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Isaiah 1 - Prophecy introduction

 

Introduction To The Entire Prophecy (1)

OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS SECTION

1) To begin our study of Isaiah, with an introduction and sample of the
   entire prophecy

2) To observe God's condemnation of Judah for lack of compassion and
   justice for the fatherless and widows, along with idolatrous worship

3) To see the redemption God offered for those willing to repent, and
   the destruction promised to those who persist in their rebellion

SUMMARY

The book of Isaiah begins with a heading that defines the nature of
Isaiah's message as a 'vision' concerning Judah and Jerusalem received
during the reigns of four kings of Judah:  Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and
Hezekiah.  This would place the date of Isaiah's work approximately
739-690 B.C. (1).

The first chapter serves as an introduction to the entire prophecy,
especially the first section of the book (Prophecies Concerning Judah
And Jerusalem, chs. 1-12), and provides an example of the messages God
wanted Isaiah to deliver.  It begins with what has been described as
"The Great Arraignment", in which the Lord indicts Israel for rebellion.
The corrupt condition of the nation and city is described and their
hypocritical worship condemned (2-15).

Even so, the Lord offers a call to repentance.  For those willing to
cleanse themselves and replace their evil doings with justice and
compassion, they can be forgiven and eat the good of the land.  For
those who refuse and continue in their rebellion, they will be devoured
by the sword (16-20).

The last half of chapter contains an announcement of the coming judgment
upon Judah and Jerusalem. The corrupt condition of Jerusalem is
described, for the 'faithful' city has become a 'harlot.'  The city is
full of murderers and rebellious princes who care not for the widows and
fatherless, but only rewards and bribes.  The Lord promises to purge the
city of His enemies and restore good judges and counselors, that she
might once again be the 'faithful' city.  Those who repent will see Zion
redeemed with justice and righteousness, but those who continue to
forsake the Lord will be consumed.  The gardens in which they worshiped
idols will be burned like dry vegetation (21-31).

How the Lord will carry out His judgment will be revealed later in the
book.

OUTLINE

I. THE HEADING (1:1)

   A. NATURE OF THE BOOK...
      1. Called a 'vision'
      2. Prophets were originally called 'seers' - 1Sa 9:9
      3. Therefore the "vision of Isaiah...which he saw" refers to the
         'sight' or 'word' inspired from God; i.e., a prophecy
[1Sa 9:9 NKJV] 9 (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he spoke thus: "Come, let us go to the seer"; for [he who is] now [called] a prophet was formerly called a seer.) B. AUTHOR OF THE BOOK... 1. "Isaiah the son of Amoz", possibly a kinsman to the king 2. His name means "Salvation is of the LORD", very much in keeping with the theme of his prophecy C. SUBJECT OF THE BOOK... 1. "concerning Judah and Jerusalem" 2. The moral conditions of Judah and Jerusalem, and what God plans to do with them D. DATE OF THE BOOK... 1. "in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah" 2. Approximately 739-690 B.C. II. JUDAH'S SINFUL CONDITION (1:2-15) A. "THE GREAT ARRAIGNMENT"... 1. In which the LORD 'indicts' Israel in the presence of witnesses (heaven and earth) 2. The 'indictment' - 1:2-3 a. Rebellious children who do not know their Father b. Unlike the ox that knows its owner, and the donkey its master's crib B. THE CONDITION OF THE NATION... 1. A sinful, corrupt nation that has turned away from God - 1:4 2. Like a body festering with wounds and sores, yet asking for more - 1:5-6 3. The countryside overthrown by strangers, Jerusalem besieged - 1:7-8 4. Except for a small remnant, would have become like Sodom and Gomorrah - 1:9 C. THEIR HYPOCRITICAL WORSHIP... 1. God can no longer endure their religious activities - 1:10-14 2. God will not answer their prayers, for blood is on their hands - 1:15 III. THE CALL TO REPENTANCE (1:16-20) A. AN APPEAL TO REPENT... 1. Cleanse yourselves, put away evil - 1:16 2. Do good, seek justice, reprove the oppressor, defend the fatherless and widow - 1:17 B. GOD'S GRACIOUS INVITATION AND WARNING... 1. An invitation to be made "white as snow" and "white as wool" - 1:18 2. Blessings for those who obey, dire consequences for those who rebel - 1:19-20 a. Those who heed will eat of the land b. Those who refuse will be devoured by the sword IV. ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE COMING JUDGMENT (1:21-31) A. THE CORRUPT CONDITION OF JERUSALEM... 1. Once faithful, now a 'harlot' - 1:21a 2. Once full of justice and righteousness, now murderers - 1:21b 3. A 'polluted' city - 1:22 4. Her princes corrupt and heartless, caring not for fatherless and widows - 1:23 B. THE CITY TO BE PURIFIED... 1. The Lord to get rid of His enemies - 1:24 2. The Lord to purge away the "dross" - 1:25 3. The Lord to restore good judges and counselors - 1:26a 4. Once again it will be called "the righteous city, the faithful city" - 1:26b C. PENITENTS REDEEMED, TRANSGRESSORS CONSUMED... 1. Those penitent will be redeemed with justice and righteousness - 1:27 2. Those who forsake the Lord will destroyed and consumed - 1:28 a. They will be ashamed of their trees and gardens (where idolatry was practiced) - 1:29 b. Despite their strength, they shall be consumed like dry vegetation - 1:30-31 REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THIS SECTION 1) How does Isaiah describe his message? Who does it concern? (1:1) - As a vision; Judah and Jerusalem 2) During what kings did Isaiah proclaim his message? Approximately when? (1:1) - Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah; 739-690 B.C. 3) Whom does God call as witnesses against Israel? (1:2) - Heaven and earth 4) What charges does He bring against her? (1:2-3) - His children have rebelled against Him, they do not know Him 5) How is the nation described? (1:4) - A sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters 6) How is the condition of the nation depicted? (1:5-6) - The head is sick, the heart faint - The body covered with untreated wounds and festering sores 7) What is the condition of the countryside? The city of Jerusalem? (1:7-8) - Desolate, cities burned with fire, strangers devouring the land - Like a booth in a vineyard, a besieged city 8) If God had not left them a remnant, what would they have been like? (1:9) - Sodom and Gomorrah 9) What is it that God can no longer endure? (1:10-14) - Their worship with its sacrifices and assemblies 10) Why will God not accept their worship and prayers? (1:15) - Their hands are full of blood 11) What does God want them to do? (1:16-17) - Put away evil, do good, seek justice, rebuke the oppressor, defend the fatherless and widow 12) What comforting promise does God offer regarding their sins? (1:18) - "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool." 13) What is promised to the obedient? To the rebellious? (1:19-20) - They shall eat the good of the land - They shall be devoured by the sword 14) How is the city of Jerusalem described? (1:21-23) - A harlot, a place of murderers - Silver mixed with dross, wine mixed with water - Rebellious princes, companions of thieves who care more for bribes than the helpless 15) What does God promise to do with Zion, that is, Jerusalem (1:24-27) - Take vengeance on His enemies - Purge away the dross - Restore good judges and counselors - Redeem the city with justice, her penitents with righteousness 16) What will happen to the transgressors and sinners? (1:28-31) - Those who forsake the Lord will be consumed - They will be ashamed of their trees and gardens - They shall be burned like dry vegetation

 

Isaiah 1

[Isa 1:1-31 NKJV] 1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

The wickedness of Judah

2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: "I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me; 3 The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master's crib; [But] Israel does not know, My people do not consider." 4 Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward. 5 Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, And the whole heart faints. 6 From the sole of the foot even to the head, [There is] no soundness in it, [But] wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, Or soothed with ointment. 7 Your country [is] desolate, Your cities [are] burned with fire; Strangers devour your land in your presence; And [it is] desolate, as overthrown by strangers. 8 So the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, As a hut in a garden of cucumbers, As a besieged city. 9 Unless the LORD of hosts Had left to us a very small remnant, We would have become like Sodom, We would have been made like Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, You rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the law of our God, You people of Gomorrah: 11 "To what purpose [is] the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?" Says the LORD. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats. 12 "When you come to appear before Me, Who has required this from your hand, To trample My courts? 13 Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies--I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. 14 Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing [them]. 15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. 16 "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, 17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. 18 "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; 20 But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword"; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

The degenerate city

21 How the faithful city has become a harlot! It was full of justice; Righteousness lodged in it, But now murderers. 22 Your silver has become dross, Your wine mixed with water. 23 Your princes [are] rebellious, And companions of thieves; Everyone loves bribes, And follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, Nor does the cause of the widow come before them. 24 Therefore the Lord says, The LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, "Ah, I will rid Myself of My adversaries, And take vengeance on My enemies. 25 I will turn My hand against you, And thoroughly purge away your dross, And take away all your alloy. 26 I will restore your judges as at the first, And your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city." 27 Zion shall be redeemed with justice, And her penitents with righteousness. 28 The destruction of transgressors and of sinners [shall be] together, And those who forsake the LORD shall be consumed. 29 For they shall be ashamed of the terebinth trees Which you have desired; And you shall be embarrassed because of the gardens Which you have chosen. 30 For you shall be as a terebinth whose leaf fades, And as a garden that has no water. 31 The strong shall be as tinder, And the work of it as a spark; Both will burn together, And no one shall quench [them].

 

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