Highlights In Today's Reading:
See the secret of the Lord's beloved vineyard (5:7) and the results of His disappointment, plus the six "Woes" on the unfaithful (5:8-30). Isaiah's vision of the Seraphims is only mentioned in the Bible here (6:2,6). Notice to whom the sign of the virgin birth was given (7:13). Chapter 9 foretells Christ's birth and His glorious reign.
Isaiah the prophet lived in Jerusalem, the capital of Judah. His ministry continued for 50 to 60 years through the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, and possibly Manasseh.
Isaiah saw himself as utterly unfit to stand in the presence of the Almighty Holy One. For guilty men there is cleansing; and lips, once unclean, can be made holy. The greatest obstacle is self-satisfaction and self-sufficiency.
When we see God as the Holy and Mighty Creator, like Isaiah, we can't help but see ourselves as unclean — I am undone . . . a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts (6:5). This self-evaluation is made in response to the fact that we have seen the Most Holy God.
The Heavenly King is identified as the Lord of hosts 62 times in Isaiah. Isaiah also foretold: Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (9:6).
Isaiah submitted himself as an instrument in God's hand in self-surrender. He was ready to go where God might lead him. In the midst of evil and unbelief, God foretold the coming Messiah to Isaiah to proclaim it to an evil king: Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His Name Immanuel (7:14). The name Immanuel means "God with us." Not only does the prophet foretell the virgin birth of Jesus, but he also reveals His deity.
Isaiah was called to prophesy to an unbelieving and sinful generation that had forsaken God (6:9-12). It was an age of international political tension and prosperity when only a minority in the kingdom of Judah remained faithful to Jehovah. The Northern Kingdom of Israel, under Jeroboam II, also was enjoying prosperity; but it was even more corrupt than Judah — socially, politically, and morally.
The call of God demands that we be faithful — not always successful. Men measure by success, but God by faithfulness.
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God (II Corinthians 3:5).
Thought for Today:
God calls us to be holy in our hearts and our lives in order that we may be effective witnesses.
Isaiah reveals that a Child shall be born; a Son shall be given; and that the government shall be upon His shoulder (Isaiah 9:6). The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 11:15).
5:1 vineyard =b> the Israelites; 5:5 go to =b> listen to Me; 5:23 reward =b> bribes; 7:16 abhorrest =b> hate, despise; 8:21 hardly bestead =b> sorely distressed, hard pressed; 9:9 stoutness =b> arrogance.
Pray for Staff: Ilene Wallace • Government Officials: Rep. Dan Boren (OK), Rep. Nancy Boyda (MO), and Rep. Michael Ross (AR) • Country: Bahrain (629,000) 11 islands in the Persian Gulf near Saudi Arabia • Major languages: Arabic and English • No evangelical work is permitted • 85% Muslim; 5% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; 1% Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Sing praises to the Lord (Ex. 15:1-19).
Optional Reading: Hebrews 10
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:11