In making the decision to preach through the prophetic book of Isaiah on Sunday evenings, it may well represent the proverbial “Biting off more than I can chew” kind of decisions. Isaiah contains several challenges for us. First of all, in length this is a sprawling text. After the Book of Psalms, Isaiah is the longest book of the Bible—sixty-six chapters ... 1,292 verses. I have no idea when we might finish with the Prophet. Second, the text presupposes familiarity with the historical contexts in which it was composed. Unfortunately, the book’s historical and socio-economic backdrop is unfamiliar with many modern-day Christians. That means that—yes—from time-to-time, I will have to acquaint you with ancient near-east history. Joy. I’ll try to be kind.
Nevertheless, the text has much that commends it for our study and meditation. It speaks straight from the heart of God with some of the most passionate poetry to be found in the Bible. It speaks candidly about how God feels towards and reacts to His people. The person who hears and understands the heart of Isaiah is not far from knowing the heart of God. Isaiah also contains some of the most fascinating passages in all of Scriptures that are so relevant that they resemble headlines pulled right out of today’s news casts. These include:
Tonight I want to give provide an introduction to The Prophet, The Prophet’s Milieu, and The Prophet’s Message.