Isaiah Study Notes

Pastor Mark Siena, Calvary Chapel of the Niagara Frontier

Sources…

 – The Bible Knowledge Commentary, by John Walvoord and others

The Bible Exposition Commentary, by Warren Wiersbe

Halley’s Bible Handbook, by Henry Halley and others

NIV Atlas of the Bible, by Carl Rasmussen

– Various internet sites (addresses cited)

 

Chapter 1

1   Uzziah reigned from 787-735 BC; Hezekiah from 726 – 697 BC; according to Halley’s Bible Handbook.  (Wiersbe says that Hezekiah died in 686 BC.)

2-3   God’s people didn’t know Him.  John 1:1-13

Our job is to be a ‘prophet’ like Isaiah to our unbelieving world.

4-7   Assyria was in the process of overthrowing the 10 Northern Tribes (which they would complete in 722 BC), and threatening Judah.

8   A booth / hut – a small temporary dwelling made of tree branches, where a servant would stay to guard the fields during the harvest season.

9-15   God was disgusted at the people’s hearts; likening them to Sodom and Gomorrah (verse 10).

(Note – if every author who referred to Sodom and Gomorrah / homosexuality as sin was removed from the Bible, the New Testament would consist of only James; the Old Testament would be without Moses (the first Five Books), the author of Judges (Samuel?), the author of Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, and Zephaniah.  May God give us the ability to explain, with love, why gay marriage and gay adoption of children is not acceptable to God.)

16-17   Action words of repentance.

18   A prophetic glimpse of the cleansing blood of Jesus.

19-20   “If…if” – the Lord in His mercy was still offering the people a way of blessing rather than judgment.

21-22   ‘Silver to dross’ / Wine mixed with water – watered down, impure.

27   God would ultimately be faithful to His people.

 

Chapter 2

1-4   A glimpse at the Millennial Time; ‘4b’ is inscribed on the ‘Isaiah Wall’, across First Avenue from the United Nations Headquarters building in NYC, in the United Nations Plaza; ‘4a’ (referring to God) is left off.

5   “…walk in the light of the LORD.”

Then – in Isaiah’s time

Now – Ephesians 5:8-10, 1 John 1:5-7

Forever – Revelation 21:10,21-27

6-9   As well as describing the moral condition of Judah, a picture of America today.

12   “…the day of the LORD” – first mention in the Bible; a sort of ‘code word’ for the incredible future events predicted by the Bible (Rapture, Tribulation, Millennial Reign of Christ, eternity).

10,19,20-21   Revelation 6:12-17

 

Chapter 3

What life becomes when people demand that God take His hand off of their country, and He does – Coming judgment on Jerusalem by Babylon.

9   ‘Pride’ in the sin of Sodom.  It’s one thing to be ashamed of our sin (and we all have some).  But, it’s a whole other level to be proud of it, and to teach others to follow in it.

24   A prophecy of Auschwitz??

 

Chapter 4

The Millennial Time

1   Many Jewish men will perish during the Tribulation time.

2   “The Branch” is Jesus.  (Isaiah 11:1-2; Jeremiah 23:5, 33:15; Zechariah 3:8-9, 6:12-13)

5-6   A return to the visible ‘glory’ of the Lord which led Moses and the people through the desert.

 

Chapter 5

1-7   Matthew 21:33-46

v2 – “wild grapes” – gentiles

v4Luke 13:6-9

v5 – we never want God to remove His ‘hedge’ of protection from

around us

8   People in love with the possessions of this earth / excessive wealth…

We need a proper balance in life.

Hebrews 11:13-16

10   Ten acres of land would produce only 6 gallons of wine; 6 bushels of seed would produce only ½ bushel of grain.  (Wiersbe)

13-14   “Therefore” – consequences

16   God will always be exalted, with or without us on board.  We can be used like Moses, or like Pharaoh, to bring God glory.

18-22   “Woe” is not a word of anger, but a passionate cry of grief or despair – ‘ah, alas’; crying out in lamentation.  (Lord, give us a grief for the lost, not just a self-righteous anger at their sin.)

25   “Their carcasses were as refuse in the midst of the streets.”  Babylon, Rome, the future Tribulation.

 

Chapter 6

1   Uzziah died in 735 BC (Halley’s Bible Handbook) or 739 BC (Walvoord) or 740 BC (Wiersbe).  (It is not unusual to have some ‘softness’ around ancient dates – the significant thing is that there are enough archeological evidence and records to verify that the occurrences are true.)

Isaiah apparently saw Jesus in heaven (John 12:36-41).

(Note that it says “the Lord” rather than “the LORD”.)

2   Seraphim – angels appearing as fire; (or, fiery serpents).

Hebrews 1:7  “And of the angels He says: ‘Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.”

3   “…Holy holy holy…” – Trinity.

God is everywhere (Psalm 139:7-12)

5   When we get close to our sinless, perfect Lord, we are reminded how sinful and impure we are.  (1 Corinthians 15:9, Ephesians 3:8, 1 Timothy 1:15, Luke 5:1-11)

6-7   God covers our impurity; it is because of Him that we can serve Him.

8   “Us” – Trinity.

Isaiah had a passion to go.  Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Corinthians 9:16

9-10   Perhaps a way of saying to Isaiah, ‘Don’t get your hopes up too high’ – this is how the people are going to react.  Matthew 13:14-15, John 3:19-21, Luke 14:16-24

God ultimately gives each person what they choose.  Luke 7:29-35

“Verses 9-10 are so important that they are quoted six times in the New Testament (Matt. 13:13-15; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; John 12:40; Acts 28:25-28; Rom. 11:8).  God does not deliberately make sinners blind, deaf, and hard-hearted; but the more that people resist God’s truth, the less able they are to receive God’s truth.  But the servant is to proclaim the Word no matter how people respond, for the test of ministry is not outward success but faithfulness to the Lord.”  (Wiersbe)

11-12   Babylon would empty the land in 586 BC.  So would Rome in 70 AD.

13   This could mean that 1/10 of the Jews will eventually return to Jerusalem and enter into the Tribulation.

 

Chapter 7

1   Ahaz (741-726 BC), Pekah (748-730 BC) according to Halley.

This occurred in 734 BC according to both Walvoord and Wiersbe.

3   The name of Isaiah’s son meant ‘A Remnant Shall Return’.

7-9   God is ultimately in control of world events – we don’t need to understand everything, we just need to remain faithful to Jesus.

Note – is it wrong to work to overthrow corrupt governments?  My opinion is no – Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was part of the underground Nazi resistance, until he was arrested and eventually killed.  On the other hand, Daniel worked within the Babylonian and Persian governments for 70 years, never compromising his faith.  We need to be sure that we are hearing God’s voice in whatever action we take.

14   A prophecy of the virgin birth of Jesus.

‘Immanuel’ means ‘God with us’.  Matthew 1:20-23

16   Unfortunately, both the Northern Kingdom and Judah would fall to their enemies before the Messiah would be born into our world.

17-25   The unfortunate future for Israel and Judah because of their rejection of God – they would be driven from their land by their conquering enemies.

 

Chapter 8

1-4   Isaiah’s wife was a prophetess.

They had a second son, whose name means ‘Speed the spoil, hasten the booty’.

Assyria would plunder Damascus and Samaria while this child was very young.  This happened in 732 BC (Walvoord).

 

5-10   God’s use of Assyria to be His tool of judgment on Syria and Israel would not be stopped by men.

v8  Assyria would “pass through” Judah, but not totally destroy her.

13   Fear (reverence) God, not man.

14 & 18   Prophecies of the Messiah Jesus

19   Mediums and wizards (the occult) is never ordained by God.

 

Chapter 9

1-7   Messianic Prophesies.

v1-2  Much of Jesus’ ministry would occur in Galilee.

(Matthew 4:13-16)

“…the gloom…” probably refers to the coming devastation that

Assyria would bring to the Northern Tribes in 722 BC.

“The people…have seen…a light has shined.”  God is timeless.

What would be fulfilled in 700 years is spoken by Him as past

tense.  (Ephesians 2:4-6, Genesis 17:4-5)

v3-5  Jesus’ 2nd ‘advent’ (2nd time to earth), this time as a mighty

warrior to defend Israel.  (Verse 5 may refer to Ezekiel 39:9)

v6  Jesus is seen as part of the Holy Trinity.

v7  Jesus will reign and rule eternally.

8-21   Coming judgment.

v12,17,21  “For all this His anger is not turned away; but His hand

is stretched out still.”

 

Chapter 10

1-4   Woe to those who reject God.

v4  Once again the refrain found in 9:12,17, and 21 is repeated.    Isaiah was written on a scroll; chapters and verses were added to the Bible later, in the 1550’s.

5-15   Woe to Assyria.

16-19  Israel’s coming judgment.

20-23   “in that day” – the Millennial Time.

24-25   God assured Judah that Assyria would not defeat them.

26-34  God will defeat Assyria; “…in that day…” may also suggest prophecy concerning God’s defeat of Israel’s enemies in the End times.

The very detailed description of various locations will I think be explained to us some day by Jesus.  I’m sure that when He does, we will marvel at the accuracy of this passage.

 

Chapter 11

A Messianic Chapter

1   ‘The Branch’ is Jesus.

2   The Holy Spirit shall rest upon Him.  (Perhaps a description of the ‘seven spirits’ in Revelation 1:4.)

4   Revelation 19:15,21

6-9   In the Millennial Time, the animals will no longer attack one another.

10  Israel will be the preeminent nation – the gentile nations shall come to worship Jesus.

11-12   Jesus was rejected the first time He came to earth; now He will be received.  (Joseph and Moses are ‘types’ of Christ in that they also were rejected the first time, but accepted by their brothers the second time.)

Also, Jews from all around the world will gather back in Israel.  With the rebirth of Israel in 1948, this prophecy has been partially fulfilled.

13-14   Israel will be powerful.

15   Revelation 16:12-16

16   A highway – Isaiah 19:23-25

 

Chapter 12

A Messianic Chapter

1   “In that day.”

(Chapters 13-23  Coming judgment on various nations)

 

Chapter 13

1   “Burden” – a prophecy, oracle.

The city of Babylon was originally built by Nimrod (Genesis 10:8-10).

There are 2 ‘Babylons’ seen during the Tribulation Time; the false church (in Revelation 17), and the commercial center of the world (in Revelation 18).

“In Scripture, Babylon symbolizes the world system man has built in defiance of God.  Jerusalem and Babylon are contrasting cities: One is the chosen city of God, the other the wicked city of man.  The city of God will last forever, but the rebellious city of man will ultimately be destroyed.”  (Wiersbe)

2-3   God would be calling Babylon into Jerusalem, starting in 605 BC and culminating in 586BC.

4   “…kingdoms of nations gathered together…” sounds like the prophecy has now jumped ahead to Armageddon.

6   “The day of the Lord” is kind of a ‘code word’ for the things which still lie ahead for mankind, beginning with the rapture of the true church and beyond.

7-10   Incredible celestial upheavals will take place.

11   The “world” will be punished, so again this clearly looks ahead to the Tribulation Time.

12   This could refer to the mass destruction which will be seen in Revelation 6:8 where ¼ of the population dies, and then in Revelation 9:15 when 1/3 of those left are also destroyed.

13   “And the earth will move out of her place” sounds like the earth will actually be knocked out of its current axis, perhaps through tsunamis or asteroids.  Revelation 6:14

14-16   Now it seems that the prophecy has reverted back to 586 BC, speaking of the devastation that Babylon would inflict on the residents of Jerusalem when they breached her walls and destroyed her temple.

17   And now, shifting just as quickly, the message changes to future judgment on Babylon, which would be brought about by the Medes and Persians in 539 BC.

18-20   This is an interesting prophecy that Babylon will never again be inhabited.  Sadaam Hussein was working on rebuilding Babylon before his demise, and the current Iraqi government also has plans to continue the work.

 

Chapter 14

12-15   Be careful of ‘I wills’; God is the boss, not us.

19   Jesus is the true Branch (Isaiah 11:1-5); Lucifer the ‘abominable branch’.

The name ‘Lucifer’ means ‘Day Star’; Jesus is the true “Bright and Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16).

Satan wanted to be “like the Most High”; in a sense he was when Jesus hung on the cross, because for 3 hours the Father saw only the sin that Jesus bore on His shoulders for us.  Satan, the father of all sin, is a serpent.  Numbers 21:4-9, John 3:14-15

28   726 BC (Halley).

 

Chapter 15 & 16…

Judgment proclaimed against Moab (located in present day Jordan).

Chapter 15

Moab would fall to the Assyrians within 3 years (see 16:14).

 

Chapter 16

1-5   May be prophetic concerning the escape of some Jews from the anti-Christ; hiding in Petra (Jordan), sustained by God for the final 3 ½ years of Tribulation.

v1  “lamb” or “Lamb” (Jesus);  “Sela” – rock (Petra)

v3  “outcasts” – Jews fleeing the anti-Christ

v4  “spoiler/extortioner” – the anti-Christ

v5  “One” – Jesus; “the tabernacle of David” – the Millennial

Temple

Revelation 12, Matthew 24:15-22

9,11   It’s interesting and beautiful that the Holy Spirit would weep for a pagan nation such as Moab.

12   Moab worshipped a false god, so going to ‘his sanctuary’ would do no good.

14   Assyria would defeat Moab within 3 years.

 

Chapter 17

Judgment on Syria and Israel.  Assyria would defeat Syria in 732BC, and Israel in 722BC (Walvoord).

1   Damascus is the oldest city mentioned in the Bible that still exists today.  (Genesis 14:15)  This prophecy has never yet been fulfilled.

11   Success comes from God, not man.

12-13   “nations” – the prophecy seems to switch from judgment through one nation Assyria to future battles involving nations, such as will occur at

Armageddon.

14   “he is no more” – Antichrist?

 

Chapter 18

Judgment is prophesied against a land called ‘Cush’ in the Hebrew language.  Today this is southern Egypt / Sudan / northern Ethiopia, according to Walvoord.

1-2   ‘Buzzing wings’ might refer to insects, or to a flurry of diplomatic activity taking place as these people tried to make alliances with other countries (probably Egypt) to stand against the approaching Assyrians.

3-6   Judgment would come before the harvest time.  This could be referring to the Assyrians, or it could refer to future events…

v3  “All…see…hear…”  This is possible today with TV / internet / YouTube / radio.

v4-6  The Ezekiel 38-39 battle?  Or Armageddon?  The number of dead will be so great that animals of prey will feed on the corpses in summer and winter.

7   “In that time” – the Millennial Time – Ethiopians (and all nations) will come to Jerusalem to worship the Messiah.

 

Chapter 19

Judgment on Egypt – Assyria (under King Esarhaddon) would conquer Egypt in 671 BC (Walvoord).

1   Egypt had thousands of gods.  In fact, Pharaoh was considered a god.

2-4   This could be speaking of civil war, or panic in Egypt leading up to their defeat by Assyria.

5-10   The Egyptian economy would fail.

11-12   Without God’s counsel, the Egyptians were helpless.

“…The son of ancient kings…Where are they?” – A sobering thought to always keep in the back of our minds – the eternal abode of each soul.

Mark 8:36  “For what will it profita man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”

13   It is utterly foolish for a nation to deny God, and believe that they can do better without Him than they can with Him.

14   An interesting glimpse into the spiritual world.  1 Samuel 16:13-14,23; 1 Kings 22:19-23; Acts 16:16-18 and 19:11-20; Jude 9

16   This could be a transitional verse, going from Egypt’s terror of Assyria, to the Millennial Time, when they, along with all other nations, will fear (respect) Israel, and her mighty reigning King, the Messiah Jesus.

18   The Millennial Time (“in that day”).

        The “language of Canaan” could perhaps refer to a literal, pure, world-wide language that is spoken during the Millennial Time.  Zephaniah 3:9

20-21   Egypt will know Jesus.

22   God has always loved Egypt, and has always wanted them to know and love Him.  Exodus 7:5, 14:4,18

23-25   Friendship between Egypt, Israel, and Assyria (present-day                       Iraq).  We can see ‘traces’ of this today, as Egypt has a peace treaty with Israel, and Iraq is not openly hostile towards her.  All three nations have a common enemy in Iran, and a common interest in limiting her power.

 

Chapter 20

1   711 BC (Walvoord).  Tartan was a military title, meaning ‘commander and chief’.  Sargon II, the Assyrian king mentioned here, has been verified historically / archeologically.  1200 ‘letters of correspondence’ (cuneiform tablets) were found in excavations of Nineveh in the middle 1800’s.  One begins with the words: ‘To Sargon, king of the universe.’ http://www.ucl.ac.uk/sargon/essentials/archives/sargonsninevehletters/

Ashdod exists today in Israel, on the Mediterranean coast, 20 miles south of Tel Aviv and 33 miles west of Jerusalem.  It is Israel’s 6th largest city (~210,000 people), and her largest port.  60% of Israel’s imports come in through Ashdod.

2-4   Isaiah was told to be a ‘visible parable’.  Ezekiel 4, 5:1-13, 12:1-20

In a sense we should be ‘walking parables’ today; living our lives in a way that presents a clear picture to the world of Who Jesus is, and what a true Christian is.  Matthew 5:13-16

Note – I definitely think that there is a place for skits / drama, etc. to present the Gospel.  But, as Calvary Chapels, I believe our main focus has been defined by Pastor Chuck Smith to ‘Simply teach the Word of God simply’.

People become used to what they are fed, and those who feed their flesh will always want more.  This year’s ‘light shows / fireworks / concerts / excitements / thrills’ won’t be enticing enough next year for their flesh.  I have heard Pastor Joe Focht say that the church cannot compete with the world with these things.  If someone demands that stuff, they may have to leave for a while until they come to their senses, as did the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-24).  If we feed our spirits, then we will grow spiritually; if we feed our flesh, we will never grow in a spiritually healthy manner.  It is possible to wander in circles for 40 years on earth and still go to heaven; but that wasted life is not for us.

5   The world will always ultimately fail us.  Tragically, those who trust in the world to dictate their morals and deliver their rewards will end up in hell.

6   We know that the answer to their question is found in Jesus.

 

Chapter 21

1-10   Judgment is prophesied against Babylon…

Some ‘data points’ that we know about Babylon…

– Babylon (or Babel) was built by Nimrod (Genesis 10:8-10).

– ‘Babel’ means ‘confusion’; ‘Nimrod’ means ‘rebellion’ or ‘the valiant’.

– The residents of Babel were scattered across the earth by God in

Genesis 11:1-9 because of their disobedience.

– Babylon was defeated by Assyria (the world’s greatest power) in

689 BC.

– Babylon defeated Assyria in 605 BC at the battle of Carchemish,

and became the sole major power of the world.

– Babylon was defeated by the Persians and the Medes in 539 BC,

and the Jewish people were allowed to return to Jerusalem after 70

years of captivity.

– The false church that exists during the Tribulation Time is called

‘Babylon’, and is judged by God in Revelation 17.

– The world economic power that exists during the Tribulation Time

is called ‘Babylon’, and is judged by God in Revelation 18.

– It seems that the Bible is a ‘tale of two cities’ – Babylon (Satan’s

City) vs. Jerusalem (God’s city)

1   The “Wilderness of the Sea” is probably the Persian gulf area.

2   Elam is an area in modern-day Iran (Persia).  The Persians and Medes (Media) would defeat Babylon years later, in 539 BC.

3-4   Isaiah saw some frightful visions.

5   This could be a reference to Belshazzar’s feast referred to in Daniel 5, the night that the hand writing appeared on the wall, and the city fell to the Persians and Medes.

6-7   The ‘pair of horsemen’ perhaps represent the Persians and Medes.

8   Perhaps the ‘Lion’ refers to Cyrus, the mighty Persian king.

9 “Babylon is fallen, is fallen!” is repeated verbatim in Revelation 14:8.  ‘Mystery Babylon’ – the false church that makes it into the Tribulation Period; and ‘commercial Babylon’ – the economic center of the world during the Tribulation time; will fall, as seen in Revelation 17 and 18.  So, it seems that there are many prophetic suggestions wrapped up in Isaiah’s words.

Isaiah’s words also carried a message for his time period.  “In 722 BC a Chaldean prince from the Persian Gulf region, named Marduk-apal-iddina (called Merodach-Baladan in 39:1), revolted against Assyria, captured Babylon, and was crowned king of Babylon.  Elam, a nation northeast of Babylon, supported his revolt.  Not till 710 BC was Sargon able to evict Marduk-apal-iddina from Babylon.  After the death of Sargon in 705 Marduk-apal-iddina along with Elamite troops revolted against Sennacherib.  In 702 Sennacherib finally defeated him (and Elam) and devastated his home area around the Persian Gulf.  Undoubtedly Isaiah was prophesying about this situation…the Assyrian king eventually destroyed the city [Babylon] in 689 BC.”  (Walvoord)

It is also interesting that after ‘Babylon has fallen, is fallen’, the next words read: ‘and all the carved images of her gods He has broken to the ground’.  Once again we are reminded that we serve a jealous God, Who will not tolerate any other gods in our life.

11-12   ‘Dumah’ is an unknown location, perhaps in present-day Jordan.  In Genesis 25:14 Dumah is listed as Ishmael’s 6th son.

13-15   Arabia is modern-day Saudi Arabia.  ‘Tema’ also is located within modern-day Saudi Arabia (Tema was another of Ishmael’s sons); ‘Dedan’ is uncertain, but probably in this same area.

“In the forest of Arabia…”  Today only 1.3% of Saudi Arabia is forested.  The ‘Asir Mountains’ in southwest Saudi Arabia contain forests.  http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/198904/arabian.forests.htm

16-17   ‘Kedar’ was Ishmael’s 2nd son (Genesis 25:13); and his descendants also lived in this area.

“In 715 BC Sargon II [king of Assyria] wrote that he had defeated a number of Arabian tribes and had them deported to Samaria.”  (Walvoord)

 

Chapter 22

Judgment is prophesied against Jerusalem…

Because God is timeless, His prophecies sometimes skip back and forth between time periods, thousands of years apart.  This is a very difficult chapter – some day in heaven Jesus will take us through His Word, and then it will all be very clear…

1   “…the Valley of Vision…” could relate to the prophecies about the ‘valley of Jehoshaphat’ in Joel 3.  This valley is “traditionally identified with [the] portion of [the] Kidron Valley just East of Jerusalem.”  (NIV Atlas of the Bible)   This could perhaps be a prophecy of either the Battle of Armageddon, or the Revelation 20 battle which occurs at the end of the Millennial Time.

2   Some sort of new weapon – poison, or another method of killing without a military battle?

5   A “day of trouble” sounds like a reference to ‘the Day of the Lord’.

 6   Elam – portion of modern day Iran; Kir – portion of modern day Iraq.

7-13   The people reached a state of hardened rebellion.  Thinking they would die the next day, they were more interested in enjoying one final party than falling on their faces in repentance and reverence of the Almighty God that they would soon face.

14   Coming devastation on Jerusalem.

“…for this iniquity there will be no atonement for you, even to your death…”  It sounds like multitudes would die in their sins, and thus face eternity apart from God.

It is tragic, but over 150,000 people die every day in our world.  How many of them have never received Christ?

15-21   Now we jump back into Isaiah’s own time.  Shebna and Eliakim were key men in King Hezekiah’s government.  They are seen together acting on the king’s behalf when Assyria surrounded Jerusalem (Isaiah 36:3,11,22; 37:2).  Apparently Shebna’s heart became corrupted at some point, and so Isaiah prophesied that he would lose his position to Eliakim.  The Bible does not record the specifics of how this took place.

22-25   Now, Isaiah’s prophecy moves beyond Eliakim, to the Messiah Jesus.

v22   Revelation 3:7

v23-24   A reference to Jesus’ crucifixion?

v25   “in that day” – a reference to the coming ‘day of the Lord’

 

Chapter 23

“The Phoenicians were a merchant people whose land approximated what is today known as Lebanon.  Their ships plied the Mediterranean coasts, where their many colonies assured them of an abundant supply of the world’s wealth.  Tyre and Sidon were key cities.”  (Wiersbe)

Tyre was a great commercial city, and has a very interesting history.  It used to exist on the mainland of southern Lebanon, on the Mediterranean Coast.  When Nebuchadnezzar besieged the city for 13 years (starting in 586BC), the residents built a city on an island ½ mile out into the Sea, and moved ‘en masse’ out to it.  The Babylonians never defeated the mainland city in the sense that they did Jerusalem, but Tyre eventually fell under their control in 573 BC.  241 years later, Alexander the Great used the remains of the abandoned mainland city to build a ‘causeway’ to the island, and conquered Tyre in 332 BC.  In doing so he fulfilled a prophecy in Ezekiel 26:4,12,14.  Alexander was so enraged at the difficulty of his task that he destroyed ½ of the island city, and killed or enslaved its 30,000 residents.  Today the ‘island’ portion of Tyre remains (it is in fact Lebanon’s 4th largest city).  What used to be an island is now a ‘peninsula’, because the causeway built by Alexander changed the water currents, causing sediments to accumulate over time.

1   Tyre would be ‘laid waste’ by Alexander the Great in 332 BC.  In Isaiah’s day, it would be subdued by Assyria, and then later by Babylon.

 2   Sidon also exists today on the Mediterranean Coast, 25 miles north of Tyre; it is Lebanon’s 3rd largest city.

3   ‘Shihor’ was a branch of the Nile River, and was fertile for planting and harvesting grain.

6   Tarshish – “Uncertain, possibly in Spain, North Africa, Sicily, etc.”  (NIV Atlas of the Bible)  Some also propose Britain.

9   One of the reoccurring themes throughout the Bible – God will always judge pride.  May He help us to always remain humble.

10   The River – the Nile – would overflow every year.  This created fertile soil along the Nile for the Egyptians to grow their grain.  Egypt was considered the ‘bread basket of the Roman empire’.

13   The Chaldeans are another name for the Babylonians.  Assyria would defeat Babylon in 689 BC, and reign as the world’s greatest power.  In 605 BC, Babylon would defeat Assyria and Egypt, and reign as the world’s greatest power.

15-18   This (in part because of the reference to ‘seventy years’) may refer to the Babylonians attack and dominance of Tyre (they laid siege to the city for 13 years, from 586 to 573 BC).  Although they were never entirely defeated, Tyre fell under Babylonian control (as did the rest of the world).  After the Medes and Persians defeated the Babylonians in 539BC, the heavy hand of Babylon would be replaced by Cyrus’ lighter hand.

Or, it could refer to Assyrian dominance.  “History tells us that the Assyrians restricted Phoenician trade from 700-630 BC; but when Assyria began to weaken in power, Tyre and Sidon revived their businesses.”  (Wiersbe)

 

Chapters 24-27…

“Known as ‘Isaiah’s apocalypse,’ chapters 24-27 describe the earth’s devastation and people’s intense suffering during the coming Tribulation and the blessings to follow in the millennial kingdom.”  (Walvoord)

Chapter 24

1-6   Judgment upon the entire earth; it’s surface is “distorted”; “…the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.”  Verses 19-20, plus Revelation 6, 8:7-13, 9:1-21

10   Babylon or Babel means ‘confusion’.  The “city of confusion” is possibly a reference to ‘Commercial Babylon’, the center of world-wide commerce during the Tribulation time, depicted in Revelation 18.

11   “There is a cry for wine in the streets…”  It is said that Rome maintained peace by keeping the people pre-occupied with pleasing their flesh through free bread and circuses.  Today’s America is little different in that regard.  Many people could care less about denying God, or the effects that has on our culture and children, as long as their ‘wine’ and ‘entertainment’ keeps flowing forth.

13   Everybody will be affected.  No one – not one ‘olive’ or ‘grape’ – will escape.

19-20   Great, horrible, physical changes to the earth are prophesied.  The earth’s very rotation will be altered.

21   Both wicked angels and wicked men will be judged by God; Jesus the Messiah will reign.

 

Chapter 25

6-10   Future blessings for Israel and “all people”; “…in this mountain” is Mount Zion, the place where Jerusalem is.

v7  The world will see and know God.  2 Corinthians 3:14-18

v8  Revelation 21:4

11   It sounds like this is primarily speaking of God’s coming judgment on Moab.  However, “…He will spread out His hands in their midst…He will bring down their pride” could also hint at the Lord’s crucifixion, and Israel’s return to Him (Zechariah 13:6).

 

Chapter 26

1-6   A song which will be sung in the Millennial Time.

v3   A beautiful promise from God.

v4   Proverbs 3:5-6

 19   A prophetic glimpse of the resurrection of the dead.

20-21   This could be a message to the Jews who run from the Antichrist in the middle of the Tribulation (“the indignation” could be the ‘abomination which causes desolation’); and are protected by God in Petra until the return of Christ.

Chapter 27

1   “In that day” – the ‘Day of the Lord’.

“Leviathan” – probably another name for Satan.  Revelation 12:9

“the reptile that is in the sea” – probably a reference to the 10 nation government led by Antichrist, which comes from the former Roman Empire (which surrounded the Mediterranean Sea).

“His severe sword” could simply be His Word.  Revelation 19:15

A physical description of actual ‘Leviathans’ appears in Job 41 – they sound like dinosaurs or dragons which lived in or near water.  Could there be any still existing today?  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website (http://www.noaa.gov/ocean.html) says:  “The ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and contains 97 percent of the planet’s water, yet more than 95 percent of the underwater world remains unexplored.”  95% of 71% is 67.45%.  Thus, a little over 2/3 of the earth has not yet been explored by man.

2-3   Jesus will bless and protect Israel jealously at the Battle of Armageddon, and beyond.

4-5   Rather than fight against God, the gentile nations can make peace with Him, ally themselves with Israel, and enjoy blessings in the Millennial Time.

6   “Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.”  This is happening literally today; and will be fully fulfilled during the Millennial Time.

9   “…the iniquity of Jacob will be covered.”  Israel will be changed; idol worship will come to an end.

10-11   Before the blessing of the Millennial Time, Jerusalem would be broken and judged.

12-13   But after the judgment, Jesus will gather the Jews, and they will worship Him in Jerusalem.

 

Chapter 28

1   “Ephraim” – another name for the 10 Northern Tribes of Israel.

“drunkards” – obviously the Lord was not pleased.

2-4   Assyria would defeat Israel in 722 BC, just a few short years after Isaiah’s prophecy.

5-6   “In that day” points ahead to the Messiah.

7-8   The ‘spiritual leaders’ were drunkards.

10   The ‘Calvary Chapel’ philosophy – teach the entire Bible, Line by Line, Verse by Verse.  We are called to ‘simply teach the Word of God simply.’

11   This could actually be a prophecy about Paul’s future ministry.

2 Corinthians 10:10, 11:6

This could be a prophecy about us.  1 Corinthians 1:18-31

This could be a prophecy about the Gentiles spreading the Gospel to the Jews.  (Romans 11)

12   Jesus would offer the Jews grace, but they would reject Him and cling to the law.  Matthew 11:28-30

 13   God’s heart is to bring every person into a saving relationship with Himself, through His Word.  1 Timothy 2:3-4, Isaiah 55:8-11

“That they might go and fall backward, and be broken…” – We must be humble before we can submit to Jesus’ Lordship.

“…and snared and caught.”  Jesus is actively seeking every soul, as a hunter seeks his ‘game’.

16,18   Prophetic of Jesus.  1 Peter 2:6-8

21   Jesus will return as a Mighty Warrior to defend Israel.

“Mount Perazim” – 1 Chronicles 14:8-12 (where the Lord gave David a great victory over the Philistines).

“the Valley of Gibeon” – Joshua 10:1-14 (where the Lord stopped time for about 24 hours, and brought Joshua victory over 5 Amorite kings).

22   “the whole earth”

23-29   Kind of a parable, saying:  ‘God has a deliberate plan, which will come to pass in His time’.

 

Chapter 29

1   The word “Ariel” means ‘Lion of God’; another name for Jerusalem.

2-8   A great multitude of nations will fight against Jerusalem – the Battle of Armageddon, or the final battle mentioned in Revelation 20?

9   “Blind yourselves”.  When one does that, he has no one else to blame.

10   Because the false prophets despised God, and really didn’t want the truth, He hid Himself and His truth from them.

11-12   Because they rejected the truth, they reached a point where they could no longer understand the truth.  There are many so-called ‘churches’ and ‘pastors’ with ordination papers who are here today.

13-14   God said that because the people had “…removed their hearts far from Me…Therefore, behold, I will…”   The coming judgment on Jerusalem was a consequence of their rejection of God.  When people reject God, the consequences they bring upon themselves are not His fault.

15   How sad for those who go to great intellectual lengths in order to justify their rejection of God.

16   A look at creation and simple common sense shows that there must be a Creator.  Unfortunately, many avoid thinking honestly about that, because they prefer darkness.  John 3:19

18   “In that day” looks to the future.  Matthew 11:2-6

20  “….the terrible one is brought to nothing, the scornful one is consumed…”  probably speaks of the Antichrist.

22   God mentions Abraham to remind us of His faithfulness and consistency.

23-24   God will mightily bless Israel in the Millennial Time.

 

Chapter 30

1-2   It displeases the Lord when we consult the wisdom of men without consulting Him.  There’s nothing wrong with getting man’s opinion – I think a wise person seeks advice from many sources – but it must never displace God’s Word.  Luke 14:28-32, Psalm 33:16-19

“This oracle (chap. 30) and the next one (chap. 31) center on the folly of attempting to make an alliance with Egypt to ward off the Assyrian threat.  At this time Egypt was waning as a world power and could be of no real assistance to Israel and Judah in their fight against the strong Assyrian Empire.  But a strong faction in Judah, rather than turning to God for protection, wanted to seek aid from Egypt.”  (Walvoord)

“Woe” is not a word of anger, but a passionate cry of grief or despair.

3   A very difficult and personal question requires us to be totally honest with ourselves:  ‘Who do I trust’?  Proverbs 3:5-6

6   The “fiery flying serpent” could be ‘Seraphim (angels); or perhaps a reference to dinosaurs / dragons?

Perhaps the Jews were sending a caravan down to Egypt with treasures to buy protection against Assyria. (Wiersbe)

7   “Rahab-Hem-Shebeth” means ‘Rahab (or Egypt) sits idle’.  They were too weak to help Judah fight Assyria.

8-11   It is human nature to want to hear only what we consider to be good news.  (That’s why many of God’s true prophets had short life expectancies – Matthew 23:34-37.)

We are called to teach the entire Word of God, from the first Verse of Genesis to the last Verse of Revelation; because ‘His Word will not return void’ (Isaiah 55:10-11).  It will (of course) always be more popular to entertain than to challenge our listeners with God’s entire Word.

12-13   “Because…Therefore…”  All decisions have consequences.

17-18   Without God’s hand of blessing, the people would become cowardly.

“…a pole on top of a mountain…the LORD will…be gracious to you” could be a prophetic glimpse of Jesus on the cross.

19   The Millennial Time.

22   The people will despise their sins, and run to their Messiah.

(Our sin can do great harm to us and others – Joshua 7.)

23   Then – after their repentance – God will bless.

26   A prophecy of a physical change of the light emanated from the sun.  There is no sun or moon in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:23-24; 22:5), so it appears that this will be fulfilled during the Millennial Time.

27-28   The Lord’s return as a Warrior to defend Israel.

31   This sounds like the Lord defeating His enemies with His Word.  (Revelation 19:15 “Now out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations…”)

33   “Tophet” – “’place of fire’; a place in the southeast end of the valley of the son of Hinnom south of Jerusalem.”  (Blue Letter Bible); “…where children were sometimes sacrificed to the false Ammonite god Molech.” (Walvoord)  A figurative name for hell.

 

Chapter 31

1   Anybody who is going to serve God in any great way needs to understand that often it will look on paper that they don’t stand a chance in defeating their ungodly enemy.  God brings glory to Himself by working through His people in such circumstances.  Psalm 33:16-22

4-5   These Verses speak of Jesus.

“…a young lion” – Genesis 49:9

“…a multitude of shepherds…against him” – Matthew 27:12-14

“…the LORD of hosts will come down…” – Revelation 19:11-21

“Passing over, He will preserve it” – Exodus 12:12-13

8   Isaiah 37:36 – the Angel of the Lord would kill 185,000 Assyrians surrounding Jerusalem.

 

Chapter 32

1-2   ‘A king, a man, a great rock’ may all refer to Jesus.

3-8   It seems that during the Millennial Time, the characteristics and motives of godly vs. ungodly men will be easier to perceive.  Truth will be much clearer – Jesus will be physically reigning in Jerusalem.

9-11  Judgment would be coming “within a year and some days” – this could refer to the siege of Jerusalem by Assyria, later recorded in Isaiah 36-37.  Note – Assyria did not defeat Jerusalem, but they did defeat 46 other Judean cities according to an inscription left by Sennacherib.  (Walvoord)  This occurred in 701 BC. (Wiersbe)

15-19   The Millennial Time will bring peace and great blessing.

“Until the Spirit is poured upon us…” – Joel 2:28-29

20   Among other things, this could be a commendation to missionaries, and to those who support them.

 

Chapter 33

1-2   Every ‘bully’ – in this case Assyria and later Babylon / the Antichrist – eventually falls.

6   The 1,000 years of peace will be awesome.

We can live like this verse says today.

8   “He has broken the covenant…He regards no man” may refer to the Antichrist.

10-13   This could be a reference to the time when the Lord Jesus destroys the Antichrist.

v10-11  This may be a contrast between the power of God (“I”) and the futility of the Antichrist (“You”) when God defeats him.

v12  “Like the burnings of lime” – ie, what is made by burning bones (Blue Letter Bible).

15-16   Lord, may we be such people!

“Isaiah 33:15 describes the kind of person God will accept and bless.”  (Wiersbe)

Note from the Jewish New Testament Commentary, by David Stern – “Rabbi Simlai said, ‘613 commandments were given to Moses – 365 negative mitzvot [‘mitzvot’ means Biblical commandments], same as the number of days in the year, and 248 positive mitzvot, same as the number of parts in a man’s body.  David came and reduced them to eleven (Psalm 15), Isaiah to six (Isaiah 33:15), Micah to three (Micah 6:8), and Isaiah again to two – ‘Observe justice and do righteousness’ (Isaiah 56:1).  Then Amos came and reduced them to one, ‘Seek me and live’ (Amos 5:4) – as did Habakkuk, ‘The righteous one will live by his trusting’ (Habakkuk 2:4)’”  (Makkot 23b-24a [which is in the Talmud, a record of rabbinic discussions about the Scriptures], abridged)

17-19   Perhaps a prophecy of the Rapture of the church.

20-24   The blessing of the Millennial Time.

v21  “A place of broad rivers and streams” – Jerusalem is one of the few ancient cities NOT built next to a major river or sea.  Perhaps this speaks of physical changes to the earth that will exist in the Millennial Time.  (Ezekiel 47:1-12)

v22  Trinity.

Our branches of government.

v23-24  “The lame take the prey. And the inhabitant will not say, ‘I am sick’” – the humble will be strong in Jesus.

The forgiveness of sins will take place.

 

Chapter 34

1-2   “all nations…all their armies”

4   2 Peter 3:8-13

5-7   Armageddon

8   “the day of the Lord’s vengeance”

16   None of God’s prophecies will fail.

“My mouth…and His Spirit” – Trinity.

 

Chapter 35

“The description in this chapter of the land and the people is a highlight of the first half of the book.  This is the desired millennial state for which the nation has longed since God first promised it to Abraham.  This is the state that mankind constantly longs for – a utopia in which peace and fertility prevail.”   (Walvoord)

Certainly a picture of the Millennial Time, perhaps going even beyond to the ‘New Heavens and New Earth’ – the final ‘state’ of things recorded in the Bible.

1      In the Millennial Time, Israel’s desert will blossom.  Today, the Negev Desert makes up 60% of Israel’s total land mass.  The average yearly rainfall there is 1.2 inches; usually there is no rain from June to October.  Israeli scientists are working on better agricultural and irrigation methods in order to utilize more of the desert.  Part of the philosophy of Israel’s enemies is to perpetuate a hostile environment that forces Israel to spend more of their resources on the military, so there is less that can be spent on these more productive endeavors.

 

Chapter 36

Isaiah’s Book now switches to a historical section, which according to Walvoord occurred in 701 BC.  (The exact dates are really not that important – someday Jesus can tell us the exact date, hour, moment, and second if He so wills to do so.)  But there is no doubt that what is recorded by Isaiah did in fact happen.  There is an inscription on Sennacherib’s prism that was found by archeologists in the ancient ruins of Nineveh in 1830.  Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, boasts:

As for Hezekiah the Judahite, who did not submit to my yoke: forty-six of his strong, walled cities, as well as the small towns in their area, which were without number, by leveling with battering-rams and by bringing up seige-engines, and by attacking and storming on foot, by mines, tunnels, and breeches, I besieged and took them. 200,150 people, great and small, male and female, horses, mules, asses, camels, cattle and sheep without number, I brought away from them and counted as spoil. (Hezekiah) himself, like a caged bird I shut up in Jerusalem, his royal city. I threw up earthworks against him— the one coming out of the city-gate, I turned back to his misery. His cities, which I had despoiled, I cut off from his land, and to Mitinti, king of Ashdod, Padi, king of Ekron, and Silli-bêl, king of Gaza, I gave (them). And thus I diminished his land. I added to the former tribute, and I laid upon him the surrender of their land and imposts—gifts for my majesty. As for Hezekiah, the terrifying splendor of my majesty overcame him, and the Arabs and his mercenary troops which he had brought in to strengthen Jerusalem, his royal city, deserted him. In addition to the thirty talents of gold and eight hundred talents of silver, gems, antimony, jewels, large carnelians, ivory-inlaid couches, ivory-inlaid chairs, elephant hides, elephant tusks, ebony, boxwood, all kinds of valuable treasures, as well as his daughters, his harem, his male and female musicians, which he had brought after me to Nineveh, my royal city. To pay tribute and to accept servitude, he dispatched his messengers…

http://www.bible-history.com/empires/prism.html

Of course, as always, God would get ‘the last laugh’.

2   ‘Rabshakeh’ – probably the chief of staff or governor of Assyria.

4-5   Hezekiah was one of Judah’s greatest kings to ever live.  But, it’s interesting that sometimes Satan will challenge our greatest strengths.  2 Kings 18:5

7   Hezekiah had dismantled altars to false gods.  Here Satan twists the truth as he is so good at doing – implying that these false gods are actually true.  Satan does the same thing today in liberal ‘churches’ when he soft-pedals Scripture, and turns the acceptance of sin into an expression of ‘open-mindedness’ and ‘love’.

8-9   Now Satan is trying to turn Hezekiah’s eyes onto his own weakness, rather than on God’s greatness.  We have to keep our eyes glued on God.

10   Satan is a master at misinterpreting God’s Word.

11   The Israeli leaders didn’t want the people to overhear and be frightened.

12-17   Satan is not a fool when it comes to deceiving men – he makes disobedience to God look enticing and profitable.

18-20   To just look at their current power, it did seem that Assyria had God’s blessing, because no one could stand up to them.  Does worldly success always imply that God is pleased and blessing such people?   Psalm 73, Hebrews 11:13-16,32-40, Luke 4:5

I think one of the toughest things in the Bible is when God uses the ungodly to judge His own people.  It must be hard for Him, because He wants to bless.  I think it must get down to this point: what will glorify God more and accomplish greater good – allowing a rebellious people to keep on misrepresenting Him, or to send judgment on them so that it looks like another god or man is more powerful than Himself?  Because of Romans 8:28, we know that God always makes the right decision, even if it is hard for us to understand.

21   So should our response be to the commands of our King.

22   “…their clothes torn…” – seen often in the Bible as a sign of mourning and lament by the expressive Jewish people.

 

Chapter 37

1   Hezekiah went into the temple.

2   He sought counsel from Isaiah.  Proverbs 24:6

4   Here’s the good news:  Sennacherib thought he was coming against Hezekiah; but because Hezekiah was aligned with God, Sennecherib was actually fighting against God.  When we are aligned with God, any attacks against us are really attacks against Him.

6   Isaiah confirmed that God was taking Sennacherib’s threats as an assault against Himself.

7   Sennacherib’s own sons would assassinate him (Isaiah 37:38).

9   Tirhakah has been confirmed historically.  “Tirhakah was called the Cushite king of Egypt.  He was from Cush, south of Egypt, and ruled Egypt at that time.  In 701 Tirhakah was an army commander; he actually did not become king of Cush until 690; but since he was king when Isaiah wrote this account, Isaiah called him the king.”  (Wiersbe)

12   The gods that the Rabshakeh mentioned were all false gods, so of course they couldn’t help those who worshipped them.  (The ‘benefit’ of worshipping a false god is that you can make him or her into anything you want, and thus you can live any way that you want.  But, the ‘bad’ thing about worshipping a false god is that when you really need help, there’s no one there to help you, except maybe a demon.)

14   Once again, Hezekiah went into the Temple.

16   Hezekiah started his prayer by declaring (and perhaps reminding himself in the process) of God’s greatness.

I think Hezekiah’s heart was at the greatest place that any heart can be – his concern that the Lord be glorified.  If we can be like that, concerned only, primarily, with God being glorified, imagine what God would do through us.  I think this was one of Moses’ greatest attributes as well.  Numbers 14:11-24

(Another thing that made Moses usable by God – he obeyed Him fully:

Exodus 39:1,5,7,21,26,29,31,32,42,43; 40:16,19,21,23,25,27,29,32)

21-22   Isaiah confirmed that God was with Hezekiah.  It’s a blessing when God sends a confirmation that we are in His perfect will.

“Because you have prayed…”  What if Hezekiah hadn’t prayed??  I don’t know what would have happened – but I do know that prayer changes things.  Amos 7:1-6

23-24   Sennacherib thought he was picking a fight with Hezekiah; but he was actually fighting against God.

If we always want to win, then we should always align ourselves with God.

26-27   The only reason that Assyria was able to do what it did was because God was allowing it.  In fact He had planned it long ago.

Everybody has a choice – we can be on God’s side and used mightily by Him in a positive way; or we can fight against Him like Sennacherib or the Pharaoh of Egypt, and be used mightily by Him in a negative way which ultimately bring about blessing to others, through our own destruction.

29   God would turn the Assyrians back.

30   Now, the message shifted to Jerusalem – they would be delivered from destruction.

35   God would defend Jerusalem for His own sake, and for David’s sake.  The reference to David, who had died about 269 years previously in 970 BC (according to Ussher) reminds us that God does not forget His servants.  In fact, it is possible that David will reign under Christ during the Millennial Time (Hosea 3:5; Ezekiel 34:23-24, 37:24-25).  I’m not sure…

36   Another question – was this an angel of the LORD, or The Angel of the LORD (Jesus) that performed this?

There’s an almost humorous account written by the Greek historian Herodotus around 450 BC about a miraculous defeat of the Assyrians by the Egyptians, which might be a corruption of this Biblical account…

After him there came to the throne the priest of Hephaistos, whose name was Sethos. This man, they said, neglected and held in no regard the warrior class of the Egyptians, considering that he would have no need of them; and besides other slights which he put upon them, he also took from them the yokes of corn-land  which had been given to them as a special gift in the reigns of the former kings, twelve yokes to each man. After this, Sanacharib king of the Arabians and of the Assyrians marched a great host against Egypt. Then the warriors of the Egyptians refused to come to the rescue, and the priest, being driven into a strait, entered into the sanctuary of the temple  and bewailed to the image of the god the danger which was impending over him; and as he was thus lamenting, sleep came upon him, and it seemed to him in his vision that the god came and stood by him and encouraged him, saying that he should suffer no evil if he went forth to meet the army of the Arabians; for he himself would send him helpers. Trusting in these things seen in sleep, he took with him, they said, those of the Egyptians who were willing to follow him, and encamped in Pelusion, for by this way the invasion came: and not one of the warrior class followed him, but shop-keepers and artisans and men of the market. Then after they came, there swarmed by night upon their enemies mice of the fields, and ate up their quivers and their bows, and moreover the handles of their shields, so that on the next day they fled, and being without defence of arms great numbers fell. And at the present time this king stands in the temple of Hephaistos in stone, holding upon his hand a mouse, and by letters inscribed he says these words: “Let him who looks upon me learn to fear the gods.”

Quoted from The Histories of Herodotus, Book II; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sethos

38   Sennacherib got what was coming to him.

“The account of the destruction of the Assyrian army (predicted by Isaiah in 30:27-33; 31:8-9; 33:1, 18-19) is almost anticlimactic, occupying only three verses.  The overnight slaughter did not come from the hand of an enemy but by the Angel of the LORD, who killed 185,000 soldiers.  This angel may have been the pre-incarnate Christ…though not all scholars agree on this.  Sennacherib was assassinated 20 years later (681 BC) by two of his sons.”  (Walvoord)

 

Chapter 38

1   This incident took place before Chapters 36 and 37.  (See verse 6.)

Isaiah told Hezekiah that God had said that he would die.

2-3   I think this is another astounding example of Hezekiah’s faith in God.  Most people would probably have just accepted Isaiah’s message – but Hezekiah passionately took it to the Lord.

It is healthy for us to receive from others.  If we ever reach a point where we can’t, then we’re in trouble (and so is everybody else around us).  But it is also healthy and proper for us to take everything to the Lord, for He is no respecter of persons.  Acts 17:10-11

4-5   Prayer changes things.  Amos 7:1-6

Here’s an interesting comment from The Word for Today Bible, page 907, which included comments by Pastor Chuck Smith pertaining to this passage:

 “Hezekiah was told to get his house in order because he was going to die.  But he didn’t want to die, so he prayed and God answered his prayer and gave him another fifteen years.

I don’t profess to understand everything about God, but this story certainly seems to confuse the issue of the sovereignty of God a little bit.  There are some people who stress the sovereignty of God so much that it really doesn’t matter what people do.  Man’s actions are totally unnecessary.  But this event shows that man’s actions and man’s prayers in particular actually do something.

God was going to have Hezekiah die; but in response to Hezekiah’s prayer, He gave him another fifteen years.  I don’t understand how it all works, and I can’t really explain it, but prayer works.  It does change things.”

I heard Pastor Greg Laurie say once that we should keep praying until we hear God say ‘Yes’, ‘No’, or ‘Wait’.  Also, I’d say that until you hear from God, keep praying until the Lord takes the issue off of your heart.  He may sometimes do that without giving us a definite answer.  But He will put in back in there again when He is ready.  Psalm 37:4

6-8   Time went backwards (perhaps about 40 minutes).  2 Kings 20:8-11

14   “My eyes fail from looking upward.”  When trouble comes, we should always look up.  Philippians 4:6-7

17   “Indeed it was for my own peace that I had great bitterness…”  So often going through situations that we dread lead us to an awesome end.  Romans 8:28

19   In the Old Testament, the authors often had less ‘information’ than we do today, because less had been revealed to them.  I wonder what Hezekiah was thinking when he wrote this song…but he was certainly correct when he said that “…the living…shall praise You…”

Revelation 7:9-12

21  It’s OK to go to the doctor or use medications.  God often uses them both to heal the sick.

 

Chapter 39

1-7   We really need to be careful with what we share with others, especially non-believers.  We could be giving them ammunition to use against us.  Matthew 7:6

Babylon would come back in a little over 100 years to empty the Temple of its treasures, take the people captive, and destroy Jerusalem.

Note – Merodach Baladan has been confirmed archeologically.  His name appears in an ancient Babylonian text named ‘The Chronicle of the Market Prices’.  He is also found inscribed on ‘Sennacherib’s Prism’.  Archeology definitely supports the Bible.

8   Based on all the problems that Hezekiah faced, it comforted him that at least Judah would survive in his days.  If a prophet told me that America would survive through my life time, that would bring me some peace.

 

Chapter 40

1   Jewish rabbis have called Isaiah 40-66 ‘the Book of Consolation’.

“Look at others, and be distressed.  Look at yourself, and be depressed.  Look to God, and you’ll be blessed!” (Wiersbe).

2   Sin obviously doesn’t pay.

3-5   In 700 BC, Isaiah was writing about John the Baptist.  Luke 3:1-6

“Raising the valleys and lowering the mountains refer in hyperbole to workmen leveling or smoothing out the road on which a dignitary would travel when he came to visit an area.  Today an equivalent is, ‘roll out the red carpet.’”  (Walvoord)

Note – those who see a similarity between Isaiah’s first 39 Books pointing toward the Old Testament, and his last 27 Books toward the New, note that he begins this section with a glimpse of John the Baptist (like the Gospels); and ends Chapter 66 looking towards the New Heavens and Earth (like Revelation).

6-8   Life is short for us on earth.  All that is really certain is God’s Word and His faithfulness.

Matthew 24:35  “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will by no means pass away.”

9   Though Israel has rejected her Messiah, this will not always be so.

10-11   Although God is infinitely powerful, He is also incredibly gentle.  What a great model for men of all generations to follow!

12   God’s might is beyond our comprehension.

A “span” is the distance between one’s thumb and little finger.

No human yet knows how big the universe is; one website said that it is at least 150 billion light years in diameter.  (http://www.universetoday.com/37409/how-big-is-the-universe/)

13-17   And yet, the number of hairs on our head are known by Him (Matthew 10:29-31); He saw it fit to die for us.

18-20   Men foolishly make their own gods.  It’s ‘great’ in that these false gods never convict one of sin.  But it’s not so ‘great’ when a person needs divine help, and only has a block of wood to help him.

22   “He who sits above the circle of the earth…”  (The word “Circle”, Strong’s Concordance number 2328, means a circle or sphere; from Gesenius’ Lexicon, Blue Letter Bible.)  Isaiah mentions a fact that no scientist of that day knew.

There are many examples in the Bible of such accurate scientific statements.  Job 9:8, 22:14, 26:7-8, 28:5,25, 36:27-28,30, 38:24,30,35; Psalm 8:8, 19:2-4, 97:4,6, 104:2, 135:7, Ecclesiastes 1:6-7, Amos 9:6; Jonah 2:6

God “stretches out the heavens” – here’s another scientific fact that Isaiah couldn’t have known – our universe is expanding.

23   “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?  Mark 8:36

26   God is the Creator of all things.  Romans 1:18-32

With all due respect, who except a fool could look at our world and believe that it just all happened by chance??

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

 The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…

“Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name…”  God knows the number of stars and planets; He has a name for each one of them.  Man’s best estimates of the number of stars keeps getting bigger as our technology to see them increases – today they estimate 300 sextillion (or 3 times 10 to the 23rd power) stars exist in the universe.

27-31   So, why do we worry??  These verses kind of take us back to this chapter’s first verse.

Sometimes it’s God’s perfect plan that we stand still for a time, while others are busy all around us.  (Joshua 4:1-18)  Our job is to be obedient to Joshua (Jesus) so that He is glorified; His job is to produce the spiritual fruit where and when and through whom He desires.  The fruit that He produces may be obvious to all (like the 12 stones stacked on the land, Josh 4:8); or it may be submerged in a place that men cannot see (like the 12 stones piled in the Jordan River, Josh 4:9).  Like the priests that held the ark of the covenant in the midst of the Jordan, which God kept dry from the moment they entered until the moment they left, we may be asked by God to be the first ones in and the last ones out.  If the Lord gets us super-busy for Him, we should rejoice.

 

Chapter 41

2   “…one from the east…” is probably a prophecy of Cyrus the Persian, who would be born about 100 years later (~ 600BC), and free Israel from their Babylonian captivity in 539 BC.  Later, in Chapters 44:28 and 45:1, Isaiah will mention him by name.

4   God reminds us that He raised up Cyrus, that He knows all things, and that He is timeless.

Jesus is called ‘the First and the Last’ in Revelation 22:13.  This verse suggests that Jesus is the LORD; Jesus is God.

5-7   The common threat would cause other nations to come together to try to stand against Cyrus.  It also sounds that as Cyrus approached, the nations were building more idols in a hopeless, futile attempt to protect themselves.

8   Israel is God’s chosen people.  Abraham, their ‘father’, was God’s friend.  It will be good for our children and grandchildren if we are God’s friends.  Psalm 37:25-26

9   After being defeated by Rome in 70 AD, the Jews maintained their heritage despite being scattered throughout the world.  Many began to return to Israel in the late 1800’s; they were recognized by the world as a sovereign nation in 1948.  No other people have ever survived as a nation without a homeland for so many centuries.  Where are the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, etc. today?  They have mixed with other peoples, and lost their national identities – but God did not let this occur with Israel.

10   Those who are born again are also God’s; we do not need to be afraid because He is with us always.

“If you look at God through your circumstances, He will seem small and very far away; but if you look at your circumstances through God, He will draw very near and reveal His greatness to you.”  (Wiersbe)

13   The words “Fear not” occur 7 times between Chapters 41:1 and 44:8.

14   “Worm” – the following is posted at the Blue Letter Bible.org pertaining to this word…

“When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother died, the crimson fluid stained her body and the surrounding wood. From the dead bodies of such female scarlet worms, the commercial scarlet dyes of antiquity were extracted. What a picture this gives of Christ, dying on the tree, shedding his precious blood that he might ‘bring many sons unto glory’ (Hbr 2:10)! He died for us, that we might live through him! Psa 22:6 describes such a worm and gives us this picture of Christ. (cf. Isa 1:18)” (Henry Morris. Biblical Basis for Modern Science, Baker Book House, 1985, p. 73)

15-16   There are few creatures more helpless than a worm.  Yet God would give them fierce ‘teeth’.  Once again we are reminded that God will make Israel the most powerful nation in the world during the Millennial Kingdom.

17-20   The desert will blossom – the climate will change in the Millennium.  Israel and other nations will be blessed, and all will understand that God accomplished these great things, not men.

Psalm 107:35-38 parallels these verses, and is very special to me, because it is the passage that God gave me for the church in Buffalo many years ago.  Occasionally God will give you a verse specifically for your ministry; hang on to it, and watch to see what God will do.

21-24   The false gods cannot accurately prophesy – only God can do that and always be correct.

25   Another reference to Cyrus.  While he was from Persia (east of Israel), the major road used for military campaigns went around the An-Nafud desert, and approached Israel from the north.

26   God declares His greatness again, because only He knows all things, past, present, and future.

27   ‘One who brings good tidings’ may be a glimpse of the human birth of Jesus.  Luke 2:14

28-29   Godless men have no answers; their idols are worthless.

 

Chapter 42

1-7   “My Servant…” speaks of Jesus.

v1-4  Matthew 12:14-21

8   God will not share His glory with anyone.  So – we need to be careful.  Billy Graham once said, ‘we are never more like Satan than when we touch the glory’.  Once we learn this, we can be used effectively by Him.

9   Nobody but God can correctly prophesy everything, without error.

10-12   “Kedar” was Ishmael’s 2nd son.  (Genesis 25:13)

An interesting question pertaining to end times prophecy is what will happen to militant Islam?  The Antichrist will hunt them down for the same reason he will not allow true Christians to live – they would challenge and resist his power.  Is militant Islam destroyed in the Ezekiel 38 & 39 battle?  I don’t know – but Isaiah shows that descendants of Ishmael (from his sons Kedar and Nebaioth) will live at peace with Israel during the Millennial Time.  Isaiah 60:7

Also interesting – the first mention in the Bible of ‘the Angel of the Lord’ (whom many, including myself, believe to be a form of Jesus in the Old Testament) occurs when He appears to Hagar, Ishmael’s mother, to comfort her. (Genesis 16:7-8)

Also interesting – the Arabs are mentioned among those present on the Day of Pentecost.  (Acts 2:11)  I think it can be safely said that Jesus loves the Muslims, and desires that they would be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4).  And Isaiah 60:7 shows that some will receive Jesus and worship Him in the Millennial Time.

13   Jesus will return to earth as a mighty warrior.

“He shall cry out…”  Luke 23:46, John 19:30

14   The amount of God’s restraint and patience is unbelievably great.

2 Peter 3:3-10

19   This “servant” here is Israel.  The New Living Translation translates this verse: “Who is as blind as my own people, my servant?  Who is as deaf as my messenger?  Who is as blind as my chosen people, the servant of the LORD?”

22   Israel’s disobedience brought them to a sad place, so much more barren than if they had obeyed God.  All who deny God reach such a place, regardless of how much worldly wealth they are able to acquire.

This verse reminds one of the tragic existence of Jews hiding from the Nazis throughout Europe during World War 2.

23-25   Unfortunately, Israel’s disobedience forced God to judge them severely.

 

Chapter 43

1   We are either God’s, or Satan’s.  Romans 6:16

2   Through the waters – Moses;

Through the rivers – Joshua;

Through the fire – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

3-7   God is, and always will be, faithful to Israel.  The re-creation of the nation of Israel is evidence of this.

8-9   Once again, God declares His might, because He is the only One Who knows all things, and thus can predict the future flawlessly.

10-11   “…besides Me there is no savior.”  Jesus is called ‘Savior’ in the New Testament at least 15 times.  If Jesus is the Savior, and there is no savior except for God Himself, then Jesus must be God.  Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1; Romans 9:5

14   Isaiah is talking about the defeat of the Babylonians over 150 years before it would happen.

“Chaldeans” is another name for the Babylonians.

22   It’s would be astounding to imagine that Israel could become weary of Almighty God – except for the tragic fact that we have all been there at one time or another.  Thank God for His gracious longsuffering towards us!

25   God, Who owes us nothing, died for our sins (Matthew 26:27-28), and will choose not to remember our sins throughout eternity.

26-28   But, because of Israel’s sins, before she is exalted she must be reprimanded.

 

Chapter 44

2   “Jeshurun”  means ‘upright one’.

6   “The LORD” could refer to God the Father, and “the Redeemer” (our redeemer) God the Son; or, “the LORD, the King of Israel” could refer to the Son, and “His Redeemer” could refer to God His Father.  (Hebrews 1:5-10)

“Redeemer” – the Hebrew word is #1350 (ga’al), which means ‘kinsman / redeemer’.  In the Old Testament law a close relative could ‘redeem’ or regain possession of something by paying a specified sum.  It is a picture of how Jesus would redeem mankind by His death and resurrection.  Boaz was a kinsman/redeemer (see Ruth Chapter 4).

Jesus calls Himself “…the First and the Last” in Revelation 22:13.  This seems to be another statement that Jesus is God.

8   The reference of a ‘Rock’ points to Jesus as well as God.

9-12   How can a weak, finite man create a powerful, infinite God?  It’s both illogical and impossible.

13-17   So ludicrous – a man would take a piece of wood, make a god out of part of it to worship, and throw the rest in the fire to warm himself.

20   People can become so hardened in their sin that they no longer know the difference between truth and lies.

“A deceived heart has turned him aside” – that is not God’s fault, for He “…desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  (1 Timothy 2:4)

22   Another reference to Jesus.  1 Peter 1:18-19

24   “I am the LORD, who makes all things…”

The ‘LORD’ is God (or ‘Jehovah’).

Jesus made all things.  (John 1:1-3)

Thus, Jesus is the LORD, God, Jehovah.

27   “I will dry up your rivers”.  When the Persians entered Babylon, they did so without a fight.   They simply diverted the river, and then entered Babylon under its gate.  Babylon’s leaders were in a clueless, drunken stupor as their city was being overthrown (Daniel 5).

28   Cyrus, the Persian who with the Medes would overthrow Babylon and attain world supremacy, is named by God over 100 years before he is even born.

“According to Josephus, on Cyrus’ ceremonial entrance to the city [Babylon], Daniel (who lived at least until the third year of Cyrus) presented him with the writings of Isaiah that included a letter addressed to Cyrus by name, written 150 years earlier.”   (From Prophecy 20/20, by Chuck Missler, page 42)

“Cyrus would allow the exiles to go back and rebuild their capital city Jerusalem (cf. 45:13) and the temple.  In 586 BC Nebuchadnezzar and his forces broke through Jerusalem’s walls, burned the houses and the temple, and carried many captives into exile.  Cyrus, founder of the Persian Empire, first came to the throne of Anshan in Eastern Elam in 559.  In 549 he conquered the Medes and became the ruler of the combined Persian and Median Empire.  In 539 he conquered Babylon (Dan 5:30) and the very next year issued a decree that the Jews could return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple (2 Chron. 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4).  In doing this Cyrus was serving God’s purposes as if he were God’s shepherd.  Those returnees built the temple, completing it in 515 BC, and years later (in 444 BC) Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls…”  (Walvoord)

 

Chapter 45

1   Cyrus’ great power was due to God.  He had ‘held’ (directed) his right hand (the hand of strength), and Cyrus didn’t even know it.

Amazingly, God called Cyrus ‘His anointed’, which is the Hebrew word for ‘Messiah’.  Thus Cyrus was in a sense a type of Messiah, in that he freed the world from Babylon, just as Jesus will return to the Battle of Armageddon and free the world from the Antichrist and his world system (referred to as ‘Babylon’ in Revelation 18).

2   “I will go before you and make the crooked places straight…”  This is an amazing statement of humility by God, because servants would go out to repair roads that their kings planned to travel on.  And, here is God talking about doing this for Cyrus.  (John 13:3-5)

3   “…that you may know that I…am…God…” is a common theme throughout the Bible.  God wants all people to know Him and to be saved.  Unfortunately, there is no evidence that Cyrus ever became saved.

4   God even named Cyrus.  He planted that name in his mother and father’s minds.

5   There is no Lord besides God.

‘LORD’ – ‘Jehovah’ (Strong’s 3068) – the self-existing One.

‘God’ – ‘Elohiym’ (Strong’s 430) – plural, implying the Trinity.

The term ‘Lord Jesus’ occurs 116 times in the New Testament.

6   God wants the whole world to know that He is Lord.

One of the Calvary Chapel pastors – I think it’s Bob Coy – signs his letters; ‘Until the whole world knows’.

9-10   ‘Woe’ (or, how tragic) for those who strive with or deny their Creator.

A ‘potsherd’ was a broken, discarded piece of pottery.

13   Cyrus would indeed free the Jews from Babylon.  (The sad thing is that many of them adapted to the ways of Babylon, and became so comfortable that chose to stay there rather than return to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple.  They are unfortunately kind of a picture of a ‘worldly, double-minded’ Christian, with one foot in the world and the other in the church.)

“Not for price nor reward…”  Cyrus was noble in his motives.  He saw himself as a ‘liberator’, and actually freed many different nations, not just the Jews.

The Cyrus Cylinder was discovered in the ruins of Babylon (in Iraq) in 1879, and is in the British Museum.  Here is the translated text from that baked clay cylinder, which gives us some ‘light’ into the mind of Cyrus…

I am Cyrus, King of the globe, great king, mighty king, King of Babylon, king of the land of Sumer and Akad, King of ……, king of the four quarters of Earth, son of Cambysis (Kambujiye), great king, king of Anshan, grandson of Cyrus (Kurosh), great king, king of Anshan, descendant of Teispes (Chaish Pish), great king, king of Anshan, progeny of an unending royal line, whose rule, The Gods, Bel and Nabu cherish, whose kingship they desire for their hearts’ and pleasures.

When I well disposed, entered Babylon, I had established the seat of government in the royal palace of the ruler, amidst jubilation and rejoicing. Marduk the great god, induced the magnanimous inhabitants of Babylon to love me, and I sought daily to worship him when my numerous soldiers in great numbers peacefully entered Babylon and moved about undisturbed in the midst of the Babylon, I did not allow anyone to terrorize the people of the lands of Sumer and Akad and …… I kept in view, the needs of the people and all their sanctuaries to promote their well being. I strove for peace in Babylon and in all his other sacred cities. As to the inhabitants of Babylon who against the will of the gods were enslaved, I abolished the corvee which was against their social standing, I freed all slaves. I brought relief to their dilapidated housing, putting thus an end to their misfortunes and slavery Marduk, the great lord, was well pleased with my deeds, rejoiced and to me, Cyrus, the king who worshipped him, and to Cambysis, my son, the offspring of my loins, and to all my troops he graciously gave his blessing, and in good sprit, before him we stood peacefully and praised him joyously.

All the kings who sat in throne rooms, throughout the four quarters, from the Upper Sea (Mediterranean Sea) to the Lower Sea (Persian Gulf), those who dwelt in …… and all those who live in other types of buildings as well as all the kings of the West Land, who dwelt in tents, brought me their heavy tribute and kissed my feet in The Babylon. As to the region, from …… to the cities of Ashur, Susa (Shoosh), Agade and Eshnuna, the cities of Zamban, Me-Turnu, Der as far as the region of the land of Gutium, the holy cities beyond the Tigris River, whose sanctuaries had been in ruins over a long period, the gods whose abode is in the midst of them, I returned to their places and housed them in lasting abodes.

I also gathered all their former inhabitants and returned to them their habitations. Furthermore, I resettled upon the command of Marduk, the great lord, all the gods of Sumer and Akad whom Nabonid had brought into Babylon to the anger of the lord of the gods, unharmed, in their former chapels, the places which makes them happy.

May all the gods whom I have placed within their sanctuaries and resettled in their sacred cities, address a daily prayer in my favor before Bel and Nabu, that my days may be long, and may they recommend me to him, to Marduk my lord, they may say: “May Cyrus the King, who worships thee, and Cambysis his son …… all gods I settled in a peaceful place, I sacrificed ducks and doves, I endeavored to repair their dwelling places …… ”

17   Another reoccurring theme – Israel will be raised up by God in the Millennial Time.

21   As in Chapter 43:11, God declares that He is the Savior, which implies that He is Jesus and therefore that Jesus is God.

Titus 2:13  “…our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”

2 Peter 1:1  “…our God and Savior Jesus Christ”

John 20:28  “And Thomas answered and said to Him [Jesus], ‘My Lord and my God!’”

22   “It was this verse that brought the light of salvation to the great English pastor Charles Haddon Spurgeon when he was a youth seeking the Lord.”  (Wiersbe)

23   Someday every knee will bow down before God, and every ‘tongue’ will acknowledge Him.  Philippians 2:9-11 associates this event with Jesus, yet another indicator that He is God.

24   Jesus is our righteousness.  Romans 3:20-26

25   “…all the descendants of Israel” includes all Jews, and all Gentiles, who will be saved by receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Romans 4:16-17

All people can be saved – Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc.  But, once they’re saved, they’re now former Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc.

 

Chapter 46

1   Bel and Nebo were gods of Babylon.  “Bel was the Babylonian sun god, and Nebo was his son, the god of writing and learning.”  (Wiersbe)

3-4   God has always been faithful to His children, both the Jews, and us.  He will never let us down, even in our old age.  Isaiah 49:15-16

5-7   Even gods of and silver and gold cannot save a person.  (Acts 3:1-8)  Neither can bank accounts, pensions, or government assistance.

8-10   Once again, God declares his greatness and uniqueness, in being the only One in the entire universe with the ability to always predict all events without error.

11   The ‘bird of prey from the east’ was probably a reference to Cyrus.

 

Chapter 47

“Isaiah described Babylon’s fall to the Persians in 539 BC, more than 150 years before the event took place.  The Babylonians, Judah’s captors, would become captives.”  (Walvoord)

3   God did ‘arbitrate’ with Abraham in Genesis 18:17-33.  God is very gracious towards those who love Him; but those who hate or disregard Him will face His wrath.

4   Jesus is the Redeemer; another indicator that Jesus is God.

“Redeemer…Lord of hosts…Holy One of Israel” implies the Trinity.

8   As well as to the Babylonians, this warning could apply to America today.

9-15   There are some very interesting parallels between this section and the future, commercial Babylon that will be destroyed in the Tribulation Period (Revelation 18).  I think this prophecy has a ‘dual fulfillment’, one which occurred in 539BC when the Medes and Persians overthrew Babylon, and the future one in Revelation 18.

“In a moment, in one day” (verse 9) shows the suddenness of Babylon’s defeat that occurred when the Persians redirected the Euphrates, marched under the undefended water gate, and took the city without a fight as the Babylonian royalty engaged in a drunken party (Daniel 5).  Revelation 18:8,10,17,&19 also show the suddenness of the future Babylon’s defeat.  Many people see what happened to the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001 as a ‘type’ or picture of what will occur in Revelation 18.

V10  Everybody trusts in something or someone – either it’s God or

it’s not.

‘Godless’ wisdom can warp a person.

 

Chapter 48

1   A message to spiritual ‘fakers’…

2-5   Once again, God declares His greatness by stating His unique ability to predict the future flawlessly, and to bring all things to pass just as He predicts.  No lifeless ‘idol’ can do this.

8   Jacob’s name means ‘heal catcher’ or ‘supplanter’ (which is someone who takes the place of another dishonestly).  Genesis 25:26

9-11   God obviously wants us to glorify His Name.

12   Jesus is referred to as ‘the First and the Last’ in Revelation 1:11,17; 2:8; and 22:13.

13   Jesus is the Creator.  John 1:1-3

14-15   A reference to Cyrus.

16   “Come near to Me” is a common theme throughout the Bible; God wants us close to Him.  Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 11:28, 23:37; Hebrews 4:16

“And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit have sent Me” points to the Holy Trinity.

17   The LORD, our Redeemer, is Jesus.

18-19   Things could have been so much better for Israel had they obeyed their God.

“His name would not have been cut off…” may speak of Jesus going to the cross.

The fewer ‘would have beens’ (missed blessings) in our life, the better.

20   A prediction of Israel’s coming freedom from Babylon.

21   A reminder to the people of God’s faithfulness to Moses and their forefathers throughout their desert wanderings.

 

Chapter 49

“The previous nine-chapter section (chaps. 40-48) dealt mainly with Cyrus and his mission in the Jews’ restoration.  These nine chapters (49-57) deal primarily with the Servant-Messiah fulfilling His ministry of restoring the covenant people in the land just before the Millennium will begin.”  (Walvoord)

1-2   This speaks of Jesus.  Revelation 1:16 and 19:15 shows His mouth as a sword; Ephesians 6:17 mentions “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God”.

3   This speaks of Israel, which despite her disobedience has been God’s servant by recording and proclaiming His Scriptures to the world.  Israel will again serve God during the Millennial Time.

Because God is timeless, His prophecy does not always flow in the way that our human minds think.  He can switch time periods and thoughts within the same passage.  That is why having a basic understanding of the major themes and events of the Bible is so essential in interpreting prophecy.  Once you have these down, you can usually fit the prophecies into these ‘boxes’, which then clarify the interpretation.

The surest interpretations occur (of course) when New Testament writers quote Old Testament Scriptures and then explain them.  Then you have the Holy Spirit defining His own Words.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

4   This could be a personal statement from Isaiah; or it could represent the people of Israel before they reach the time of blessings in the Millennial Kingdom.  Sometimes serving God can become wearying if we’re not careful, which is why we must always keep our eyes on the Lord rather than on man.  God is our hope and fulfillment.

People can be very hardened.  John 3:16-21 says that many men love (‘agape’) their sin more than they love God.  It is interesting and sad that Jesus cleansed the Temple treasury twice, at the beginning of His ministry (John 2:14-16), and at the end of His ministry (Matthew 21:12-13).  Money is one of those things that men can ‘agape’.  Alfred Edersheim, in his book ‘The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah’, says that Annas, the former high priest (who still wielded great power) controlled the treasury in the Temple.  So, he, his son-in-law Caiaphas (the current high priest), and his family were getting rich by ripping off the worshippers.  Three years of Jesus’ ministry, which they were well aware of, had no effect on these so-called ‘men of God’.  For them it was ‘business as usual’, despite the displeasure of the Messiah.

5   Now Jesus becomes the focus of these verses once again.  That the LORD ‘formed Him from the womb’ refers to His human birth to a virgin.  Actually, the fact that Matthew says that Mary was “found of child by the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18) could be used to imply that the Holy Spirit is God.

8   Jesus’ “…covenant to the people…” is something that Christians understand today, but the Jews (and other faiths) have not yet grasped.  Jeremiah 31:31-34, Luke 22:14-20

10   Israel will be blessed in the Millennial Time.

12   The location of “Sinim” may be what is today Aswan in southern Egypt (NIV Atlas), or it may be southern China (Blue Letter Bible).

14   With all of the judgment that Israel has faced over the years (due to her spiritual disobedience), many of her people must certainly feel forsaken by God.  Imagine how the Holocaust survivors who don’t know Jesus must feel.

15   Yet, God does love Israel intensely.

16   This suggests the Lord’s crucifixion.

17-18   The Lord promises that someday Israel will be victorious over her many enemies.

19-21   Israel will one day be so blessed that they will need more land to contain all of their children and possessions.

22-23   Israel will be the pre-eminent nation during the Millennial Time.

26   The entire world will see God’s hand of blessing upon Israel.

 

Chapter 50

1   Israel’s sin caused God to temporarily ‘put them away’.

“…you have sold yourselves” – it is never God’s desire to judge; men bring judgment upon themselves.  God wants His children to be a clear example to the unbelieving world of Who He is.  Only God is wise enough to know when judgment of sin brings more clarity to the unbelievers about Himself than graciously putting up with unpunished nonsense does.

6   A prophetic word about one of the horrible things that the Roman soldiers would do to Jesus before crucifying Him.

7   Despite the agony He knew He would face on the cross, Jesus was determined to move ahead to it.

8   “Who is My adversary?  Let him come near Me.”  This could be an astounding picture of God’s grace toward sinners who repent and turn to Him.

9   Jesus knew that ultimately the Father would not let Him down.

10   When times are dark – trust in the Lord.

11   This may have been a pagan practice that God was condemning.

 

Chapter 51

1-2   God wants us to be faithful like Abraham and Sarah were.

3-5   The Millennial Time.

6   Eternity – a new heavens and a new earth (2 Peter 3:9-13).

7-8   “Do not fear the reproach of men.”  This is another common theme of the Bible.  If we fear men more than God, then we will not have a very successful Christian life or ministry.

9   “Rahab” was the name of a mythical sea monster, and is used sometimes in Scripture to represent Egypt.

12-13   If we begin to fear men, it’s good to remember God’s greatness.  When we focus on Him, our fear of men dissolves.

17-20   God’s fierce judgment of the sin of His people.

21-23   The suffering and judgment due to Israel’s rejection of God will come to an end.

 

Chapter 52

1-10   The Millennial Kingdom.

11-12   God was calling Israel out of the filth of the world, back to her own country, to live lives dedicated to Him.

All believers can take truth from this call.  God will use a donkey as He did with Balaam if necessary, but He wants to use vessels that are pure.  May God help us to grow in personal holiness every day, so that we can be entrusted by Him to perform great works for His glory.  Matthew 5:13-16, 2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1

In 1867, Dwight L. Moody came to a decision point which transformed his life forever…

 “…It was during this first visit to Britain that Moody heard the words which set him hungering and thirsting after a deeper Christian experience and which marked a new era in his life. The words were spoken to him by Mr. Henry Varley, the well-known evangelist, as they sat together on a seat in a public park in Dublin. The words were these:

‘The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully consecrated to Him.’

 ‘He said ‘a man’’ thought Moody, ‘he did not say, a great man, nor a learned man, nor a ‘smart’ man, but simply ‘a man’.  I am a man, and it lies with the man himself whether he will or will not make that entire and full consecration.  I will try my utmost to be that man’…It is estimated that no less than a hundred million people heard the gospel from his lips, and his schools are training many others to carry the Glad Tidings throughout the world.”

http://www.wholesomewords.org/biography/biomoody4.html

13   “…He shall be…extolled…”  ‘Extolled’ means to be lifted up – this could be a reference to Jesus’ cross, as well as Him being ‘lifted up’ or exalted as our eternal King.

14   Before Jesus was crucified, He was beaten recognition, more so than any other human who ever lived on earth.

Here is a quote from one of Moody’s sermons, concerning grace…

 “I can imagine that when Christ said to the little band around Him, ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel,’ Peter said, ‘Lord, do you really mean that we are to go back to Jerusalem and preach the Gospel to those men that murdered You?  ‘Yes,’ said Christ, ‘go hunt up that man that spat in My face; tell him that he may have a seat in My Kingdom yet.  Yes, Peter, go find that man that made that cruel crown of thorns and placed it on My brow, and tell him I will have a crown ready for him when he comes into My Kingdom, and there will be no thorns in it.  Hunt up that man that took a reed and brought it down over the cruel thorns, driving them into My brow, and tell him I will put a scepter in his hand, and he shall rule over the nations of the earth, if he will accept salvation.  Search for the man that drove the spear into My side, and tell him there is a nearer way to My heart than that.  Tell him I forgive him freely, and that he can be saved if he will accept salvation as a gift.’”

From ‘The Life of Dwight L. Moody, by William R. Moody, 1900, pages 437-438

15   Sprinkling is associated with cleansing by the priest under the Mosaic Law.  Leviticus 17:11, Hebrews 9:22

 

Chapter 53

This is one of the most remarkable chapters in the Bible for a few reasons…

(1)   It speaks clearly about Jesus’ death for our sins, 700 years before He went to the cross.

(2)  There is a complete scroll of Isaiah that was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Because the scrolls were written long before Jesus went to the cross, nobody can say that someone wrote Isaiah 53 after the fact.

(3)  A comparison of the Dead Sea Isaiah scroll with our Bible’s text shows incredible accuracy (as do all the Dead Sea Biblical fragments when compared with our Bible).  This gives us assurance that the Lord did in fact preserve the integrity of His Bible, despite doing so through fallible human beings.

The Great Isaiah scroll was found in the Dead Sea Caves in 1947 and is known as the Great Isaiah Scroll. It is dated at about 100 BCE and is the oldest copy of Isaiah known to exist. Previously, the Codex Leningrad, dated at 1000 AD, was the oldest known copy of the Hebrew Bible (including the book of Isaiah) in existence. The Great Isaiah scroll is 1100 years older than the Codex Leningrad and provides us with the opportunity to compare the Biblical text over the centuries.

 The Masoretic text was compiled by the Masorites around 700 AD. This was an attempt at standardizing the text and pronunciation by comparing all of the then known copies of the Hebrew Bible to form one complete text that represented the original writings. The vowel pointings were also added to the text to standardize the pronunciation of the words. The Codex Leningrad is one of the surviving Masoretic texts.

The following is a quote from “A General Introduction to the Bible” concerning this Isaiah Scroll.

“Of the 166 words in Isaiah 53, there are only 17 letters in question. Ten of these letters are simply a matter of spelling, which does not affect the sense. Four more letters are minor stylistic changes, such as conjunctions. The three remaining letters comprise the word LIGHT, which is added in verse 11 and which does not affect the meaning greatly. Furthermore, this word is supported by the Septuagint (LXX). Thus, in one chapter of 166 words, there is only one word (three letters) in question after a thousand years of transmission – and this word does not significantly change the meaning of the passage.”  (Norman Geisler & William Nix, “A General Introduction to the Bible”, Moody Press, Page 263).

http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/31_masorite.html

This chapter also points out a struggle that the Old Testament believers had.  Was their Messiah to be a Mighty King, or a Suffering Servant?  Old Testament prophecies point to both.  In Acts 1:6 the apostles asked Jesus “…Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  Today we wonder – ‘Jesus, when are you going to rapture your church?’  Hindsight is always 20/20, so now we understand that Jesus the Messiah came the first time as a ‘Suffering Servant’, and that He will return a second time as a ‘Mighty King’.  While we know that every Word of God is true, we can’t know everything about the future.  And so, just as these people struggled to understand the future Messiah, we ponder the coming Rapture, Antichrist, Tribulation, Battle of Armageddon, Millennial Time, etc.  God knows exactly what He is going to do, and someday we will also know fully.

1   It’s kind of like saying – ‘Wow – wait ‘til you hear this!!!’

2   Jesus was apparently not very ‘charismatic’ in appearance, which I’m actually thankful for.  That way, His true inner person and His message would get the attention, and people would be drawn to that.  Our ‘flesh’ is so shallow, but the Spirit so deep.  God doesn’t want to use only ‘beautiful people’, but all people.

This probably also refers to His beaten, physical state before He was nailed to the cross.  Isaiah 52:14

3   Most men truly ‘threw Jesus under the bus’.  He died alone for those who forsook Him, knowing that some would return and receive His salvation.

Most of His disciples were afraid, and ran away in Jesus’ darkest hour.  Fear is a powerful motivator – but love is even more powerful.  Later, His true followers would return to Him, and after being empowered by the Holy Spirit, many would in turn face martyrs deaths, for the sake of others.

 

How the Apostles died

http://www.turnbacktogod.com/how-the-apostles-died/

Matthew : Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound

Mark : Died in Alexandria, Egypt, after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead

Luke : Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost

John : Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos. The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.

Peter : He was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died.

James : [Called the] Just, the leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller’s club. This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.

James the Great : Son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

Bartholomew : Also known as Nathaniel Was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

Andrew : Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: ‘I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.’ He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.

Thomas : Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the sub-continent.

Jude : Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.

Matthias : The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.

Barnabas : One of the group of seventy disciples, wrote the Epistle of Barnabas. He preached throughout Italy and Cyprus. Barnabas was stoned to death at Salonica.

Paul : Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

 

4   Men’s backward thinking concluded that Jesus was being judged by God for blasphemy.  Matthew 27:38-44

This Scripture is also referred to in Matthew 8:16-17 as pointing to Jesus’ power to heal the sick and cast out demons.

5   “…our…our…our…we…”  Jesus did it all for us.  1 Peter 2:21-25

Jesus was sinless – He was the only perfect One that could die in order to satisfy the righteous demands of His Father, in making our sins His own.   2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, 1 Peter 18-19, 1 John 3:5

6-7   Jesus was silent.  Matthew 27:11-14

8   “…taken from prison…”   This may refer to Jesus’ activities during the 3 days between His death on the cross and His resurrection.  Matthew 12:39-40, Ephesians 4:8-10, 1 Peter 3:18-22

“…cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of my people He was stricken.”   Clear references to Jesus death for our sins.

Another interesting note – the past tense is used very often in this Chapter; yet the Messiah would not go to the cross for 700 years.  This just reminds us that God is timeless.  Genesis 17:4-5, Ephesians 2:4-6

In Acts 8:26-40, the Ethiopian eunuch was reading verses 7-8, and asked Stephen who these referred to.  “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.”

9   Jesus was crucified between 2 criminals, yet buried in a rich man’s tomb.  Matthew 27:57-60

10   “…it pleased the LORD to bruise Him…” because of the redemption of souls that it would bring.  This doesn’t mean that God enjoyed the sacrifice of His Son, but that the end result was pleasing to Him.

Another thing to ponder:  Because Jesus is God, and the Three are One, God actually put Himself on the cross.  It’s not like He said to someone else – ‘hey, go die for the sins of humanity while I watch from a distance.’  He was right there.  Incredible love and grace.

11   Jesus Himself was satisfied by the results of His sacrifice.

12   Jesus is awesome.  When we can begin to be like Him – willing to undergo personal sacrifice for the good of others – our spouse, family, church, and this world – then we’re getting some place.

 

Chapter 54

1   This looks ahead at the numerical increase of Abrahams’s descendants – both Jewish (in the Millennial Time), and those who would become part of his ‘extended’ family by being ‘born again’ into the New Testament church.  Galatians 4:27-28

“…barren…”  Rejecting God’s way for man’s way makes one ‘barren’.

“In Israel, a barren woman was disgraced, for children aided in family chores and helped the parents in their old age.  Fertility on every level was a sign of God’s blessing.”  (Walvoord)

3   Israel will receive every inch of land promised to her through God’s covenant to Abraham in Genesis 15:18, from the border of Egypt all the way to the Euphrates River (into modern day Iraq).

4   For Israel – all of the bad memories of the past will be forgotten.

For all of us – don’t live in the past.  Jesus has made us new, and has placed all of our previous shortcomings and failures under the forgiveness of His blood.  All of the shameful memories from our past are over, and will be forgotten forever.  2 Corinthians 5:17, Revelation  21:4-5

5   “For your maker is your husband…”  The church is the bride of Christ.

For husbands and future husbands – Jesus is the example of the way we are to love and treat our wives.  Ephesians 5:25-33

6-8   God’s judgment upon Israel is not forever.

9-10   An awesome promise to Israel.

Just this promise alone should make America and every other country treat Israel with respect.  How sad it is for those countries which have aligned themselves opposite of Israel!  Genesis 12:2-3

11-12   This sounds like a description of the ‘New Jerusalem’.  Revelation 21:9-27

13   The Millennial Time will be a time of peace and safety for children.

“…taught by the Lord…”   This is just me – but I think that someday Jesus will teach us all, in the same place, at the same time.  Then, there will be no more denominational divisions.  When someone asks a question, everyone will hear the answer.  If someone else needs more explanation, everyone will hear Jesus’ response.  I can’t wait for that day!

14   ‘Terrorism’ is probably Israel’s greatest problem right now.

15   During her time of judgment, Israel’s enemies were ‘ordained’ or ‘allowed’ by God.  In the time of her blessing, any armies that assemble against her will be doing so strictly by demonic inspiration.

16   “…the spoiler…” may be another name for the Antichrist.  Isaiah 16:4

17   “This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD…”   Thus, if you are a servant of the Lord, this applies to you today, as well as to future Israel.

 

Chapter 55

1   “Ho” – Strong’s #1945 – the same word sometimes translated ‘woe’; in this case it has a more ‘positive’ meaning, like ‘oh, wow, listen’.

“Everyone…come…”  God’s beautiful invitation is to all of mankind – Jew and Gentile alike – to come to Him and receive His salvation.  No one needs to be left out.

“Without money…”   Lack of personal wealth is not an issue when it comes to our walk with God.

2   The things of the world, though they may be expensive, cannot satisfy us for long.  The flesh is a cruel master, and is insatiable.

3   “Hear…”   “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  (Romans 10:17)

“The sure mercies of David” – Hundreds of years after David had died, God was still committed to him.  God will never throw His own ‘under the bus’, or forget those who are faithful to Him.

4   This could be a prophetic glimpse Jesus, the ‘Son of David’

5   Israel will be a ‘magnet’ for all of the other nations of the world during the Millennial Time.

8-9   God is infinite; we are finite.  If we wait until we understand everything before we move forward, we’ll never move forward.  Luke 10:1-24

10-11   God’s Word will not return void.  Therefore we must “Preach the Word!  Be ready in season and out of season.”  2 Timothy 2:4

We must do so in love.  Luke 10:25-37

Any time we share a Scripture, it’s not a wasted effort.

“In the Near East dry hard ground can seemingly overnight sprout with vegetation after the first rains of the rainy season.  Similarly when God speaks His Word, it brings forth spiritual life, thus accomplishing His purpose.”  (Walvoord)

12   I have heard it said that the world can know happiness, but not lasting joy, and I think it’s true.  Joy is one of the ‘fruits of the Spirit’.  (Galatians 5:22-23)

13   Israel’s land will be fruitful and beautiful in the Millennial time.

 

Chapter 56

1   This chapter continues to speak of the Millennial Time.

“Keep justice, and do righteousness” – See the note from Isaiah 33:16.

“My salvation is about to come…” is another example of God’s timelessness.  “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8)  Our human minds are wired chronologically, kind of in a straight line, where God’s timelessness is more like a circle, without beginning or end.  It’s just another sign of His greatness.

 

2   “…who keeps from defiling the Sabbath…”  This is a bone of contention for Seventh Day Adventists, who insist that true Christians should worship on Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath).  There are several reasons why they are incorrect…

(1)  Paul was pretty clear that all days are alike.  Romans 14:5-8, Colossians 2:16-23

(2)  It seems pretty clear that the early New Testament church met on Sundays (the first day of the week).  Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2

(3)  Because the Lord rose on a Sunday, the ‘first day of the week’, gathering together to worship him on that day seems logical.

(4)  Of the 10 Commandments given to Moses, Saturday worship is the only one not repeated in the New Testament for the saints.

(5)  Really, for a disciple passionate about Jesus, every day is a Sabbath, Sunday, Christmas, and Easter, all combined into one.

Human beings always tend to try to improve upon God’s ways by adding our own rules.  But everyone who is sincere can agree that Jesus is the only One Who’s always correct, not us.  May He help us to follow Him in sincerity and truth.  We need to be careful not to turn into ‘Pharisees’ (Matthew 12:9-15).  We never want to risk that Jesus’ anointing would ‘depart from us’ by insisting on adding our own twist to the Bible.

We must also be careful of pride.  Our supposed ‘insights’ can be more about trumpeting our great spiritual wisdom than glorifying Jesus.

“Keeping the Sabbath was important under the Law (Ex. 20:8-11), for a person by not engaging in agricultural or business pursuits on that day thereby acknowledged that he believed God would take care of him and bless him.”  (Walvoord)

Chick-Fil-A is an example of a great Christian company who does not operate on Sundays.  Only God knows how many billions of dollars these guys have ‘left on the table’ over the years – but what a great way to honor their God.  You can check out their website at:

http://www.chick-fil-a.com/

3-7   Somehow over the years many Jews came to think that the Gentiles were not worthy of salvation.  But God always had a heart for all people to come to Him.  John 10:16

8   The Lord began to re-gather Jews back to the land of Israel in the 1880’s.  He gave them recognition as a nation in 1948.  He will re-gather all the rest of the Jews at the beginning of the Millennial Time (Matthew 24:29-31).  In that time Israel will be a magnet which draws many nations to her Messiah.

9-11   Disparaging remarks about the reality of men’s sinfulness, living in men’s wisdom, until the Lord returns to institute His truth.  The ‘beasts’ may refer to the Gentile powers which would devastate Israel (Daniel 7); the ‘watchmen’ to us Christians who need to speak the truth (Ezekiel 3:16-21, 26-27; Ezekiel 33; Matthew 5:13-16); and the ‘shepherds’ (which is the same word translated ‘pastors’ in other passages) to the religious leaders who cared more about their own popularity and comfort and wallets than speaking the hard truth to their people (Jeremiah 23:1-2).

12   A lie of the enemy is that somehow life will get better – the country will get stronger – by NOT loving, obeying, and serving God.

 

Chapter 57

1-2   There is a mercy, grace, and beauty in departing from this earthly life into our eternal Heavenly life.  The older I get, the less I want to be here on earth.

3-10   God’s message of displeasure to those rejecting Him in order to gain the world.  He speaks like a broken-hearted groom whose bride has been unfaithful and rejected Him for others.

(Jim Elliot’s famous quote:  “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”)

11   A good question to contemplate is, ‘who do I fear more, man or God’?  The answer to that question will dictate my actions and define my character.

12-13   A man’s false gods cannot save him.

14   A picture of a road being built to facilitate God’s coming truth, similar to the calling of John the Baptist to “…Prepare the way the LORD; make His paths straight.”  (Matthew 3:3)

15   God has quite an address: ‘Eternity’.

God has quite a name: ‘Holy’.

God commends those who are contrite and humble.

1st ‘Contrite’ – Strong’s 1793: dust

2nd ‘Contrite’ – Strong’s 1792: crushed, broken (Blue Letter Bible)

We should be careful in how we perceive ourselves.  We never want to lose our humility.  No matter where our Lord brings us in this life, we will still just be dust.  2 Corinthians 4:7

16-17   ‘Covetousness’ – Strong’s 1215: profit, unjust gain, gain (profit) acquired by violence (Blue Letter Bible)

When Americans vote strictly based on how the economy is doing, without regard to God, it shows that our national god is ‘covetousness’.  When a country has that type of mentality, it is in a ‘death spiral’, because God will only tolerate such insolence for a time.

18   After judgment, God will again be merciful.

19-21   God will be gracious.  But those who choose wickedness will have no peace.

 

Chapter 58

1-5   God is not impressed or pleased with hypocritical lip-service, or those who simply ‘go through the motions’.

6-7   Fasts that please God include…

(1)  Freeing those held captive (whether physically, mentally,

spiritually, or emotionally).

(2)  Helping those less fortunate.  James 2:15-17

(3)  Blessing our own families.

8-9   God will honor such fasts, and answer the prayers of such people.

Other Scriptures for effective prayer include:  Isaiah 59:1-3, 64:5, & 66:2; Matthew 6:5-15; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; James 5:16-18; 1 Peter 3:7; 1 John 3:22 & 5:14-15

10   We are to be ‘light to the world’ (Matthew 5:14-16).  If we can reach a point where the world can see Jesus in us without us having to say a word, then we’ve gotten some place.

11   God will guide those who obey Him with right hearts continually.

I think verses 6 through the end of the chapter show us how to live so that God’s voice becomes clearer and clearer.  When we live in sin, we become less able to hear God’s small still voice; when our lifestyle is one of sincerity towards Him, His voice gets clearer.

12-14   If we will live lives that please God, we will accomplish great exploits.

Compare verse 14, “Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD”, with Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

 

Chapter 59

1-2   We need to be careful, because our iniquity (wickedness, sinfulness) can cause God to choose not to listen to our prayers.  Psalm 66:18, Proverbs 28:9

A hand-written note by D.L. Moody in his Bible pertaining to verse 1 said: “If our water supply runs short, I do not conclude that the river or lake has run dry, but that our pipes are out of order.”  (‘Notes from my Bible: from Genesis to Revelation’, by D.L. Moody, 1895)

3-9   Interestingly, although Verses 3-8 refer to ‘they/their’ (others), Verse 9 refers to ‘us’.  God is faithful, but He has never promised Christians ‘heaven on this earth’.  As other saints have found during times of government disfavor / martyrdom, the sin of others will affect us all – our entire nation.

10-15   When truth fails, it is a sad day for all men.

When men, or an entire culture, reject God’s Word, and legislate sin, and teach it to their children in government-run schools, it is a sad and wicked day.  But, God will never allow that to go on forever.  Because He is just, at some point (the right point) He brings judgment.

16   Since all men failed, God put on a man’s body as came to earth to do the job Himself; to teach us truth, and to bring us salvation.  He will come a second time as a mighty warrior to bring forth His judgment, and to usher in the Millennial Kingdom, as the next verses state.

17-21   Someday the spiritual battle that we live in today will be over, and King Jesus will reign and rule forever.

 

Chapter 60

1-7   Israel will be the pre-eminent nation during the Millennial Time.

“Kedar” and “Nebaioth” were sons of Ishmael.  (Genesis 25:13)  So, there will even be peace with Ishmael’s offspring.  Militant Islam cannot survive the Antichrist – he will not share his temporary glory with anybody, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, or any other faith.   The ‘church’ that makes it into the 7 year Tribulation will have to be very ‘politically correct’ and ‘wishy-washy’, and even then the Antichrist will tire of them and eventually destroy them in Revelation 17.  Once Jesus returns to defeat the Antichrist at the Battle of Armageddon and institutes His Millennial Reign, it will be clear and obvious to everybody Who He is.

8-12   God will not play around with those who will not be subservient to Israel in that day.

19-20   At this point it sounds like Isaiah is shifting to the ‘New Jerusalem’ which is as far into the future as the Bible takes us; the final state of things, where there is no need for the sun or the moon, because Jesus will be our light.  Revelation 21:23

21-22   God has always enjoyed making nothing into something.  This is a great opportunity for us, and for every human being.  I read this quote somewhere in Warren Wiersbe’s Bible commentaries: ‘You can’t be too small for God to use, only too big’.  If we can just serve God faithfully, leave the results to Him, not look for self-glory, and not be jealous but rejoice whenever God uses anyone, we can’t go too far wrong.  1 Corinthians 1:18-31

 

Chapter 61

1-2   The Holy Trinity is seen in this verse (…Spirit…Lord God…Me (the Messiah)).

Jesus read this passage in the Temple of His home town (Nazareth), proclaiming to be the Messiah.  The people got so upset that they tried to throw him over a cliff, but He walked through their midst and left them.  Luke 4:16-30

It’s interesting to note that when Jesus quoted this passage in Luke, He left out the last part of verse 2: “…the day of vengeance of our God…”  Jesus came the first time as a gentle carpenter; He will come the second time as a mighty warrior and King.

3-7   The joys of the coming Millennial Time.

8   Here’s a glimpse into our Lord’s personality: He loves justice, but hates when we make pretenses of holiness but don’t give Him our best (“…robbery for burnt offering…”).  Malachi 1:6-14

10   The church is ‘the bride of Christ’.  All who truly know Jesus are clothed by Him in His righteousness.  Those who don’t know Him clothe themselves in their own ‘righteousness’.  Matthew 22:1-14

 

Chapter 62

A beautiful chapter which speaks of Israel’s great status during the Millennial Time.

4   “Hephzibah” means ‘My Delight is in Her’; “Beulah” means ‘Married’.

“In the ancient Near East names often signified one’s anticipated or present character.”  (Walvoord)

7   1 Thessalonians 5:17 says that we are to “pray without ceasing”.

 

Chapter 63

 

1-6   This sounds like the path of the returning Messiah as He brings victory to the Jews who have fled the Antichrist, and are hiding in Petra (Revelation 12:13-17).  ‘Bozrah’ means ‘sheepfold’ or ‘fortress’, and could be another name for Petra, in present-day Jordan.

7-9   God really does love.  He loves Israel, and He loves us.  “In all their affliction He was afflicted.”  It’s amazing that God’s heart is so tender that He can identify with us, and ‘feel our pain’.

It’s so important for us to ‘feel the pain’ of those we minister to, so we can relate to them and help them.  Paul said: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”  (Romans 12:15)

10   A just, moral God must judge wickedness.  But a loving God is full of grace, and His love never fails.

11-14   There is no one more faithful than God.

15   This sounds like a plea from Isaiah as he prophetically sensed the suffering and sense of abandonment that Israel would feel through God’s judgment on them.  I’m sure that many Jews, scattered historically for many centuries without a homeland, persecuted by various governments, facing anti-Semitism often, even to the present day, have felt this way.

The sad thing is that until we lose something, we often don’t appreciate it.  America, which has been so gloriously blessed by God, is in the process of throwing it all away.  Somehow fallen men always think that they can do better without God’s help; tragically the Bible shows over and over what happens to nations that reject God.

16   This could be a glimpse of the Gentiles who would know Jesus.

17   Romans 11:25-26 says that Israel has been hardened temporarily, until the ‘fullness of the gentiles’ has been completed.  After the last gentile is saved, the rapture of the church will take place, followed by the future events which eventually lead to Israel’s exaltation during the Millennial Time.

18-19   The temporary judgment of God on Israel (or upon any people for that matter) is very hard to bear.  May God send America a revival, or we may well end up in the same boat.

 

Chapter 64

1-4   Don’t rush into important decisions – wait to hear from the Lord.

5   Another Scripture for effective prayer – we must rejoice, do righteous acts, and remember God in His ways.

“In these ways we continue” – in sin; all humans struggle, the good news is that we can “…be confident of this very thing, that He Who has begun a good work in [us] will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).  Our heavenly, glorified bodies will not be addicted to the sins of the flesh as our current, fallen ones are (Romans 7:14-25).  That fact doesn’t give us the OK to sin now; but it encourages us to know that in eternity things will be different.

“And we need to be saved.”  If we didn’t, then we wouldn’t need Jesus.

6-7   Without Jesus, we’re in trouble.

“And there is no one who calls on Your Name.”  Romans 3:10-18

We understand that because all men are sinners, all men need Jesus.  No person is pure enough to enter into Heaven on his own merits.  It would be like having a diving contest, to see who could dive from New York City, across the Atlantic Ocean, to London.  A guy that could dive 10 feet might feel very superior to another guy who could only dive 5 feet.  The only problem is that they both missed the target by about 3500 miles.  The ‘inferior’ guy missed it by 3,499 miles and 5,275 feet; the ‘superior’ guy missed it by 3,499 miles and 5,270 feet.  Is that something to be proud of?  That’s why it’s time to stop comparing ourselves with others, and give it all for Jesus.  He’s the only One that can save us.

8-12   Isaiah saw the temple destroyed about 140 years before it happened.

 

Chapter 65

1   The Jews rejected Jesus; the Gentiles found Him.

2-7   God was understandably upset because of Israel’s sin.

8-10   God will show grace, and some will seek Him.  “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”  (Matthew 7:8)  Whatever the reason was that led us to seek God, we should be grateful for.

11   ‘Gad’ (fortune) and ‘Meni’ (Destiny) were false gods.

12-16   The day is coming when God will differentiate clearly and plainly between the wicked and the righteous.  In our fallen world this differentiation is not always immediately visible.  It’s important for us to remember that, like the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, we are just pilgrims passing through this world (Hebrews 11:13-16).  If we cling too tightly to the things of this world, we will lose eternal crowns in next one.

I once heard Mike Kessler (a Calvary Chapel pastor) say:

  ‘For those who don’t know Jesus, this world is the best that it will ever get; for those who know Jesus, this is the worst that it will ever get.’

And also,

‘I’ve never yet seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer behind it.’

17   Revelation 21 and 22 describe the New Heavens and New Earth.

18-19   This could be talking of either the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21, or the Millennial Jerusalem.

20   This is definitely speaking of the Millennial Time, because in eternity there is no marriage, and thus no children.  Matthew 22:30

Also, there is no more death.  (Revelation 21:4)

God would never sanction sin in heaven (such as allowing unmarried people to have relations producing children).  It is interesting that Islam allows a martyr to have 1,000 virgins in heaven, but on earth the Koran allows a man no more than 4 wives at one time.  Having more would be a sin.  But, why would a sinful act on earth be OK in heaven?

21-25   These verses look forward the Millennial time.

 

Chapter 66

1   God is so big.

How could a guy like David, an adulterer / murderer / sinful man have such a special place in God’s heart?  I think a big part of it was due to David’s extraordinary love for God.  God is huge – and yet David wanted to build Him a house; something God had not up to that time ever commanded.  God ‘dwelt’ in a tent, in an ‘ark’; David wanted to build Him a palace.  A true lover looks for ways to bless the one he loves – he doesn’t have to be ordered or paid to do so.  See 2 Samuel 7, especially verse 7.

2   More keys to answered prayer – am I…

‘poor’ – not necessarily financially, but ‘poor or humble’ in spirit?

‘contrite’ – a crushed, humble spirit?

‘trembling’ at God’s Word – sincerely reverent, fully believing it,

desiring to fully obey it?

“…what He values above His inanimate Creation are people who are humble and contrite (cf. Isa. 57:15) and who follow His word.  In one way or another, this has been Isaiah’s message throughout this book.  God wants His people to follow the truth He has revealed to them.  For Israel that was primarily the Mosaic Covenant.  Pointing the people back to the Word of God, Isaiah was indicating that they needed to obey it if they were to enjoy His blessings.”  (Walvoord)

3-4   God hates hypocrisy.

5   Amazingly, people who reject God can become so self-deluded that they believe they are serving their version of ‘god’ by persecuting His true believers.  Matthew 27:38-44, John 16:2-3

6   If we stick with God, we’ll win in the end, because He will win in the end.

7   This could be a reference to Jesus’ birth.

8   “…shall a nation be born at once?”  How about May 14, 1948 – the day that Israel once again became a recognized nation?

9-11   God will bless Jerusalem.

12-14   The Millennial Time.

15-16   Jesus will come as a Mighty Warrior / King, and subdue the rebellious nations in order to establish His kingdom.

17   No more hypocrisy or idol worship will be allowed.

18-19   The Jews will become evangelists to the Gentiles.  Romans 11:12

20-23   “‘…All flesh shall come to worship before Me,’ says the LORD.”  This shall be true in the Millennial Time, when all nations go to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple which will stand there.

Also, every created being – those who have chosen eternal life, and those who have chosen eternal damnation – will someday acknowledge that Jesus IS Lord.  Philippians 2:9-11

Verse 21 sounds like some gentiles will serve as priests and Levites before God.  This sounds similar to the reality of our New Testament Church (1 Peter 2:9-10).

24   The corpses of those who fought against Jesus at Armageddon (Revelation 19), and at the final battle before eternity is ushered in (Revelation 20) will be visible to all.

Jesus quoted this from verse three times in Mark 9:43-48 when He spoke of a literal, eternal hell.  We must never soft-peddle the reality of eternal, literal hell.

This is kind of a tough verse to end on.  Perhaps part of the reason for this is the fact that Isaiah is in the Old Testament (which could be summarized by ‘law’) rather than the New Testament (which could be summarized by ‘grace’).  The last phrase of the Old Testament, in Malachi 4:6, is “…Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse’; the last phrase of the New Testament, in Revelation 22:21, is “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Amen.”  As Paul said in Galatians 2:19 & 24, the law was given to shock us to the realization that compared to our pure, sinless God, no human is good enough to go to heaven; we need to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.  His free gift of salvation through His righteousness is ours for the asking – the decision where we will spend eternity is up to us.

Interestingly (and probably sadly), a comment in ‘The Jewish Study Bible’ from the Jewish Publication Society on this verse states: “In Jewish practice, v.23 is always printed again after v.24, so that the book ends on a positive note.”

The best way to end this Book would be by believing that Jesus is the Messiah, and putting our faith totally in Him.

Categories Sermons | Tags: , , | Posted on December 16, 2012

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google del.icio.us Stumble Upon Digg Reddit

close window

Service Times & Directions

: Weekend Services :

Sunday Morning: 10:00 am
Sunday Evening: 6:30 pm

: Weekday Service :

Wednesday Evening: 7:00 pm
-------------------------------

- Prayer Meeting

Monday Evening: 7:00 pm

- Youth Group

Wednesday Evening: 7:00 pm Friday Nights (bi-monthly)

- Men's Group

Saturday Morning: 8:00 - 10:00 am

- Ladies Bible Study

Saturday Morning: 10:30 - Noon
---------------------------------------

- Prayer and Worship Night

First Friday of each Month: 6:30 pm
map
2090 Bowen Road
Elma, NY 14059
(716) 684-9065

Calvary Chapel Niagara Frontier