This message was part of the ‘Isaiah’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Fallowfield in early 2020.
The Reason For Judgement
- God says through Isaiah that he is going to punish the nations of Israel and Judah for their rebellion against him.
- Israel is described as rebellious, guilty, evil, and corrupt, their sacrifices are empty, their rulers are corrupt and do not care about the poor, they are idolaters who worship gods from pagan nations, there is even inference of child sacrifice – Things have got very bad.
- God forewarns Isaiah that the people will not listen, in fact, Isaiah’s message will harden their hearts further against God. Isaiah prophesies that what is about to happen will purify Israel like a
consuming fire. But the thing about fire is that it hurts.
The Instrument of Judgement
- Israel-Judah is no longer a military superpower. They are divided. Judah is a small fish in a big pond, with some big fish.
- Jericho—God delivered because Israelites trusted Him with the victory. Judah’s leaders refuse to trust in God for their protection. Instead, when under threat, they form fragile alliances with other nations.
- Israel and Judah face opposition on all sides. They are divided against each other. They form alliances with other nations that break down. The nation of Assyria rises against both of them in turn.
- God used the Assyrians to punish Judah, but didn’t allow the king of Assyria to achieve the conquest he wanted.
- The only time they receive protection is when Hezekiah finally falls to his knees and asks God for help.
Hope in Judgement
- God does not allow sin to go unpunished. God does not allow repentance and obedience to go unrewarded.
- Despite its motif of judgment, Isaiah is a prophetic text full of hope. It is full of hope for those who repent and turn to God.
- God called the people of Israel and Judah to repent and return to his covenant promise with them. To obey his law and trust Him to protect. Today, God calls us to repent of our sin and trust in his son, Jesus Christ.
Three Hope Filled Promises
- A Holy Remnant – God will preserve a remnant to return to worship Him. The holy remnant will be made up of those whom God has made holy.
- A Holy King – Israel and Judah have had mixed-to-no success with kings, but God promises to send one who will supersede all of the others: There will need to be something special about this holy king.
- A Holy Kingdom – saiah prophesies that the old Jerusalem will be destroyed, but that God will bring about a ‘new Jerusalem’, which will endure forever. This new kingdom of Jerusalem will be made up of God’s worshippers – those who have repented and turned to God, in whom God’s Spirit lives.