Archive for July 6th, 2017

Isaiah son of Amoz is considered to be the greatest of the writing prophets and is quoted in the New Testament more than any other Old Testament prophet. His name means “Yahweh [the Lord] saves.” Isaiah prophesied to the people of Jerusalem and Judah from about 740 B.C. to 700 B.C. and was a contemporary of the prophets Amos, Hosea, and Micah.

Isaiah was a fierce preacher of God’s Law, condemning the sin of idolatry. He was also a comforting proclaimer of the Gospel, repeatedly emphasizing the Lord’s grace and forgiveness. For this he is sometimes called the “Evangelist of the Old Testament.” No prophet more clearly prophesied about the coming Messiah and his saving kingdom. He foretold the Messiah’s miraculous birth (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6), his endless reign (2:1-5; 11:1-16), and his public ministry (61:1-3), but most notably his “Suffering Servant” role and atoning death (52:13-53:12).

The apostle John’s description of Isaiah, that Isaiah saw Jesus’ glory and spoke of Him (John 12:41), is an apt summary of Isaiah’s prophetic ministry.

We have been quite accustomed to the expression, describing an event or a thing as really bad by saying, “It was awful”.  Then in the last few years the use of “awe” has been positive, as in, “The play was awesome”, that is, just the best!  When the Lord called Isaiah in the Temple,  recorded in chapter 6, “awful” and “awesome” were both apt responses:  The holiness of the LORD of hosts is awful, that is, He filled Isaiah with awe and the event was truly awesome.  The misuse of the “awful”, as a word picture of something bad was Isaiah’s reaction, “I am a man of unclean lips”!  Isaiah knew he was awful in the presence of the awful God.  Isaiah knew his heart as did his brother prophet, Jeremiah:  “The heart is deceitful above all things,  and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (17: 9).  The Lord alone shows us, by His Law, our heart condition and He alone the cardiac care He accomplished.  Yet, we are shameless in thinking we do know our own hearts as the foolish advice is too oft given and received: “Follow your heart”/”Follow your passion”/”The heart wants what the heart wants. .  The Lord understands the human heart, we obviously don’t and like to think we do so we can do what we want and the passions

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 have run amok: rage, anger, lust, greed, envy.  What we see too often on our screens is not ‘awesome’.   Truly, the fear of the Lord is beginning of wisdom. The wisdom to know who we are, that is true humility and Who the Lord is in calling Isaiah and you in His Son, Jesus Christ to teach us His Way.  Then the very Son of God, prophesied by Isaiah, and His sacrificial atonement
is surely aweful and we like Isaiah, are cleansed by His grace for sinners.

We pray…Lord God, heavenly Father, through the prophet Isaiah, You continued the prophetic pattern of teaching Your people the true faith and demonstrating through miracles Your presence in creation to heal it of its brokenness. Grant that Your Church may see in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the final end-times prophet whose teaching and miracles continue in Your Church through the healing medicine of the Gospel and the Sacraments; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.



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