Category Archives: Isaiah

Pegs and Keys

key_11334cThe 101 Bible Study focuses on Isaiah 22.

“Grief came to [Isaiah]. . . because the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who should have acted as a holy priest­hood, had, by their sin and their generally care­less attitude, them­selves been the cause of the city’s downfall. When calamity comes to the Church, every Christian must feel that calamity as though it were his own. The hymn writer has accu­rately stated the mat­ter:

For her my tears shall fall,
     For her my prayers ascend;
To her my cares and toils be giv­en,
     Till toils and cares shall end.”

(E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 2, p. 92).

“When we think of the power of the key, we are reminded immediately of what Christ said to Peter: ‘I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven’ (Mat. 16:19). Christ is ‘the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens’ (Rev. 3:7). Through the of­fices, Christ allows His church to serve as steward. Isn’t this an awesome policy for a world writhing in pain?” (C. Vanderwaal, Search the Scriptures, Vol. 5, p. 27).

 

 

 

 

 

A Triple Blessing

Is1925In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:24–25, ESV)

God’s people in Isaiah’s day may have thought of themselves as blessed by God. They were less comfortable with their calling (remember what God has said to Abraham?) to be a blessing. But that the Gentile nations of Egypt and Assyria, the world powers of the day, would join them in being a blessing was unthinkable. Israel may have considered being God’s inheritance a blessing—but to have Egypt, their former oppressors, called “my [God’s] people” and Assyria the work of his hands was astounding. Yet that is God’s triple blessing pronounced by the prophet! What does he mean?

The late Dr. Edward J. Young wrote:

“Isaiah is. . . portraying a time when those who once were enemies of God, Gen­tiles in the flesh, without Christ, aliens from the com­monwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, hav­ing no hope and without God in the world, will become one new man, and will be fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God.” (The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 2, pp. 46–47).

 

 

The Descent Isaiah 14

ruins_17345ac“Pride, however, is not found among Israel alone. It made to Isaiah no difference whether the boasters were the petty grandees of Ju­daea, or the mighty mon­archs of the East…. Its high­est embodiment this sin of pride had found, to the far-reaching vision of Isaiah, in that King of Babel, who said in his heart: ‘I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit upon the mount of congregation (the mythical mountain, where the gods assembled), in the uttermost parts of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.’ (14:13,14). Pride is in its essence a form of self-deifi­cation. Satanic sin, a type of Satan, has been found in the King of Babel thus de­scribed….” (Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology, p. 302).

“To ride upon the clouds [Isaiah 14:14] is God’s pre­rogative, and the king thus shows that he wishes to be equal with and rival God. In­tentions such as this are the prelude to downfall. ‘Ye shall be like God,’ serpent had said in the garden. Whenev­er men have designed to raise themselves to an equality with God, a descent follows.” (E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 1, pp. 442–443).

The 101 Bible Study meets on Friday, October 5, near Astoria. Call 971/238-6101 for details.

The Root as a Banner

branch_16454cNot underground, but raised as a military signal–that’s a strange place for a root. But Isaiah is writing about a very special root. The 101 Bible Study this Friday focuses on Isaiah 11. Call 971/238-6101 for location and details.

“The incarnation is the cen­tral fact of history and of the church’s confession: ‘Great in­deed, we confess, is the mys­tery of godli­ness. He was mani­fested in the flesh’ (1 Tim. 3:16). Even be­fore the the Fall, God eternally decided that the Son should as­sume a human nature, consisting of a body and soul. As the eternal Son who has no beginning and no end, he has always known that he would become the incar­nate one (i.e. ‘the en­fleshed one’).” (Mark Jones, Knowing Christ, p. 26).

“God is the author, the cause, the agent, the ac­complisher of that salvation. Salvation apart from God is unthinkable. . . . What more can we have – what more do we need than God Himself? He is our salvation.” (E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 1, p. 405).

 

 

 

To Us a Child Is Born

christmas_12431cChristmas in September? Isaiah 9 is not only for the month of December. Tonight’s 101 Bible Study in Astoria focuses on the promise of the coming Messiah. Isaiah gives mysterious names that describe him. We meet in a home in the Astoria area at 6:30 p.m. Call 971/238-6101 for details or directions.

“This government is the kingdom of grace, but also in widest ex­tent, the king­dom of nature and power. All the world is subject to the rule of the Child.” (E. J. Young, Commentary on the Book of Isaiah, Vol. 1, p. 331).

“Not only must man be at peace with God, but what is more im­portant, God must be at peace with with man. The enmity which had exist­ed between God and man must be re­moved. It was hu­man sin which had kept God at en­mity with man. When that sin has been removed, then there can be peace.” (E. J. Young, Commentary on the Book of Isaiah, Vol. 1, p. 340).

Immanuel!

Is0714This Friday evening’s 101 Bible Study in Astoria focuses on Isaiah 7. Call 971/238-6101 for details on time and location.

King Ahaz faces a political/military threat. He is convinced that the Word of God through the prophet Isaiah cannot fix it.

“Ahaz’ wickedness is seen in the fact that by his stubborn­ness he was in fact rejecting the very foundation of the covenant. God had promised to be a God and a De­liverer to His people. Syr­ia and Israel, therefore, will not overthrow the Davidic dy­nasty, for if they could suc­ceed in so doing, the prom­ises of God would be ren­dered void and salvation would not ultimately be ac­complished through the Messiah. . . . A son of David is willing to reject the covenant. God, therefore, must take over, and and give a sign of the greater de­liverance, as well of the proximate deliverance from Syria and Israel.” (Ed­ward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 1, pp. 283–284).

“. . . in the dealings of God with His covenant people will be found a profound and and su­pernatural promise of greater things to come. So, in our passage, the prophet, when he placed before the re­bellious Ahaz that strange picture of the mother and child, was not merely promising deliverance to Ju­dah in the period before a child then born should know how to refuse the evil and choose the good, but also, moved by the Spirit of God, was looking forward, as in a dim and mysteri­ous vision, to the day when the true Im­manuel, the mighty God and Prince of Peace, should lie as a little babe in a virgin’s arms.” (J. Gresham Machen, The Virgin Birth of Christ, p. 293).

Does God fix things? He doesn’t necessarily fix them according our diagnosis of the problem, but he is not distant from you. In taking upon himself our human nature, he became Immanuel. That is the ultimate ground for your hope.

 

 

Holy, Holy, Holy! Isaiah 6

holy_2826c“To praise His name in­volves more than the mere repetition of the word qa­dosh [holy]. It includes deep meditation upon God and His attributes and the living of a life of humility in accordance with the pre­cepts laid down in His Word. It is, in other words, the life of faith in Jesus Christ, lived for the glory of God.” (Ed­ward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 1, p. 243).

“[W]hen we have seen God, we then begin to feel and know what we are. Hence springs true humility, which consists in this, that a man makes no claims for himself, and depends wholly on God.” (John Calvin, Com­mentary on Isaiah at 6:5).

What is the secret of Isaiah’s long and faithful work, even when discouraged? His vision of the thrice holy God ought to encourage you to be faithful in the work to which God has called his church. As you are confronted with God’s holy glory, confess your sinfulness. The live coal is a sign of cleansing. What Isaiah felt symbolically, you experience in Jesus Christ. The glory that Isaiah saw is, according to John 12:41, the glory of Jesus. In him alone is there forgiveness. Catch the vision of God’s holiness, experience the cleansing work of Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit go with the good news.