for an entirely renewed creation

  • were death and suffering are gone forever and this brings us to the very outter frame of this part of the book

  • in this renewed world of God´s kingdom people from all nations are invited to come and join the servants of God´s covenant family

  • so that everyone could know their creator and redemer and so the book of Isaiah end

  • with a very grand vision of the fulfilment of all of God´s covenant promises

  • through the suffering servant king God creates a covenant family of all nations

  • who are awaiting the hope of God´s justice and bringing a renewed creation

  • where God´s kingdom finally comes here on earth as it is in heaven

  • and that´s the very powerful hope of the book of Isaiah

The book of the prophet Isaiah

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B1 US isaiah god israel servant exile kingdom

Read Scripture: Isaiah 40-66

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    sophia posted on 2017/11/29
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