(Message by Tanny Keng)

0. Introduction

a) The Bible Book Introductions are divided into 4 parts (Overview, Vital Statistics, Blueprint, Mega-themes) for easy-to-understand.

1. Overview

a) The "office" of prophet was instituted during the days of Samuel, the last of the judges. Prophets stood with the priests as God's special representatives. The prophet's role was to speak for God, confronting the people with their leaders with God's commands and promises. Because of this confrontational stance and the continuing tendency of people to disobey God, true prophets usually were not popular. But though their message often wen unheeded, they faithfully and forcefully proclaimed the truth.

b) The book of Isaiah is the first of the writings of the Prophets in the Bible; and Isaiah, the author, is generally considered to be the greatest prophet. He was probably reared in an aristocratic home and was married to a prophetess. In the beginning of his ministry he was well-liked. But, like most prophets, he soon became unpopular because his messages were so difficult to hear. He called the people to turn from their lives of sin and warned them of God's judgment and punishment. Isaiah had an active ministry for 60 years before he was executed during Manasseh's reign (according to tradition). As God's special messenger to Judah, Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of several of its rulers. Many of those messages are recorded in his book: Uzziah and Jotham, chapters 1-6; Ahaz, chapters 7-14; and Hezekiah, chapters 15-39.

c) The first half of the book of Isaiah (chapters 1-39) contains scathing denunciations and pronouncements as he calls Judah, Israel, and the surrounding nations to repent of their sins. However, the last 27 chapters (40-66) are filled with consolation and hope as Isaiah unfolds God's promise of future blessings through his Messiah.

d) As you read Isaiah, imagine this strong and courageous man of God, fearlessly proclaiming God's word, and listen to his message in relation to your life - return, repent, and be renewed. Then trust in God's redemption through Christ and rejoice. Your Savior has come, and he's coming again!

The End ...


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