We chose Isaiah, Romans, and Song of Songs for goal #26. So #26 will be a series of posts simply sharing our notes on what we study together.
Isaiah will take us more than a year to study and will set us up well for what I consider to be one of the richest books in the Bible, Romans. Romans will be fun, you won’t want to miss that one… but we start with Isaiah 1.
Isaiah is called as a prophet in Judah under the peaceful reign of King Uzziah. Uzziah was likely Isaiah’s uncle. This book is a favorite because it, more so than any of the other Prophets, points to Jesus very plainly. Isaiah’s name literally means “the salvation of The Lord”.
vs. 1-9 The people of Judah (God’s people) have rebelled – God has established rules that we must obey. He is the Creator, we are the Creation. We owe everything to God our Father, He has given us everything we have.
vs. 10-15 God despises their empty sacrifices – The people are guilty of sin. Their hearts are far from Him yet they continue to bring sacrifices and offerings. Obedience reforms the heart. “To obey is better than sacrifice”… sacrifice without obedience is fake devotion – pretending. God wants our entire heart.
vs. 16-17 God demands they be clean and do good – God doesn’t reject them! He may reject their sacrifices but He doesn’t reject them but calls them back to Himself. This is a loving Father. While it is impossible to be completely clean and good in our own work, we are a sinful people, we can choose to stop doing evil and make good choices as we focus on the One who IS good. We cannot know good if we do not know God.
vs. 18-20 God gives them a choice – “Come let us reason together…” what a wonderful invitation! God invites us to talk with Him. “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow…” – He will not demand payment, but will completely wipe them clean!
vs. 21-23 God reminds them once again of their unfaithfulness – What was once faithful has become unfaithful. Purity becomes filth. Corruption turns the best into the worst.
vs. 24-31 “I will” THEN “you will”…. God makes a way for us to be reconciled – though corruption is present in His Church, He is able to rid her of it. He will not destroy but repair, rebuild, refine His people. God reforms people. If all that is present within a person is corruption, he will not survive the refining. Refining burns away all the waste revealing what is pure within. Restoration and a pure heart result in an honorable name.