Isaiah was one of the sixteen prophets whose writings are contained in the Holy Scriptures. There are more testimonies and quotations in the New Testament taken out of Isaiah than out of all the other prophets. Isaiah so fully describes the person, offices, sufferings, and kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ that some have called him "the fifth evangelist," and his book, "The Gospel According to Isaiah."
(Vs. 1) His prophecy is called a "vision" because the truth that God revealed to him was as clear to his mind as bodily objects are to men's eyes. He foresaw and he foretold (II Pet. 1:20-21; II Tim. 3:16; I Pet. 1:10-11).
(Vs. 2) Isaiah calls upon the whole creation to hear the Lord's charge against Judah and Jerusalem. The Lord said, "I have made them my people (Deut. 7:6-8), I blessed and sustained them above all nations, I gave them the law and the prophets, and they have rebelled against me."
(Vs. 3) They are more stupid and ungrateful than beasts. We hear the sayings, "Stubborn as an ass," and "Dumb as an ox;" but even these dumb beasts acknowledge and obey their masters and benefactors. But my people do not know me, consider nor think upon me, reverence nor obey me.
(Vs. 4) "They are laden with iniquity." The word "laden" means heavy, full and thick, as full of sin as an egg is full or a sponge is full (Rom. 3:12-18). "A seed of evildoers;" CHILDREN of rebels (Rom. 5:12) who have forsaken the Lord and gone their own way (Isa. 53:6). God is angry (Psalm 7:11; Heb. 10: 30-31).
(Vs. 5) They are so depraved and rebellious that even afflictions and the judgments of God have no effect upon them (Amos 4:6, 9-11). "Why should I chasten and correct you?" You are so mentally warped (head is sick) and spiritually dead (heart is faint) that even correction brings out rebellion. Judgment will not produce repentance in a depraved sinner (Rev. 16:9; Rom. 2:4).
(Vs. 6) Here is the result of Adam's fall, a description of TOTAL DEPRAVITY, the true condition of fallen flesh! From the very sole of our feet to the top hair on our heads there is no life, no truth, no light, no goodness in us (Rom. 7:18, 8:8; Eph. 2:1-3.). These wounds and sores of sin are open and ugly and have no remedy.
(Vs. 7-8) Because of your rebellion and disobedience you lie desolate, destroyed by the enemy, bruised, broken, and afflicted. You have no peace, rest, nor happiness. Men without God are without hope in this world or in the world to come (Eph. 2:12).
(Vs. 9) If the Lord of hosts, by His infinite grace and goodness, had not chosen a people from Adam's race, defeated our enemies in the person and work of His Son, and called us effectually by His Spirit, NO ONE WOULD BE SAVED. We would have all been cut off as the people of Sodom (Rom. 9:27-29). "Salvation is of the LORD" in its ORIGINATION (II Thess. 2:13), in its EXECUTION (Gal. 4:4-5), in its APPLICATION (Gal. 1:15), in its SUSTAINING POWER (Jude 24-25), and in its ULTIMATE PERFECTION (Rev. 21:3-6).
(Vs. 10-15) Here is a startling revelation! Believe it or not, these ungrateful, irreverent, totally depraved people make a pretence of being RELIGIOUS! They are inwardly wicked and outwardly religious (Matt. 23:25-28). They kept the outward forms, ceremonies, and holy days; yet they did not love, obey, nor worship God in their hearts. It is so often true that the less a man knows of God and the farther he departs from the true and living God, the more of the OUTWARD form of religion he adopts. The less INTERNAL DEVOTION, the more emphasis is placed on the EXTERNAL CEREMONY and the outward rules and regulations. Their outward show of piety, prayer, sacrifice, and sabbaths was an abomination to God (Luke 16:15).
(Vs. 16) "Wash ye, make you clean." Notwithstanding their sacrifices and ceremonies, they were unclean (as all men are) and needed to be washed in the blood of Christ (Psalm 51:7; I John 1:7). The blood of animals cannot put away sin, nor can the deeds of the law nor religious works. "Put away the evil of YOUR DOINGS from before my eyes." Not only put away THE DOING OF EVIL, but also THE EVIL OF DOING, which is an attempt to be justified before the eyes of God by our doings (Rom. 10:1-4).
(Vs. 17) "Learn to do well." These are the TRUE WORKS of righteousness that are produced by a right relationship with God in Christ Jesus (Gal. 5:22). Observing the ceremonies, sacrifices, and sabbaths outwardly are meaningless; but a regenerated, renewed, and cleansed heart will find delight in serving God and others.
(Vs. 18) God in grace proposes a conference, not to determine if we are sinners nor the extent of our sins, but what is to be done about the matter. We ARE sinners and our sins are double-dyed, as scarlet and red like crimson. Only Christ can put away our sins by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb. 9:26;Heb. 10:12-14).
(Vs. 19-20) If you be made willing to come to Christ in repentance and faith, you shall eat the good of God's great land; if you refuse Him, you shall be devoured, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
1. Are we willing to own and confess our sins?
2. Are we willing to repent of dead works and personal merit?
3. Are we willing to call on God in Christ for mercy and grace?
4. Are we willing to confess Him and bow to Him as Lord (Rom. 10:9-10)?
Then you shall be saved!
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