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Summary: A series during Christmas about how Isaiah saw the Christmas story

God With Us: Studies in Isaiah – Week 1: The Messiah is Coming

Theme:

Text: Isaiah 7:14; 11: , Matthew

Read Opening Text: Isaiah 7:10 – 14; 9:2, 6

Introduction

Isaiah is an interesting book in scripture. As I was reading through the book I noticed it seemed to have two key areas. First there was the judgement of God upon the nations. There was the nations of Judah and Israel who had been split into two kingdoms under king Rehoboam. Then there were the surrounding nations Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Syria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Edom, Arabia and Tyre.

Isaiah is known for his uncanny way of pinpointing prophecies. Not general but specific judgments upon the nations. Here are a list of just a few prophecies (from research). Isaiah could "see" ahead in time

If you read Isaiah 45:1 (written perhaps between 701 and 681 BC), you will find a prophecy that was ultimately fulfilled hundreds of years later in 539 BC.

>Isaiah 45:1 – “This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut…”

List Of Bible Prophets In Chronological Order

In this passage, the prophet said God would open the gates of Babylon for Cyrus and his attacking army. Despite Babylon’s remarkable defenses, which included moats, and walls that were more than 70-feet thick and 300-feet high (with 250 watchtowers) Cyrus was able to enter the city and conquer it. Cyrus and his troops accomplished it by diverting the flow of the Euphrates River into a large lake basin. Cyrus then was able to march his army across the riverbed and into the city!

Babylon’s Kingdom Will Be Permanently Overthrown

In Isaiah 13:19 (written between 701 and 681 BC) there exists yet another prophecy that was not fulfilled until 539 BC.

>Isaiah 13:19 – Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians’ pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah.

Here, Isaiah tells us that Babylon would be overthrown, permanently. History confirms the fact that following Cyrus’ destruction of Babylon in 539 BC, it never again rose to power as an empire. You’ve got to remember, however, that before the time of Cyrus, Babylon had been defeated by the Assyrian Empire as well, But Babylon was able to recover and later conquer the Assyrian Empire. In light of this reality, I’m sure many people doubted Isaiah when he proclaimed this prophecy. In spite of this, and just as Isaiah predicted, the Babylonian empire was defeated, and never recovered from Cyrus’ conquest.

Babylon Will Be Reduced to Swampland

In Isaiah 14:23 (written between 701 and 681 BC), the prophet makes yet another prediction that does not come true until 539 BC.

>Isaiah 14:23 – “I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction,” declares the Lord Almighty.

The prophet makes the bold claim that Babylon, which had been a world power at two different times in history, would be brought to a humble and final end. But not only that, Isaiah claims that Babylon would be reduced to swampland! Well, after Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 BC, the kingdom never again rose to power, that is certain. And history tells us that the buildings of Babylon fell into a gradual state of ruin during the next several centuries. Interestingly, when archaeologists excavated Babylon during the 1800s, they discovered that some parts of the city could not be dug up because they were under a water table that had risen over the years!

nother surprising accurate prophecies are those dealing with the messiah.

Though interpreters may vary on whether certain passages are messianic or not, these are the ones I see. I think that a passage must meet one of these three criteria to be considered messianic.

1. Messianic Title. The passage may include a reference to the throne of David, son of David, etc., or used the idea of anointing (Hebrew mashîah?, from which we transliterate to get our word "Messiah."

2. Single Personage. A single person who exerts superhuman powers or influence for God's kingdom.

3. NT Quotation. A passage which is quoted in the New Testament as messianic or which speaks of the Age of the Messiah.

4:2-6 Speaks of "the Branch of the Lord," a messianic title used elsewhere (Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 33:15; Zechariah 6:23). The gathering, too, is the act of the Messiah (11:12).

6:13b Refers to the "holy seed," which in light of Isaiah's focus in the shoot out of Jesse's stump in 11:1 probably refers to the Messiah.

7:14 Virgin shall conceive and bear a son named Immanuel. It probably has a short-term AND long-term fulfillment.

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