Celebrity Pastors. Television Interviews. Private jets, popular podcasts, big/beautiful worship centers. None of that stuff is bad, but the prophet Isaiah, the great Illuminator of God’s Word to the ancient Israelites, puts it all into perspective. His testimony is so bold and wild and pure.
The book was written approximately 2,700 years ago by a rebel. Isaiah was likely born into a family of great influence and prominence. Scholars gather this because he seemed to have a lot of access to a King. As super hero movies teach us, with great power comes great responsibility…in theory. In actuality, those with the most to lose are often the most fearful of losing it. That makes Isaiah’s ministry all the more rock star.
His book is one of the most beautifully written in all of scripture. It is rich, textured, and contains and brilliant vocabulary. Isaiah responded to the call to ministry with a “cheerful heart,” even though he knew his ministry would probably be fruitless [it was]. He poured out his heart for the sake of his people and to the glory of His God. His earthly reward? According to tradition, he was sawed in half by King Manasseh with a wooden saw. His heavenly reward? Wow… I can only imagine.
Isaiah’s name means “The Lord is Salvation.” It’s very similar to other biblical names like Joshua, Elisha, and JESUS. He is often referred to as the “evangelical prophet.” The last 27 chapters of his book talk about the Grace of God to His faithless people. If you really want a good read, check out the amazing passage in Isaiah 53…whew. Good stuff.
His life and ministry were remembered long after his death. The book of Isaiah is quoted almost 70 times in the new testament. The discovery of an ancient manuscript of his text in the early 1950’s (know as the dead sea scroll) gave new validity to the authenticity of scripture.
Love this verse in Chapter 1 -
Isaiah 1:18 : 18 “Come now, let’s settle this, ”says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.