Salvation Is of The Lord
Read Isaiah 9:6-7 (ESV)
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
How do Isaiah’s prophecies about the Messiah give you comfort and peace?
In the Bible, after the books of poetry and wisdom, we find the books of the prophets. Many people have claimed to be prophets from God over the course of history. But only a few truly meet the qualifications. In Deuteronomy 18:22, Moses told us how we can discern a true prophet from a false one: “when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken.” In other words, God’s true prophets never get it wrong because they speak only what God had told them to say.
The prophet Isaiah is the most well-known and the most quoted Old Testament prophet. Isaiah ministered mostly to the southern kingdom of Judah for a period of 60 years, from about 740-680 B.C. He was given the responsibility of giving bad news—that Judah would experience judgment for their unrepentant sin by Babylonians. But he was also given the great honor of proclaiming the ultimate good news—that a Messiah was coming to save them! But this Savior would not just save Judah. No, the Savior would come from the tribe of Judah but His blessing of salvation will be available to all people. Salvation given by the Lord is the key theme of the book of Isaiah. Even Isaiah’s name means “Yahweh is Salvation.”
The book of Isaiah is set up in a fascinating way. Chapters 1-39 are kind of like the 39 books of the Old Testament. They demonstrate mankind’s desperate need for a Savior because of their immorality and unfaithfulness to God. In these chapters, Isaiah prophesied coming judgment against Judah, the surrounding nations, and eventually, the whole earth! And yet, even in these chapters, we see the Scarlet Thread of redemption pointing toward salvation. God would punish the Israelites for their immorality and their idolatry. But He promised the redemption of a remnant: “In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people” (Isaiah 11:11).
Even more comforting is the promise that the Lord is preserving the line from Jesse, David’s father, from which the Messiah would come! “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, and the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD” (Isaiah 11:1-2). Today’s passage is a well-known prophecy that is often read aloud at Christmas time. It clearly points to Jesus, the Savior of the world! What is amazing though, is that Isaiah made these Messianic prophecies about 700 years before Jesus was even born!
While the first 39 chapters can be seen to represent the 39 books of the Old Testament, the last 27 chapters are like the 27 books of the New Testament. The focus of the first 39 chapters was on judgment but the focus of the last 27 chapters is on comfort, hope, deliverance, and God’s people restored all for the glory of God!
In the New Testament, no other Old Testament prophet is quoted more than Isaiah. Isaiah 53, the “Suffering Servant” passage is either quoted or implied about 85 times in the New Testament! Plus, the prophet Isaiah proved to be a true prophet because so many of his prophecies came to pass. Still, some of his prophecies are awaiting fulfillment when Jesus Christ, our Messiah, comes again. When He returns, He won’t come to suffer but to rule and reign!
Friends, Isaiah proclaimed that salvation is from the Lord. He sent us a Savior and a Messiah in Jesus Christ. But Isaiah’s message of coming judgment applies to us as well. If we don’t repent, we will receive just punishment for our sins. “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 1:18-20). Isaiah sets punishment or salvation, doom or peace, chaos or comfort before us. We get to choose. I’m choosing salvation, peace, and comfort in the Lord, Jesus Christ. What about you?
Lord, it is so amazing that Your Word predicted the coming Messiah long before He was even born. Because the rest of Isaiah’s prophecies came true, I know that his words were from You. I can trust that You are coming again and that You have promised to save us. Thank You, Lord, for that comforting assurance. Amen.