Today Isaiah switches gears from announcing judgment to speaking words of comfort and restoration. He prophesies of the coming Messiah and John the Baptist who will prepare the people for His arrival. Later in the Story, Matthew, Mark, and Luke will all quote Isaiah when describing John the Baptist as “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: prepare the way of the Lord…”
Isaiah says that people are frail like the grass. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” Josh McDowell makes the same point about the Bible enduring the test of time in Evidence that Demands a Verdict: “Written on material that perishes, having to be copied and recopied for hundreds of years before the invention of the printing press, did not diminish its style, correctness, nor existence. The Bible, compared with other ancient writings, has more manuscript evidence than any ten pieces of classical literature combined.”
Isaiah then speaks of the Good News! “Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand…He will feed the flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm.” When Jesus arrives He will declare Himself to be this Good Shepherd. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Jesus will first come to die for us but one day He will come back to rule with a strong hand.
Isaiah goes on to speak of God’s greatness; the God of creation for whom there is no equal. Isaiah says that the Lord will renew the strength of the ones who wait on Him. Although because of their sins, Israel has been overtaken by the Assyrians and Judah is about to be carried off by the Babylonians, the Lord will not forget them. “But you, Israel, are my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen…I have chosen you and have not cast you away.”
God is sending His Son to redeem His people. “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He will not cry out, nor raise His voice…He will bring forth justice for truth. He will not fail nor be discouraged, till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law.”
Isaiah says Israel has been God’s blind, deaf and disobedient servant but by grace He is sending His faithful Servant, His Son, to redeem them. “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.” “I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring.”
Tomorrow Isaiah predicts Babylon’s fall. Keep reading.