Since we are taking a one-week break from our study of Isaiah, I thought it might be helpful to provide a brief review of the first 8 chapters. We will resume our study next week with an in-depth look at Isaiah 9.
Chapter 1: Judah on Trial
“Chapter 1 is God’s solemn call to the universe to come into the courtroom to hear God’s charge against the nation Israel” (J. Vernon McGee, Isaiah Vol. 1, p. 17).
Everyone can see God’s case against Judah by observing the elements of her arraignment: 1) the witnesses; 2) the plaintiff; 3) the defendant; 4) the charge; 5) the offer to settle out of court; and 6) the carrot-and-stick incentive
Chapter 2: A Day of Reckoning
The Lord will establish His kingdom on earth in “the last days,” and will execute judgment in a “day of reckoning.”
Everyone should trust God because there are consequences for trusting anyone else: 1) God abandons us; 2) God opposes us; and 3) God humbles us.
Chapter 3: Stumbled and Fallen
The Lord argues His case against Judah and Jerusalem and stands ready to execute judgment. He is particularly pointed in His wrath against corrupt leaders and haughty women.
Every nation that squanders God’s blessings should see judgment coming because the Lord will remove its most precious possessions: 1) stability; 2) security; and 3) self-sufficiency.
Chapter 4: Zion’s Future Glory
Israel’s present pride and God’s pending judgment will not defeat the Lord’s ultimate plan to establish His future kingdom on earth.
Everyone can see Israel’s future glory in Isaiah 4 by observing the Messianic images, specifically: 1) the branch; and 2) the fiery cloud.
Chapter 5: Worthless Grapes
Isaiah uses a parable to foretell judgment on Judah, and then pronounces six woes on the people as he catalogues their sins.
Everyone can understand Isaiah’s song of the vineyard by asking, and answering, some key questions: 1) Who, or what, is the vineyard? 2) Who is the vineyard owner? 3) How has God cared for the vineyard? 4) What did God expect from the vineyard? 5) What did the vineyard produce? 6) What were Judah’s sins and how do they compare to the sins of the church today? 7) How did God respond?
Chapter 6: Holy, Holy, Holy
Isaiah has a stunning vision of the Lord, who sends the prophet to keep preaching to the unrepentant Jews “until the land is ruined and desolate” (v. 11).
Everyone can share in the magnificence of Isaiah’s vision of the Lord by looking closely at the vision’s key components: 1) the holy Trinity; 2) the hastening seraphim; 3) the hard message; and 4) the holy seed.
Chapter 7: The Lord Himself Will Give You a Sign
Rezin of Syria and Pekah of Israel are determined to replace Judah’s king Ahaz with a puppet king who will cooperate with them in an alliance against Assyria. When Ahaz resists, Syria and Israel invade Judah and crush her. Ahaz pleads for help from Assyria, which comes to Judah’s assistance, defeating Syria and Israel, and then turns on Judah, which becomes an Assyrian satellite. In the midst of all this, God provides one of the most noteworthy signs of His faithfulness through Isaiah’s prophecy of Immanuel.
Everyone can see the Messiah in Isaiah 7 by exploring four elements of the Lord’s sign: 1) the offered sign; 2) the rejected sign; 3) the promised sign; and 4) the fulfilled sign.
Chapter 8: Prepare for War, and Be Broken
The armies of Assyria are about to pour into Judah, flooding the nation up to its very head, Jerusalem. The people are instructed to abandon their fear of men like Rezin of Aram and Pekah of Israel, who terrorize Ahaz but soon will be dead, and instead put their trust in God, who will be a refuge to those who turn to Him.
Everyone should regard only the Lord of Hosts as holy because of the ways Isaiah describes Him in chapter 8: 1) a sanctuary: 2) a stone, and 3) a snare.