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Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Isaiah - Who Was He?

As I mentioned last post, I've just started a 30 wk study of Isaiah and from time to time will share what I have been learning. Many years ago my husband and I were blessed with a trip to Turkey, Greece and Israel. We loved all the Biblical history. I'll never forget going to the awesome museum in the city of Jerusalem and finding the small round building that contained the Dead Sea Scrolls. This was especially exciting because we'd seen the cave where the scrolls had been found in 1948. The building was kept at the perfect temperature and humidity in order to preserve them. They're over 2,000 yrs old and had been sealed in water jars until it was God's time to reveal them to the world.

Imagine that! God preserved those scrolls so we could have another piece of evidence as to the validity of the Scriptures! With every turn of an archaeologist's shovel, we find more proof that the Bible is truly the Word of God. In order to 'see' this, God will need to provide the faith to believe. Without faith - no matter how much 'proof' - we'll never be able to put 2+2 together!

Probably what is most impressive is the fact that the whole, complete chapter of Isaiah 53 , word for word, as it's recorded in our Bibles today, is there in it's own 'humidor' for all to see. The Old Testament is written in Hebrew. Chapter 53 is all about Jesus the Messiah, and here we are in Jerusalem! The Jewish people can't see, can't understand. But as we learn in Isaiah, God will preserve a remnant.

So, who is this guy Isaiah? His name means...'The Lord is Salvation', or 'The Lord Saves'. The Old Testament has been given to us so we can know that we need a Savior. We have history, poetry, prophesy; something for everyone, but most important, we discover God's plan to redeem a lost people. We see God's holiness, His grace and mercy for those who see their sin and repent. God is particularly angry with those who are 'religious', and self righteous.

As a writer, I'm drawn to the fact that Isaiah is considered to be the greatest of the writing prophets. God spoke to Isaiah in a vision and entrusted him to record some fabulous truths that are as relevant to us today as they were back in Isaiah's time. He was a contemporary of other prophets, Amos, Hosea and Micah. We begin to see the Bible validates itself!

This book was written about 2800 yrs ago and yet we see similarities to the times we live in today. In terms of history, Isaiah existed between Moses and Jesus. He lived during the reign of a particularly wicked King - Manasseh. Jewish tradition tells us that it is very likely that he died at the hands of Manasseh, sawn apart in the trunk of a tree where he was hiding. He may have had a royal relative as he seemed to have access to the palace of the king.

When presented with the truth of Scripture, we come to recognize that we are not perfect people. We were born 'sinners'......ouch! It's just our nature. Don't spend time thinking that maybe you aren't as bad as 'so and so', or 'just look at his behavior and the things he's done'. In God's eyes, "There is no one righteous, not even one". Read Romans 3: 9 - 20, very interesting basic information on who we really are! Rotten, yup, really rotten in God's eyes.

God is perfect.....He has a perfect plan......He's created a place for us to spend eternity with Him, and, guess what, only perfect people will be there. This is bad news because none of us are perfect.

However, our holy, loving, gracious and sovereign God has come up with a perfect plan to redeem us lost souls.....Jesus Christ! This is the GOOD NEWS!

ACTS 4:12 - "Salvation is found in one one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

An important truth.....the only reason Jesus is able to forgive our sins and pay our penalty is that HE IS GOD! The way you know a 'religion' is a cult, is that they do not believe that Jesus is God. He is not just a prophet, a teacher, a person who was loving and lived a sinless life, which is impossible for a human....no, He Himself claimed to be God.....so He either is who He claims to be, or He's a liar, a real nut-case! And, certainly not anyone we'd want to worship.

John 17:9 "Anyone who has seen me, has seen the Father"

John 10:30 "I and the Father are one"

Lord, I thank you that you alone are the Almighty, holy God and that we can trust all that you do in our lives. You see the spread of eternity, every detail, we only see this moment and are in no position to judge your good and perfect plan.