Devotional Counsels

Isaiah 26.1

In the light of end-time events here are the themes on which to reflect for assurance, inner peace, trust, spiritual stability, and a view of the sovereign work of God. Here also are features of human nature that influence many situations.

Isaiah came from Jerusalem in Judah, and was called to the prophetic ministry around 739 BC. He prophesied through the reigns of four kings of Judah, and he has the most remarkable and unique manner of writing  – inspired and overruled by God, but his own style shines through, with an enormously rich vocabulary.

He lived until 680 BC, and there is a tradition – if we can rely on it – which says that he was martyred under King Manasseh by being sawn in two with a wooden saw. And if that was so, it would probably make him the person referred to in Hebrews 11.37: ‘sawn asunder’.

One thing we can be certain about is that he is the most quoted prophet in the New Testament – over 60 times in total. He ministered through Uzziah’s 52 year reign and beyond. Most of that reign was a time of great prosperity, but Isaiah doesn’t reflect that – instead he describes tremendous declension and disaster in the land. This is because Isaiah takes a spiritual view of the land. And he may use earthly language and describe the chaos and disorder in earthly terms, but it’s a spiritual view. Without understanding that, you can’t understand the book.

Many of Isaiah’s prophecies were fulfilled in his own lifetime, so he was well authenticated. Judah was warned of what lay ahead for them because of their disobedience to God, and the faithful remnant, the truly saved people, were greatly encouraged by his messianic prophecies. These are so numerous and so wonderful –  not only the prophecies of Christ, but the prophecies about the New Testament age that would follow. They are so rich and full and remarkable in their accuracy of what would happen in the Gospel age.

There is a dual sense, even sometimes a triple sense, in many of Isaiah’s prophecies. They refer to a historic event, something that will literally happen on earth – but that does not exhaust the meaning of the prophecy. That in itself is a figure of something which is going to happen in the future, when Christ comes. So there is at least a dual sense in many of the prophecies.

And it’s always obvious. To help in understanding this, Isaiah’s grand prophecies start in earthly language. And you can see that they are capable of earthly fulfillment. And like an aircraft going down the runway, at some point, the aircraft leaves the ground. And the prophecies take off. Isaiah begins to use elevated language and say things which really are not possible to see fulfilled physically on earth. And when the prophecy takes off and uses exalted language, you know you’re into dual sense. You know you’re going higher and further forward than the immediate literal sense.

You have to understand this dual sense in the prophecies, or you will not get the blessing and the riches and the meaning of the book of the prophet Isaiah.

Home » Sermons » Devotional Counsels

Related Resources

Books – Devotional/Bible study

Buy Now The Mutual Love of Christ and His People Dr Peter Masters An explanation of the Song of Solomon for personal devotions and Bible study groups. The courtship of the Song of Solomon is designed to show the love of Christ for His redeemed people, and theirs for Him. Here, also, are lessons for … Continued

Serious Devotion

An overview of surprising themes in Leviticus, including the need for feelingfulness, identifying sins of ignorance and strange fire today, Christian distinctiveness, and the ongoing message of the feasts and the jubilee. Also, the ‘appendix’ – the rules for vows, then and now.