Isaiah Still Speaks Centuries Later

Gordon VanWylen

READ : Acts 8:26-40 I hope you were inspired and instructed this month through readings in Isaiah. Today we see the undiminished power of the Word of God through Isaiah, enabling this Ethiopian official to understand the gospel, believe, be baptized and go on his way rejoicing. Another amazing “Isaiah” story is told in a book by Michiharu Shinya,* a 1940 graduate of the Japanese Naval Academy. While serving as a naval officer in 1942 during World War II, Mr. …

Life as a Joyful Journey

Gordon VanWylen

READ : Isaiah 55:1-13 Isaiah 40-66 gives God’s promise and encouragement to the exiles in Babylon for their return to Jerusalem as forgiven people to begin life anew. This is also a message to all who have received forgiveness and life through Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, and who are living as his followers, with confidence of reaching their eternal home with God. Key words for the journey home are: come, listen, see and seek. Come. No money is needed. …

A "Servant of the Lord" for All People

Gordon VanWylen

READ : Isaiah 42:1-13 This beautiful poem is the first of several “Servant Songs” by Isaiah. In verses 1-4 God introduces his Servant; in 5-7 God addresses his Servant; in 8-9 God addresses his people; verses 10-13 are an outburst of praise from “the ends of the earth.” The Servant is commissioned and empowered as God places his Spirit on him, calling to mind the Spirit descending on Jesus at his baptism. The mission of the Servant is to bring …

God's Comfort Follows His Rebuke

Gordon VanWylen

READ : Isaiah 40:1-11, 28-31 The following historical comments are included as background to Isaiah 40-66. The envoys from Babylon visited Hezekiah (Isaiah 39) about 712 BC. Sennacherib departed from Jerusalem (ch. 36,37) about 701 BC at which time Isaiah was approaching 70 years of age. Three years later Hezekiah’s son Manasseh became king. Immediately a major apostasy began from which Judah never recovered. A century later Babylon conquered and destroyed Judah and Jerusalem and took many captives as Isaiah …

The Danger of Being Flattered

Gordon VanWylen

READ : Isaiah 39:1-8 Isaiah records Judah’s initial interaction with Babylon, a nation that later played a major role in Judah’s collapse. Babylon was a rising power but like Judah was no match for Assyria. So it was quite reasonable for Hezekiah to receive the envoys of the king of Babylon for this might lead to common resistance against Assyria. Hezekiah was flattered by this attention. He showed these envoys his wealth to impress them. Tragically he did not seek …