Friday, March 2, 2012
Isaiah Had a Lot to Say
I finished the Bible Study Fellowship Study of Isaiah last year. I found it facinating. Isaiah is the most quoted of the Old Testament prophets. Jesus, Paul, and other writers refer to him many times. His prophesies foretell the birth, life and death of Jesus as well as the end times and the coming of the Kingdom.
The prophets, and Isaiah is no exception, focus heavily on judgment, sin, and retribution. In our society, much like the society of the people Isaiah preached to, we resist that negative stuff and avoid the whole idea of the consequences of sin. It doesn't make Isaiah very popular in pulpits around town, but it will get back to his message eventually.
I see the people in the news--Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, Tiger Woods--whose behavior has been objectionable getting praises and press notices without any evidence of shame. They are applauded and immulated rather than chastised, and their publicity gurus are thrilled that they get noticed. No matter that their behavior is shortening their lives, that their sins are a burden they cannot carry, and their lives are a hollow reflection of real purpose. In the last chapter of Isaiah he calls for all of us to come with a humble and contrite spirit in repentance as we hear the word of God.
It will benefit our nation to read Isaiah with deliberate attention and understand its words. It is truly amazing to me that people do not see the damage their sins produce in their bodies and in their lives. God will bring judgment, but the natural course of sin will bring it, too, and with any kind of common sense we should be able to predict that without Isaiah.