Having looked at these gracious and inviting words in Isaiah Chapter 55, let us turn to Isaiah Chapter 1.
Who is this man Isaiah? When did he live? What is his significance?
Does what he said have meaning and relevance for us today?
We so frequently need to be reminded that these are not just the words of a man - but The Word of God - The Word of God coming through a man inspired by the Holy Spirit.
We go back to the 8th Century B.C., where in the nation of Israel circumstances had become very serious.
Isaiah had been brought up in the Royal Court - in high society - and God used him to get His Word to those who are at the top.
Isaiah is being used by God to bring a nation and its leaders - to hear what God the Lord has to say.
How we need that in our land today - more so than at any other time during my lifetime.
Isaiah gave the nation and its leaders The Word of God. You cannot offer anyone any more than that.
Today - we cannot offer anyone anything more - or higher - or greater than Jesus Christ.
Isaiah prophesied for some 50 years - covering the reigns of four kings. God revealed things to Isaiah – Uzziah – Jotham – Ahaz and Hezekiah - and Isaiah shared what he saw God revealing, and what he heard God saying - and no man of God can do more.
This was over a period of years – all this did not come in one afternoon – and people need to understand that. Isaiah was in this prophetic ministry for the long haul and the long term.
King Uzziah died in 739 B.C. – and that was when Isaiah was called by God.
Israel - the chosen people of God - were in trouble. There had been Civil War. They had fought amongst themselves. They were divided.
These were turbulent and violent times. There were 10 tribes in the north - and 2 in the south holding the city of Jerusalem, in the region called Judah.
You can read the history of this period in 2 Kings 15 to 20 and
2 Chronicles 26 to 32.
Uzziah had been a good king until something went terribly wrong and he was suddenly afflicted with leprosy. His latter days were spent in great misery and we read of this tragic incident in II Chronicles Chapter 26 verse 16.
King Uzziah was marvellously helped until he became strong. He had begun to trust in himself. He was confident in his self will and his own human wisdom.
The background to the Book of Isaiah is one of International politics. Judah was a strong nation – when compared with those around.
These were prosperous times for Judah, but in times of prosperity people tend to forget GOD.
There was a total disregard of Moses warning – Deuteronomy 6 verse 12 – “be careful that you do not forget the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery”.
“Loving Lord God – if I experience times of prosperity – if I experience Your Blessing which enriches my physical life – may I never forget You. Help me to remember to be thankful and grateful and gracious – teach me from the Scriptures, regarding the possible and potential dangers of becoming prosperous – I pray in Jesus Name. Amen”
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