Preface


Audio (3:19)

The Prophet Isaiah's words inspire us with their beautiful cadences and lofty heights. They confront us with thoughtful rebukes and correction. Isaiah is the source of nearly one quarter of the Old Testament quotations and allusions cited in the New Testament. In sheer size, it is second only to the Book of Psalms in length.

Most important, Isaiah gives us a unique understanding of Jesus the Messiah, who fulfills many of these prophecies given 700 years before his birth. For this reason Isaiah is sometimes called the "Fifth Gospel."

Isaiah is considered one of the literary gems of the ancient world. Here is the apex of Hebrew poetic style, brilliant imagery, and the whole range of human emotion. Some of the passages you may recall include:

  • "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." (1:18)

  • "Here I am, send me." (6:1-8)

  • "Unto us a child is born...."  (9:2-7)

  • "The wolf will live with the lamb ... and a little child shall lead them."  (11:1-9)

  • "And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness." (35:1-10)

  • "Comfort, comfort my people...." (40:1-31)

  • "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength" (40:31)

  • "The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (52:13-53:12)

  • "Come, all you who are thirsty...." (55:1-12)

  • "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me...." (61:1-11)

Isaiah is challenging and enriching, but also long and complex. Therefore, this volume is designed to be a guide to studying Isaiah's prophecies, not a verse-by-verse commentary. We'll move quickly over passages less relevant to our day, but focus in some detail on passages that teach about the Messiah and God's universal truths that speak to us across the ages.

This volume covers Isaiah in eleven lessons, and includes 13 maps to clarify the historical setting. Classes and small groups will find this a helpful curriculum guide, with links to free participant handouts, as well as thorough preparation for the leader. Thought-provoking questions will stimulate many profound discussions -- though groups may want to follow a 17-week track to thoroughly discuss these truths. The heavily-footnoted lessons provide most of the research that preachers and teachers will need for their task. At the same time, the lessons inspire and challenge the individual reader to grow as a disciple of Christ.

You'll find Isaiah is demanding at a number of levels, but wonderfully enriching to your soul. I invite you to study it with me.

Yours in Christ's service,
Pastor Ralph


Copyright © 1985-2017, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

Sign up now!To be notified about future articles, stories, and Bible studies,why don't you subscribe to our free newsletter,The Joyful Heart, by placing your e-mail address in the box below. We respect your privacy and never sell, rent, or loan our lists. Please don't subscribe your friends; let them decide for themselves.
FirstLast
E-mail
Country(2-letter abbreviation, such as US)
Preferred FormatHTML (recommended) Plain text