3/05/2015

Isaiah: God Is My Salvation (Isa 12:2)

Key Verses: Isa 6:8; 12:2; 48:11; 53:5

Isaiah is the St. Paul of the OT and the Shakespeare of the prophets. Isaiah is universally regarded as the greatest OT manuscript written by the greatest OT prophet. In unsurpassed eloquence Isaiah describes the greatness, grace, and glory of God, the virgin birth, dual nature, earthly life, sufferings, and resurrection of the promised Messiah. Isaiah also writes extensively regarding the terrors of the coming judgment and the wonders of the new heaven and the new earth. The nation Israel is one of Isaiah's main themes as he denounces the sin of his people, pronounces future judgment, and announces Israel's restoration.
Isaiah probably contains the most important and far-reaching chapter in the entire OT–chapter 53. This amazing chapter alone is quoted from or alluded to some 85 times in the NT. Jesus said that Isaiah saw His glory and spoke of Him (Jn 12:41). This book is really an extended commentary on Jonah 2:9, when Jonah exclaimed from the fish's belly, "Salvation is of the Lord." The word salvation appears 33 times in the writing of the prophets, and of these, 26 instances occur in Isaiah.

"The measure of any book's greatness is not to be looked for in the quantity of its lines or paragraphs or pages but in the quality of its contents. The book of Isaiah is great because of the breadth of its teachings, because of the importance of its message, because of the sweep of its subject matter. The OT has many prophetic books, but none is so magnificent as Isaiah: 66 chapters long and thus a miniature Bible in itself. It beckons to the reader to revel in its beauty and plumb its teachings again and again." Ronald Youngblood.
  • Isaiah is the Paul of the OT in his teaching that faith in God's promises is the single most important reality for God's people (the heart of chap. 1-37).
  • Isaiah is the "Hebrews" of the OT in his proposal of faith as the sustaining strength of God's people in life's dark days (the heart of chap. 38-55).
  • Isaiah is the James of the OT in his insistence that "faith works," proving itself in obedience (chap. 56-66).
References:
  1. Isaiah 1: Come Let's Chat. Outline Introduction. My first attempt to study Isaiah in Nov 2010.
  2. Motyer, J. Alec. Isaiah. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. IVP. Downer's Grove, IL, USA. 1999.
  3. Webb, Barry G. The Message of Isaiah. The Bible Speaks Today. IVP. Downer's Grove, IL, USA. 1997.
  4. Isaiah (Chuck Swindoll): Isaiah's overall theme receives its clearest statement 12:2: "Behold, God is my salvation." This echoes the meaning of Isaiah's name, which means the "salvation of Yahweh."
  5. Introduction to Isaiah: Isaiah is called "The Book of Salvation." The name Isaiah means "the salvation of the Lord" or "the Lord is salvation." Salvation is the overarching theme in the book of Isaiah. The first 39 chap. contain strong themes of God's judgment, resembling the 39 OT books. The last 27 chap. focus on comfort and the coming of the Messiah, bearing a likeness to the themes of the 27 NT books. The NT quotes Isaiah 66x, surpassed only by Psalms (79x).
  6. What you need to know about Isaiah. 9 page pdf.
  7. Major Theological Themes of Isaiah. Isaiah is a long work that most scholars agree was written by two, and possibly three, prophets. However, it is also clear that these later prophets were able to maintain the overall theme of Isaiah of judgment and salvation while adding in their own thematic elements. While the main message is one of judgment and salvation, there are a number of other motifs/Isaianaic themes that include, but not limited to: messianic expectations, trusting in God, the description of the Servant of the Lord, and the creation of Zion, city of God.