Summary: Isaiah ends abruptly with a challenge: we must stay the course and not surrender our Biblical beliefs — even if those beliefs are not unpopular.
1. A rich millionaire decides to throw a massive party for his 50th birthday, so during this party he grabs the microphone and he announces to his guests that down in the garden of his mansion he has a swimming pool with two great white sharks in it. 'I will give anything they desire of mine, to the man who swims across that pool.'
So the party continues with no events in the pool, until suddenly, there is a great splash and all the guests of the party run to the pool to see what has happened.
In the pool is a man and he is swimming as hard as he can, and the fins come out of the water and the jaws are snapping and this guy just keeps on going; the sharks are gaining on him and this guy reaches the end and he gets out of the pool, tired and soaked.
The millionaire grabs the microphone and says, 'I am a man of my word, anything of mine I will give, my Ferraris, my house, absolutely anything, for you are the bravest man I have ever seen. So sir what will it be?' the millionaire asks.
The guy grabs the microphone and says, 'Why don't we start with the name of the wise guy that pushed me in!'
2. Sometimes we find ourselves in a challenge we did not anticipate. George Bush, 2001 terrorist attack, for example. I myself have been pushed into a number of anticipated challenges over years.
3. Christians have a challenge to “not be weary in well-doing,” to be “fervent in spirit,” and to be faithful disciples who are true to our beliefs and walk, and seeking to build bridges to share Christ.
Main Idea: Isaiah ends abruptly with a challenge: we must stay the course and not surrender our Biblical beliefs — even if those beliefs are not unpopular.
I. Don’t Give Up On God’s Promise to Israel: Her Sudden REBIRTH (7-14)
A. PAST lesser fulfillments
1. Cyrus' decree (538 BC)
2. May 14, 1948
B. FUTURE fulfillment: the MILLENNIUM
C. IMAGERY of Israel's blessing in the Kingdom (11-14)
1. A satisfied, nursing INFANT
2. Experiencing peace like a RIVER
3. A child COMFORTED by his mother
4. Bones FLOURISHING like grass
5. Knowing God's HAND for them and against their enemies
D. Individual experience now: the NEW BIRTH
1. We experience God's peace, comfort, we flourish and know God's hand
2. What God has done for me and you, He can for others who will turn to Him in truth; He will also do this for Israel on a national level
II. Don’t Give Up On God’s Vengeful JUDGMENT (15-21)
A. Revenge is not wrong, but it is ONLY God’s prerogative, not ours
B. God will cause many to be SLAIN (15-17)
C. This will occur in the battle of ARMAGEDDON (18)
D. Then the Lord will set a SIGN for them (19)
Matthew 24:30, “Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
More likely, however, is the idea that the sign is a sign (seal) upon the 144,000 Jews (see below)
E. From Israel, God will send SURVIVORS to educate gentiles and bring back fellow Jews (19-21)
These survivors are probably those marked with a “sign” (seal), the 144,000 Jews mentioned in Revelation 7. The text does not state they are evangelists (as Walvoord points out of the 144,000 in Every Prophecy of the Bible), the Isaiah texts suggests they do too things: (1) proclaim God’s glory — a possible reference to evangelism — and (2) bring back Jewish survivors (at the beginning of the Millennium).
1. PRIESTS (cohanim) generally have the last name Cohen, Kahn, Conn, Cohan, etc.
2. LEVITES generally have the last name Levi, Levine, Levitt, Levison, etc.
III. Don’t Give Up Your Belief in Two Distinct DESTINIES (22-24)
A. The blessed destiny of the SAVED (22-23)
1. Nearer fulfillment: the Millennium
2. Melds into the Eternal State
B. The GEHENNA destiny of the lost (24)
The Valley of Hinnom or Gehenna
Wayne Blank writes, “The Hinnom Valley is a deep, narrow ravine located in Jerusalem, running south from the Jaffa Gate on the west side of the Old City, then eastward along the south side of Mount Zion (seen in the top of the photograph with the Hinnom Valley below it) until it meets the Kidron Valley which separates the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives on the east side of the city. It is named from a certain "son of Hinnom" who apparently owned or had some significant association with the valley at a time prior to Joshua 15:8.