Isaiah 61 (Part 1)
The Story Line
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth!
For the Lord has spoken:
Isaiah 1:2 (NKJV)
Alas, sinful nation,
A people laden with iniquity,
A brood of evildoers,
Children who are corrupters!
They have forsaken the Lord,
They have provoked to anger
The Holy One of Israel,
They have turned away backward.
Isaiah 1:4 (NKJV)
'Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My Eyes.
Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good;
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.'
'Come now, and let us reason together,'
Says the Lord,
'Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the good of the land;
But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword;'
For the Mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Isaiah 1:16-20 (NKJV)
A storyline is 'the plan, scheme or main story of a literary or dramatic work' (Random House Dictionary). As the inspired Word of God, the Bible tells the ultimate story: the story of our Earth, the story of God's people, the story of man's salvation.
The Bible is universal, global and personal: an historical narrative that speaks to current circumstances. It explains our past, guides our present and reveals our future. God's Word transforms us. Nothing is more valuable. Nothing is beyond Its reach.
God wrote His Book through wise men and prophets--like Isaiah.
The Prophet Isaiah lived from 740-680 B.C., or about 2800 years ago. He is called the 'Messianic Prophet,' 'Paul of the Old Testament,' and 'Shakespeare of the prophets.' The Book of Isaiah is called 'the Gospel according to Isaiah' or the 'miniature Bible.' Consider:
The Bible has 66 books. Isaiah has 66 chapters. Isaiah's first 39 chapters, like the 39 books of the Old Testament, are filled with judgment upon immoral and idolatrous men. Isaiah's final 27 chapters, like the 27 books of the New Testament, declare a message of hope.
Isaiah speaks condemnation upon those who practice idol worship. Isaiah speaks salvation upon those who practice God worship. Isaiah speaks to our 21st century earth and even to the United States of America: today's international capital of idol worship and self-professed Christianity.
Can such a duality of purpose co-exist?
To Be Continued...
Study of Isaiah: http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/isa.htm
Interesting Facts about Isaiah: http://www.biblecharts.org/thebible/interestingfactsaboutisaiah.pdf
What You Need to Know About the Book of Isaiah: http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1051&context=will_know
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Isaiah 61 series.