Summary: An exposition of Isaiah 40:1-11
Islington Baptist Church October 27, 2001
Christ in the book of Isaiah
Today you and I are going to be starting a new series entitled “Christ in the book of Isaiah”. In the book of Isaiah, Jesus/ the Messiah is alluded to or directly spoken of in dozens and dozens of its chapters. Let me encourage you to read the book of Isaiah at least once in the next couple of months, noting for yourselves the various passages Jesus is alluded to or spoken of (it’s only a 3 hour read). Your reading of the book of Isaiah will make reading the New Testament even more of a rich experience—for in the N.T the scriptures in the book of Isaiah are alluded to or directly quoted many many many times.
Just so you know the book of Isaiah is named after the prophet Isaiah who lived approximately 700 years before Jesus came down to us.
Isaiah was a prophet, which meant that he was the mouthpiece of God or in other words, God’s messenger. Isaiah’s job was to tell the people what God said.
In order to properly understand Isaiah it must be understood that that because of the Israelites countless sins against God and their refusal to turn from their sins, God was in the process of punishing his people. In 722 B.C, during Isaiah’s life time, the Northern Kingdom of Israel was overrun by the Assyrians and the people were either killed or taken into captivity. In 586 B.C, more than 100 years after Isaiah lived, the Southern Kingdom was overrun and its peoples carted off to Babylon.
Isaiah prophesied the Babylonian captivity of 586 B.C. He repeatedly warned the people that such was going to happen to them because of their sins and their refusal to get right with God. In addition to warning them of God’s impending judgement, Isaiah- at God’s direction also spoke to his people words of grace and comfort from God- telling them that their punishment and captivity would not last forever.
Temptation to guard against: to just look at the passages of Isaiah through the eyes of fulfillment in the person of Christ and not to see how significant and applicable the words of Isaiah were to the original audience.
Isaiah 40 is a passage that is deeply cherished by those who are Jewish—and not just those who are Jewish but by us to.
One thing to note again about this passage is this: The message of Isaiah 40 was delivered by Isaiah to the people before the Babylonians came—they didn’t come and take all the people away until 586 B.C – over 100 years after Isaiah prophesied there coming.
This passage is cherished because of its theme: the theme of hope and the comfort of God.
As you know, God is the God of all comfort. II Corinthians 1:1 says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all of our troubles”
a. This passage was a comfort to the Jews of Isaiah’s day because it assured them that God was still their God, even thought they sinned, and that he would be true to his promises, long since made, to them as a people.
We must not forget this either: the Jews still are God’s chosen nation and a special people unto Him. A day is coming to when many Jews will turn to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
b. This passage served as comfort to the Jews who were in exile because they knew that one day, even though many days months and years would pass, God was going take them back to their homeland and bless them again.
b. This passage brought and brings comfort because it teaches ;us that with God their can be the forgiveness of sins and a full pardon
As a nation the people Isaiah was preaching to, and their descendants, were not going to punished for their sins by God forever (this does not negate the fact that those cast into Hell are punished for their sins forever). God delights to show mercy and forgiveness and to set his face towards those who seek and cry out for Him.
In respect to his Micah 7:18-19 says “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgressions of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.