Salvation is by the grace of God and through the vicarious suffering of Christ.
Both as a prophet and as a statesman, Isaiah took an active part in the affairs of Judah during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. He was contemporary also with the prophets, Hosea and Micah. At the lowest estimate his public career extended over a period of forty years. According to tradition he was executed, by being sawn asunder, during the reign of Manasseh, to which there may be reference in Hebrews 11:37.
Much controversy has gathered around the authorship of the book which bears him name. While there are difficulties in the way of attributing the entire book to a single writer, much more serious problems have been created by every attempt to divide the authorship among different writers.
Isaiah is called the “Evangelical Prophet,” as a large part of his book is indissolubly bound with the life and work of the Messiah. Philip, finding the Ethiopian eunuch reading from this prophecy, “began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus” (Acts 8:35). The book contains also a wide variety of materials: prophetic oracles concerning the nations, sermons, hymns, apocalypses, narratives, and autobiography. It is commonly regarded as the greatest of the prophecies and its influence upon the development of Christian thought can hardly be overestimated.
The second section of the book, Isaiah 40-66, is “one of the finest poems existing in any language.” The author’s aim in this part is to encourage the Israelites in their exile by showing that Jehovah is supreme and that, therefore, no obstacle will be able to prevent the restoration of Israel and the overthrow of their enemies. In accomplishing His purpose, God uses the following agents:
1. Cyrus, “man from the East,” Isaiah 41:2, who is also called “my shepherd,” Isaiah 44:28, and Jehovah’s “anointed,” Isaiah 45:1, and who is to be God’s instrument in overthrowing Babylon and delivering Israel from exile.
2. The “Servant of Jehovah.” In several passages, Isaiah 41:8; Isaiah 44:1, 2, 21, the nation of Israel is the “Servant of Jehovah,” to accomplish His purposes with reference to all peoples, but, in many others, the personal, suffering “Servant of Jehovah” is beautifully pictured as God’s instrument in the redemption of Israel and in the ingathering of the Gentiles. Through Christ, the Messiah, is to be fulfilled God’s promise to Abraham, culminating in an endless Kingdom of peace and righteousness.
“The Evangelical Prophet”
I. Judgment, Restoration, Thanksgiving, Isaiah 1-12
1. Introduction, Isaiah 1
2. Judah and Jerusalem, Isaiah 2-6
3. The Book of Immanuel, Isaiah 7-12
II. The Burdens of the Nations, Isaiah 13-27
1. Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Edom, Tyre, Isaiah 13-23
2. World-Judgment and the Redemption of Judah, Isaiah 24-27
III. The Six Woes, Isaiah 28-35
1. To the Drunken
2. To Formalists
3. To Those Who Hide Their Plans from God
4. To Those Who Trust in Egypt
5. To Those Who Rely on Horses and Chariots
6. To the Assyrian Destroyer
IV. Historical Section, Isaiah 36-39
1. The Deliverance of Jerusalem from Sennacherib, Isaiah 36-37
2. Hezekiah’s Sickness and Recovery, Isaiah 38
3. Embassy of Merodach-baladan, Isaiah 39
V. Divine Deliverance from Sin and Captivity, Isaiah 40-48
1. Assurance of Salvation, Isaiah 40, 41
2. The Riches of Grace, Isaiah 42:1-44:23
3. The Mission of Cyrus, Isaiah 44:24-47:15
4. God’s Chastisement Disciplinary, Isaiah 48
VI. The Servant of Jehovah, Isaiah 49-57
1. The Servant’s Mission, Isaiah 49:1-52:12
2. The Servant’s Sacrifice and Exaltation, Isaiah 52:13-53:12
3. The Fulness and Freeness of Salvation, Isaiah 54-57
VII. New Heavens and a New Earth, Isaiah 58-66
1. The Dawning Light, Isaiah 58-62
2. The Redeeming God, Isaiah 63-66