The Message

Isaiah proclaimed the hope for God’s people

  1. God is salvation. The Lord takes responsibility to save God’s people, who cannot save themselves.
  2. God promises to send God’s servant, the anointed one, Messiah, to be the atoning sacrifice for sin. This servant is described in four servant songs.
  • First Song, found in Chapter Forty-Two, where the servant will establish justice for all.
  • Second Song, Chapter Forty-Nine, where the servant will restore Israel and save the nations.
  • Third Song, Chapter Fifty, where the servant receives God’s wisdom.
  • Fourth Song, Chapters Fifty-Two to Fifty-Three, when the Lord’s servant is exalted as the sin‑bearer.
  1. God perseveres with God’s people to make them holy. It is because of God’s love that God disciplines them through the surrounding nations, with the goal of restoring them to God. But then the Lord, the One True, Almighty, and Living God, will punish the nations which treat God’s people with arrogance and cruelty.
  2. God promises earthly blessings and a bright eternal future for God’s redeemed people.
  3. God also promises a catastrophic eternal future for God’s enemies and the enemies of God’s people.
By Capt. Phœbus (talk) 17:01, 31 October 2007 (UTC) – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3000349

Isaiah prophesied the future for Gentile nations

  1. God will judge the nations
  2. God already judges all their false gods, and demonstrates God’s mighty supremacy over them. The reason God recorded this announcement, through Isaiah, of events in years to come, was so that God’s people would not credit God’s works to idols.  
  3. The Lord will bring the nations to God. They will come to God and God will also reach out to them. One day every knee really will bow to YHWH.
  4. God has a heart for the nations and will reach them through God’s people.

Isaiah outlined God’s mission for God’s people

  1. Israel was meant to be a light drawing people to God’s light. Their life was supposed to be different from the surrounding nations. As they looked to YHWH, they were to reflect God’s light, and radiate God’s light to others.

The same is true for God’s people today: You and I are to draw people to the Savior as we live the truth of God’s Word in our daily lives and reflect the character of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as His character is formed within us.

  1. Israel was meant to share its light with others. They were meant to be a blessing to others, as God explained to Abraham in God’s blessing on this first patriarch. The same is true for God’s people today.

The most important message was the revelation of God      

  1. God—YHWH Elohim, the Lord—has no rival in the entire universe.
  • Creator
  • Redeemer
  • Sovereign Lord Almighty
  • Gracious Savior
  • The Holy One of Israel
  • The Only True God
  • The Incomparable One. Literally, No being and no thing can compare to God.
  1. God is sovereign over all nations, and God calls out to all nations with God’s message of salvation.

3) God has a plan that is moving forward by God’s might power, and for God’s glory.

  • God is moving history for God’s glory, and for the eternal good of God’s people.
  • God does mighty acts on behalf of God’s people, even when they fail to recognize God.
  • God keeps God’s promises – Isaiah often ties back what God does to the promises God gave to the patriarchs, Moses and king David
  • God is omniscient, predicting the future, not dependent on anyone or anything to bring that future about.
  • The Lord is both gracious and just.

detail of entrance to 30 Rockefeller Plaza showing verse from Isaiah 33:6 | By Dauvit Broun – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36765653

As I read through Isaiah, I will be looking for evidence of God’s grace in each chapter. This is how we can keep a right view of God. We do not want to become overwhelmed by God’s discipline of God’s rebellious people and the punishment of God’s enemies.

Underneath the grim inventory of the sins of the people, and the sins of the nation, and the catalog of judgments that will roll down from heaven in response, is the undercurrent of God’s consistent care for God’s people, and for the whole earth.

The Messiah

Isaiah is the fullest revelation of Messiah in the Hebrew Testament, so much so that this book is sometimes called “the Gospel according to Isaiah.”

There are, in fact, twenty-three specific predictions Isaiah made about Messiah.

Prophecies Fulfilled in Christ[1]

The Messiah will

  1. Be born of a virgin—7:14 (Matthew 1:20-23)
  2. Be descended from Jesse, the father of David—11:1, 10 (Matthew 1:1- 17; Luke 3:23-32)
  3. Be a stumbling stone to Israel—8:14 (1 Peter 2:8)
  4. Bring light and joy to Israel—9:1-2 (Matthew 4:12-16)
  5. Govern the world—9:6 (Philippians 2:9-11)
  6. Reign on David’s throne—9:7 (Revelation 19:6)
  7. Be anointed by the Holy Spirit—11:2; 42:1 (Matthew 3:15-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22)
  8. Judge in righteousness, justice, and faithfulness—11:3-4; 42:1, 4 (Matthew 12:20-21)
  9. Judge the nations—13:10, 34:4 (Matthew 24:29)
  10. Be announced by a messenger—40:3-5 (Mark 1:2-3; Luke 3:4-6; John 1:23)
  11. Be gentle to the weak—42:3 (Matthew 12:20)
  12. Make a new covenant with Israel—42:6; 49:8-9
  13. Be a light to gentiles—42:6-7; 49:6 (Romans 15:12)
  14. Be called before birth to be God’s servant—49:1
  15. Restore Israel spiritually—49:5-6; 59:20-21 (Romans 11:26-27)
  16. Restore Israel physically in the land—49:8 (2 Corinthians 6:2)
  17. Be worshipped by Gentiles—49:7; 52:15 (Romans 15:21)
  18. Be rejected by Israel—49:7; 53:1, 3 (John 1:11)
  19. Voluntarily suffer—50:6; 53:7-9 (Acts 8:32-33; 1 Peter 2:22-25)
  20. Take on himself the sins of the world— 53:4-6, 10-11 (Matthew 8:17)
  21. Triumph over death—53:10 (1 Corinthians 15)
  22. Be exalted—52:13; 53:12 (Luke 22:37)
  23. Comfort Israel and bring vengeance on the wicked—61:1-3 (Luke 4:18-19)
By Wuselig, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=115696143

These startling details that Isaiah included in his prophecies, later fulfilled exactly, provide the proof that he was a genuine prophet and that his predictions still future to us can be trusted and relied upon to happen in the same literal and exact way.

The larger picture is that fulfillment of prophecy proves the veracity and the validity of the Bible itself.



[1] References taken from the Introduction Notes of BSF’s Study of Isaiah.


2 thoughts on “Isaiah: Message and Messiah

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