Isaiah in 71 days by Alec Motyer, 2011. Part I: Backdrop to Isaiah's Ministry (1-5)

I. Backdrop to Isaiah's Ministry (Isaiah 1-5).
  1. 1:1-9. Title (1:1). Author's preface (1:2-5:30) outlines the situation in which he ministered. Backdrop to Isaiah's ministry (1): You are not what you ought to be (1:2-31).
    • The state of the nation (1:2-9).
  2. 1:10-20. The people were spared the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah (1:9) but the spirit of Sodom and Gomorrah lives on among them (1:10) and is seen especially in their religion.
    • The state of the church (1:10-20).
  3. 1:21-31. Isaiah's review of the state of affairs is social breakdown.
    • The state of society (1:21-26).
    • The surprising future (1:27-31).
  4. 2:1-4. Backdrop to Isaiah's ministry (2): You are not what you were meant to be (2:1-4:6). The glorious vision of 2:2-4 expresses what the Lord expects from his people. The elect was meant to be a magnet to all the earth, drawing all others into the knowledge of the Lord. The reality proved very different. Religiously (2:5-21) and socially (2:22-4:1) his people sadly conformed to the world rather than being the point of its transformation. But the future will see the ideal restored (4:2-6).
    • Heading (2:1).
    • The great "might have been" (2:2-4).
  5. 2:5-21. The Lord's people became like the nations (2:6-9). They made their own gods and must come under divine judgment (2:10-21).
    • The actual Jerusalem: (1) Worldliness and man-made gods (2:5-21).
  6. 2:22-4:1. cf. 2:2-4 Jerusalem is falling apart: Disintegration (3:1-7); its cause (3:8-15); a case in point being the daughters of Jerusalem encapsulating the spirit of their mother (3:16-4:1).
    • The actual Jerusalem: (2) Social collapse and its cause (2:22-4:1).
  7. 4:2-6. Isaiah concludes his sad record of failure by predicting that the Lord's purpose cannot be thwarted and that the intended glory will yet come.
    • The greatness that is yet to be (4:2-6).
  8. 5:1-7. Backdrop to Isaiah's ministry (3): You are not what you might have been (5:1-30).
    • The song of the vineyard: Nothing left undone. Was there more that God could have done (5:4)? Unlike the first two sections of Isaiah's "backdrop," this third section ends without a note of hope (5:1-30).
  9. 5:8-30. Isaiah spells out what he meant by the "stink-fruit" which the vineyard produced.
II. The Book of the King (Isaiah 6-37).

III. The Book of the Servant (Isaiah 38-55).

IV. The Book of the Conqueror (Isaiah 56-66).