January 4


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Isaiah 1-3

We are launching a new stream today: the Prophetic. We will be covering Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Ezekiel in the Prophetic Stream this year.

Reading from the NIV this week.

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Prayer

“Lord God, Our Trinity, and our Maker, thank you for this tremendous word we have from Isaiah.  Keep our hearts on what Isaiah is saying to us about what needs to change, be cleansed, and healed in us.  Lord, you do bring glory to this earth.  You have sent us the Savior that Isaiah eventually tells us of.  There will be a blessed day on earth when you reign without contrary forces pestering your plan nor our lives.  I think it’s right to quote the end of the Bible here when John says in Revelation 22:20, “Amen, come Lord Jesus.” Amen to that.

Commentary

Today we commence [again] on one of the most influential books ever written.  Many litterateurs will insist that Shakespeare is the greatest writer of all time; bar none.  We’ll let that argument lie and at the same time posit that Isaiah is one of the top 10 books of history.  My husband presses it further – thinking Isaiah is in the “top five” category.  For some historical perspective, Isaiah is writing when the very first stones are being put in place to build the city of Rome.  Athens, in its original phase, was also built.  Duke Zhuang ruled his region of “China” during most of Isaiah’s writing years (but you knew that already, right?!).  Isaiah prophesied during four Judean Kings that are listed in the opening verse.  The nation of Israel has been split for nearly two centuries as it’s the 700’s B.C., come Isaiah’s time.  The second half of that century, Assyria threatens then decimates the north (Israel).  Assyria is a looming shadow during Isaiah’s entire life, btw.  And as these diabolical savages are bearing down on Judah and Jerusalem, circa 700 B.C., Isaiah and Hezekiahs’ ministry preserves the nation as an angel takes matters into God’s hands, see II Ki. 19:35ff.  The word “epic” does not fully depict this astonishing event that occurred when Isaiah was very old.  I.e. Hardly anyone pulls together history, the present, and the future as Isaiah does. God’s followers must read this book.

Isaiah 01 – One thing that may help is to know that Uzziah in Isa. 1:1 is the “Azariah” we read about in II Kings 14ff.  This is less puzzling than we may initially think. In our culture, “The Duke” is John Wayne, “Charlie Hustle” is Pete Rose, “Magic” was such the buzz for ‘Earvin Johnson’ that most forget his given name.  So … Azariah in II Kings 14 IS the King Uzziah that Isaiah talks of.     Isaiah blasts right into the indictment against Judah.  They are rebellious, deliberately forgetful, evil, and corrupt.  Beatings don’t even affect them anymore.  Judah’s outlying cities are burning under Assyrian torches. God is running out of patience with their horrid wickedness, injustices, plus the aloof treatment of widows and orphans.  How do the Judean leaders react? With false piety and overly religious behavior.  It’s like the lapsed Christian who spends a portion of his income at brothels and his minister pretends not to notice as long he keeps dropping something in the offering plate regularly.  Isaiah even calls Jerusalem “a harlot full of murderers”!  Even so Isaiah is beckoning them homeward with “come let us reason together…” in 1:18.  Isaiah is mapping their road back to God lest they be burned like dried piles of wood. 

Isaiah 02 – Isaiah’s skillful timing in his writing shines in this chapter.  He talks of glorious days on the earth when there is learning, a rule of Law, peace on earth and the people walk with God. HOWEVER! That is going to be a while from now.  As for the near future, there is some judgment coming due to people mixing in the Jewish religion with the pagan regional religions.  Because of this, chaos and panic are coming to Judah.  And they have asked for it!

Isaiah 03 –  The oracle of judgment continues.  Food and water are about to be cut off.  

[Btw, Hezekiah built his water tunnel into Jerusalem in these days!  And you can walk through this phenomenal structure even now.]  There was a terrible crisis in leadership.  It resembles what Communists do when they come to power; putting the educated to dig in the fields and slave camps, and having the incompetent (albeit power-hungry) run the government, schools, hospitals, military and manifold civil duties.  And Jerusalem remains defiant.  The men in leadership are utterly derelict, the young are rebellious, the women are disgraceful and haughty.  And there is going to be shame and slaughter in Judah sooner than everyone wishes.

Next week, this portion of the judgment ends early in the reading as Isaiah quickly morphs back into the glorious verbiage we heard in ch. 2.  Whatever we do, let’s be students of Isaiah all our lives.  Some of the greatest things God has ever said to us, He said to Isaiah initially.

3 Replies to “January 4”

    1. Hi Roma Jene – the commentary is near the end of the recording each week. It’s at a different time marker each day because the Bible reading is a different length each day. Try starting at about 10 minutes before the end on average. Thank you for taking part in the Seven Streams!

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