Sunday marked our entrance into the study of the prophets of the Old Testament. We started with Isaiah, the first prophet with a book in the canon of Scripture. Isaiah had a powerful call to ministry, where he saw the Lord in the temple (Isaiah 6). From there, God had Isaiah preach and proclaim His messages to Israel that covered a range of topics including warning the people to return to the Lord, their impending judgment if they didn't, messianic prophecies, and how to live for God in a culture that has turned from Him. Let’s now turn our attention to how to live for Him.
Peppered throughout the book of Isaiah are verses that were intended to help the Israelites know how to live for God in a culture that had turned from Him. Those same verses speak to us today. They give us guidance for a life of faithfulness to God in times such as ours.
God offers an invitation in Isaiah 55:1-5 to all who thirst, that they may drink freely of the waters that He gives and be satisfied. The invitation is to stop wasting our lives and income on things that don’t satisfy but instead to listen intently to Him so that our souls may live (v.3). New Testament counterpart: Matt. 11:28-30
So it begins with God’s invitation but there is something we must do on our part: seek Him while we can, while He can be found (55:6). We do this by repentance (turning away from our sin and unrighteousness) and turning to God. God promises compassion on anyone who would do this and then shares how His thoughts aren’t our thoughts but are, in fact, much higher. New Testament counterpart: Mark 1:14-15
God then shares that His word will accomplish all that He intends for it to work in the lives of people (55:10-11). Isaiah preached that God’s word will stand forever as compared to everything else that will fade (40:6-8). We are therefore to base our lives on what He says to us and the trust that He’ll accomplish all that He intends to in and through us as we allow His word to work in our lives. New Testament counterpart: 1 Peter 1:22-25
Because of this, we are reminded that it is God who does the work in us in (Is. 43:21). There God reminds us that He forms us for Himself. So often we think His work is about us but in reality, He is forming us so that we can declare His praises. Our role is to walk with Him and submit to His work in our lives and share with others what He has done for us. New Testament counterpart: Philippians 2:12-15, 1 Peter 2:9
Finally, based on all these above, we are to set our mind on Him. The promise in Isaiah 26:3-4 is that He gives peace to those who set their mind on Him, because we can trust in Him, the everlasting rock. New Testament counterpart: Philippians 4:6-8, Colossians 3:1-2
As we can see, Isaiah had quite a profound ministry. We would do well in our walk with Jesus to heed the preaching and wisdom of this major prophet.
Let us set our minds on Him,