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Summary: Isaiah tells us that the Messiah’s coming is going to bring about great change. But some of it hasn’t happened yet. What are we to make of a prophecy that hasn’t come true?

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-When I was at seminary in St. Louis, we had to do several practicums in different areas of ministry. They were first come – first served but I was very blessed in the areas I had the opportunity to learn and grow. I did a cross-cultural module with Apple of His Eye Mission Society. I found out that outside of New York and Los Angeles, St. Louis has one of the largest populations of Jewish Americans in the U. S. Steve Cohen, its founder and former Jew himself, set us up with opportunities to interact with Jews in our community. One weekend, we were assigned to attend Shabbat at a local synagogue and we set up a meeting with the rabbi after the service was over.

-I asked her what she thought about Jesus and His resurrection from the dead. She didn’t deny that what Jesus’ disciples saw but believed that it was a figment of their imagination.

-One of her objections to Jesus being the Messiah was that there are many Biblical passages like the one in our Old Testament lesson for today that talk about the peace and tranquility that will be manifest in our world when the Messiah comes

-When Jesus came, the world was not made appreciably better. Therefore, the logic goes, He must not have been the Messiah.

-So, how do we understand these verses in our text for today?

-Well, let’s look at a little history to understand the context in which Isaiah was working

-He was a prophet to the southern kingdom of Judah between the years 750 and 681 B. C. during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah

-If you recall, after Solomon’s reign, the nation of Israel was split in two. Ten northern tribes formed the kingdom of Israel and the two southern tribes formed Judah.

-It was a tumultuous time in both Israel’s and Judah’s history. The Assyrian empire was gaining strength under Tiglath-Pilezser III. His kingdom swept into Aram, modern-day Syria. The kings of Aram and Israel, tried to get King Ahaz of Judah to join them in a coalition against Assyria but Ahaz joined forces with Assyria to defeat the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B. C. This left Judah very vulnerable to invasion.

-Isaiah, over and over again, warned the people of Judah to stop their evil ways and turn back to God, otherwise, God was going to allow them to feel the full negative repercussions of their covenant with Him at Sinai. He would allow the Babylonians to sweep in, conquer them, destroy the temple and carry them off in captivity. That would eventually occur in 586 B. C.

-There are a couple simple things about prophecy that you need to understand in order to better understand our text and understand the bible in general.

-First, when a prophet sees a vision of a forthcoming event or gets words from God to speak or write, they may or may not get the entirety of what they are to relate to the people. There might be more to it than what meets the eye. There may be multiple fulfillments of the same prophecy. We will see that more next week.

-Second, but closely related to that it there may be multiple events that they speak of or write about in terms of one event. In other words, they see events in compressed time compared to the way they actually play out in history. {PAUSE}


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