September 22, 2014
Isaiah ROT 352
The God of Israel in the Book of Isaiah
What do we learn about God from the Book of Isaiah? We learn that He is Holy, He is Sovereign, His Judgment, and His mercy abounds through the redemption of the repentant remnant. All of these will overlap to a degree, but they have distinct characteristics.
Throughout the Book of Isaiah, Isaiah refers to God as the “Holy on of Israel” thirty-one times in the KJV. The word holy means to be set apart. God was spiritually separated from man ever since Adam and Eve chose to disobey Him by eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. For the first 5 chapters of the Book of Isaiah, Isaiah was condemning people for their sins. At the start of chapter 6 Isaiah had a vision of the Lord. The seraphim declared God’s glory 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” In Beyer pp. 62 I learned that holy being repeated three times emphasizes the supreme degree to which God manifested His holiness. The seraphim had to cover their faces to avoid displaying the whole glory of God. (Beyer 62) The smoke that filled the temple parallels with the smoke from the alter of incense and the cloud that lead the people of Israel in the wilderness. This cloud was a physical manifestation of God. Beholding the face of God meant death, so He was concealed with smoke. Isaiah beheld the holiness of the Lord and declared “Woe is me, for I am ruined!” [Isaiah 6:5a] (NASB) Isaiah failed to realize his sinful state until he was in the presence of the Holy One of Israel. One of the seraphim took a coal from the alter and touched it to his mouth taking away his iniquity and purging Isaiah’s sins. (Isaiah 6:6-7) With his sins forgiven, Isaiah could then begin his prophetic ministry (Isaiah 6:8-13). The sins that once separated him from God were purged so the direct spiritual line of communication was restored. Oswalt suggests on page 33 that moral and ethical purity are prime characteristics of God’s holiness. Mainly in Leviticus God’s moral and ethical laws are presented, save the Ten Commandments given to Mosses in Exodus 20. These laws are in place so His people know how He wanted them to behave and how their hearts should be towards God and others. (Deuteronomy 6:5) Illustrated in the Book of Isaiah is God’s law being broken and forsaken by both Judah and Israel. God uses foreign countries to enact His judgment and satisfy His wrath. This will be discussed in more detail later on.
God is sovereign. He is omnipresent, omnipotent, and is omniscience. There is nothing higher than Him. Nothing can control God. God is the supreme ruler of all there is, was, and is to come. [Isaiah 46:9-10] In Isaiah 7-8 Ahaz has a pressing issue: Trust in God or trust in Assyria to deliver Judah from Syria and Israel. God speaks to Ahaz through Isaiah and says “Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ”It will not take place, it will not happen,..”[Isaiah 7:7] God even asks Ahaz to ask for a sign. In what Beyer says was “false piety” Ahaz declines to ask for a sign. God then gives Ahaz the Sign of Immanuel. In his arrogance, unbelief, and untrusting of God’s sovereignty he is punished by God with the very nation he chose to trust. God told him to trust in him and not fear his enemies [Isaiah 4b] , yet he did not listen. I will expand on this later. Another example of God’s sovereignty in Isaiah is the analogy Isaiah gives in Isaiah 45. He asks if clay can say to the potter what are you making, and the clay saying the potter has no hands. He continues with another analogy: does a child ask what his mother has begotten? Woe to them, he says, for they fight against the very one who created them. Those who fight against the One who made them do so in vain- the created does not have power of the One Who created it. Their pride and arrogance will be punished:...
Cited: "BibleGateway." .com: A Searchable Online Bible in over 100 Versions and 50 Languages.KJV, NKJV, NASB and NIV versions were used. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
Beyer, Bryan E. Encountering the Book of Isaiah: A Historical and Theological Survey. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007. Print.
Oswalt, John N. The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39 (New International Commentary on the Old Testament). Vol. 1. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1986. Print.
Phillips, Richard D. "Isaiah’s Vision of Sovereignty." The Thirsty Theologian. N.p., 13 Nov. 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
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