Survey of the Bible: Isaiah

Text: Isaiah 6:1-8


I.         Isaiah is the most quoted Old Testament book

            A.        Isaiah’s name means “Yahweh is salvation” and is a good summary of what Isaiah is about.

            B.        Called the Messianic Prophet because of how much the Messiah is mentioned and described in these prophecies - John 12:41

            C.        The book has two distinct sections: 1-39 and 40-66

                        1.         This has lead some to say it was written by two different people.

                        2.         However, though the first 39 chapters focus on the past and present, and the last 27 chapters focus on the future, the style of writing is very similar.

                        3.         The reason for the argument is that Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1 names Cyrus 150 years in advance of his reign.

                                    a.         Some people can’t believe any prophecy is possible, so they seek an explanation that doesn’t include the divine.

                                    b.         Yet, they can’t explain Isaiah’s detailed prophecies of the Messiah and we have copies that predate Jesus by 200 years.

            D.        Bruce Wilkinson in Talk Thru the Bible points out that Isaiah has 66 chapters, just like the Bible.

                        1.         The first thirty-nine chapters deal with righteousness, holiness, and justice of God and Israel’s just condemnation – just like the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament.

                        2.         The last twenty-seven chapters deal with God’s glory and compassion and discusses the Messiah role in salvation and gives a message of hope – just like the twenty-seven books of the New Testament.

II.        History

            A.        Isaiah’s work as a prophet covered 40 years, spanning the reigns of four kings of Judah - Isaiah 1:1

                        1.         His work as a prophet centered in Jerusalem

                        2.         He started near the end of Uzziah’s reign, and continued through Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah’s reigns.

                        3.         Isaiah 37:38 records the death of Sennacherib, which we know historically occurred five years after Hezekiah’s death, so Isaiah’s life did extend into Manasseh’s reign by a few years.

            B.        He was from the upper class of Judah. Jewish tradition is that he was a cousin of King Uzziah.

                        1.         His wife was a prophetess - Isaiah 8:3

                        2.         He had at least two sons - Isaiah 7:3; 8:3-4

            C.        Jewish tradition (not inspired) is that Isaiah was sawn into by Manasseh and is thus who was referred to in Hebrews 11:37.

            D.        Isaiah was probably among the prophets recording events in I and II Kings - II Chronicles 26:22; 32:32

            E.        About 150 years before Isaiah, Assyria was expanding its borders.

                        1.         Early in Isaiah’s life, Israel was carried away into captivity by Assyria. It took about 13 years for Israel to fall.

                        2.         Assyria then threatened Judah but was stopped by an angel of God at Jerusalem.

                        3.         Even after its withdrawal, it remained a threat. Isaiah’s whole life was lived under that threat.

III.       Outline

            A.        Condemnation of the Past - Isaiah 1-35

                        1.         Condemnation of Judah - Isaiah 1-12

                                    a.         The wickedness of Judah - Isaiah 1

                                                (1)       Summarizes the entire book and sets the scene

                                                (2)       Judah is steep in sin but God invites them to repent because this is their only hope of avoiding judgment

                                    b.         The Day of the Lord - Isaiah 2-4

                                    c.         The parable of the vineyard - Isaiah 5

                                                (1)       Written like a funeral dirge

                                                (2)       Again, Judah’s sins are listed and judgment that would result from them.

                                    d.         Isaiah’s commission - Isaiah 6

                                    e.         Assyria’s destruction of Israel - Isaiah 7-10:4

                                    f.         God’s destruction of Assyria - Isaiah 10:5-19

                                    g.         The remnant and restoration - Isaiah 10:20-12:6

                        2.         Condemnation of the Nations - Isaiah 13-23

                                    a.         Babylon, Assyria, and Philistia - Isaiah 13-14

                                                (1)       Assyria would be overthrown - Isaiah 14:25

                                                (2)       Medea would overthrow Babylon - Isaiah 13:17-19

                                                (3)       Babylon would disappear forever - Isaiah 13:19-22; 14:22-23

                                    b.         Moab - Isaiah 15-16

                                    c.         Damascus and Samaria - Isaiah 17

                                    d.         Ethiopia - Isaiah 18

                                    e.         Egypt - Isaiah 19-20

                                    f.         Babylon, Edom, and Arabia - Isaiah 21

                                    g.         Jerusalem - Isaiah 22

                                    h.         Tyre - Isaiah 23

                        3.         The Day of the Lord - Isaiah 24-27

                                    a.         Judgment - Isaiah 24

                                    b.         Triumph - Isaiah 25-26

                                    c.         Revival of God’s vineyard - Isaiah 27

                        4.         Woes and Blessings - Isaiah 28-35

                                    a.         Six woes are pronounced for specific sins

                                    b.         Woe to Samaria and Jerusalem - Isaiah 28

                                    c.         Woe to Jerusalem - Isaiah 29

                                                (1)       Jersusalem is called Ariel, “Lion of God”

                                    d.         Woe to the Egyptian alliance - Isaiah 30-31

                                    e.         The coming King - Isaiah 32

                                    f.         Woe to Assyria - Isaiah 33

                                    g.         Woe to the Edom - Isaiah 34

                                    h.         The coming kingdom - Isaiah 35

            B.        History of the Present - Isaiah 36-39

                        1.         Hezekiah’s rescue from Assyria - Isaiah 36-37

                        2.         Hezekiah’s sickness and recovery - Isaiah 38

                        3.         Hezekiah’s sin - Isaiah 39

            C.        Comfort of the Future - Isaiah 40-66

                        1.         Israel’s Deliverance - Isaiah 40-48

                                    a.         Israel’s deliverance and God’s Character - Isaiah 40

                                    b.         God’s Greatness - Isaiah 41

                                    c.         God’s Servant - Isaiah 42

                                    d.         Israel’s restoration - Isaiah 43-44

                                    e.         God’s use of Cyrus - Isaiah 45

                                    f.         Babylon’s destruction - Isaiah 46-48

                        2.         Israel’s Deliverer - Isaiah 49-57

                                    a.         His mission - Isaiah 49

                                    b.         His obedience - Isaiah 50

                                    c.         His encouragement - Isaiah 51-52:12

                                    d.         His atonement - Isaiah 52:13-53:12

                                    e.         His promise to restore Israel - Isaiah 54

                                    f.         His invitation to the world - Isaiah 55-56:8

                                    g.         His rebuke of the wicked - Isaiah 56:9-57:21

                        3.         The Glorious Future - Isaiah 58-66

                                    a.         Blessings of true worship - Isaiah 58

                                    b.         Israel’s sins - Isaiah 59

                                    c.         The glory of the kingdom - Isaiah 60

                                    d.         The Messiah - Isaiah 61

                                    e.         Jerusalem’s future - Isaiah 62

                                    f.         God’s vengeance - Isaiah 63:1-6

                                    g.         The prayer of the remnant - Isaiah 63:7-64:12

                                    h.         The Lord’s answer to that prayer - Isaiah 65:1-16

                                    i.         The glorious end - Isaiah 65:17-66:24

IV.      Isaiah is a remarkable book because of its grand prophecies and its well-documented place in history

            A.        Isaiah is the prophet of the redemption of God’s people

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