Learning from Isaiah 7-12
7:1-25 - Isaiah looked ahead to the coming of ‘Immanuel’ - ‘God with us’ (14; Matthew 1:23). We look forward to the Second Coming of Immanuel: ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God’ (Revelation 21:3). The Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ presents us with a challenge: ‘When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on earth?’ (Luke 18:8). He calls us to ‘stand firm in our faith’. We must not ‘shrink back ‘ from Him. We must ‘believe and be saved’ (9; Hebrews 10:37-39). Jesus says, ‘I am coming soon’. Let us pray, ‘Come, Lord Jesus’. Let us pray that our ‘love’ for Him will not ‘grow cold’. Let us pray for strength to ‘stand firm to the end and be saved’ (Revelation 22:7,12,20; Matthew 24:12-13).
8:1-22 - ‘Immanuel... God is with us’ (8,10). Jesus Christ has come to be with us so that we might go to be with Him. He has come from heaven to earth so that we might go from earth to heaven. He died for us that we might live with Him. He does not return to heaven alone. He ‘brings many sons to glory’: ‘Here am I, and the children the Lord has given me’ (18; Hebrews 2:9-10,13). Jesus speaks to us of the glory of the Father’s House’. He shares this glory with us: ‘I go to prepare a place for you... I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also’. He invites us to enter this heavenly glory. He is ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life’. Without Him, we cannot enter heaven: ‘No one comes to the Father except through Me’. Through faith in Him, we receive ‘eternal life’ (John 14:1-3,6; 6:40).
9:1-10:4 - The prophecy has been spoken - ‘To us a Child is born, to us a Son is given...’. The prophecy has been fulfilled - ‘Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you: He is Christ the Lord’. Jesus Christ is our great Saviour. He is our ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’ (9:6: Luke 2:11). Jesus Christ has brought to us a great salvation. Through faith in Him, we enter God’s heavenly and eternal ‘Kingdom’ (9:7: Luke 1:30-33). This is ‘Good News of great joy’ - for ‘all the people’, for ‘all generations’. Let us rejoice in the Lord, as Mary, the mother of Jesus, did - ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour... for the Mighty One has done great things for me...’. Let us join with the angels in saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest...’ (Luke 2:10; 1:46-50; 2:14).
10:5-34 - ‘A few, the remaining few of Jacob, will return to the Mighty God...’ (21). So few people take time to worship the Lord. Are we to become discouraged? No! We must take encouragement from God’s Word: ‘The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame’(17). We must continue to pray for God’s blessing. ‘Let the flame burn brighter in the heart of the darkness, turning night to glorious day. Let the song grow louder as our love grows stronger; let it shine! let it shine!’. ‘Shine, Jesus, shine, fill this land with the Father’s glory; blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire. Flow, river, flow, flood the nations with grace and mercy; send forth Your Word, Lord, and let there be light!’ (Mission Praise, 743,445). May God give us grace to ‘truly rely on’ Him, ‘the Lord, the Holy One of Israel’ (20).
11:1-12:6 - The family tree of ‘Jesse, the father of King David’ has a very special ‘Branch’ - Jesus Christ (11:1; Matthew 1:1,6,16). Jesus Christ has raised ‘a banner for the nations’. He is ‘the Saviour of the world’. He has died ‘for the sins of the whole world’. The ‘Good News’ is to be preached to ‘all the world’. Christ calls ‘all nations’ to ‘turn to Him’. He calls ‘all nations’ to receive the ‘forgiveness of sins’. He calls ‘all nations’ to become His ‘disciples’ (12; John 4:42; 1 John 2:2; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; Matthew 28:19). May our personal faith - ‘I will praise You, O Lord... God is my Salvation... The Lord is my Strength and my Song...’ - become our public testimony - making Christ ‘known among the nations’, telling ‘all the world’ what the Lord has done for us (12:1-2,4-5).