A Study in the Word – Isaiah’s Background No. 13

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Within the two general topics of redemption and judgment there are three major themes in Isaiah.

First, God is the Holy One of Israel (1:4; 24 times in Isaiah). He judges according to the standard of His holiness. Yet, God is Redeemer as well as Judge. He desires to be known in a redemptive manner as the Holy One of Israel (41:14, 20; 47:4), for knowledge of God is essentially communion with God. One of the great theological questions of Isaiah is “Whom do you trust?” Repeatedly, Isaiah calls Israel to trust God, but they trust in their own abilities and accomplishments and “do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!” (31:1; 48:17). The faithful remnant will be honored and blessed in the end because they have seen the need to trust in God, the Holy One of Israel (60:14).

Second, God provides for a Faithful Remnant (10:20-22). The people who follow the example of Isaiah, who repent and trust God, are the “remnant.” The word remnant is the Hebrew “shear” of Isaiah’s son, Shear-jashub (7:3). The remnant is composed of those who have turned away from their former idolatry to trust the Lord. They are those who “return” to the Lord and represent only a fraction (a “remnant”) of Israel. But the remnant is not just reserved for Israel. If God’s warning went out to all nations (34:1-2), then that warning must be heeded by all nations: “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other” (45:22).

Third, Redemption will be provided by the Suffering Servant of God. The “Servant Songs” are: 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-9; 52:13-53:12. God also calls Him, “My Servant” (The Hebrew is Ebed Yahweh). A true servant of the Lord would serve God’s special purpose. The Servant of the Lord falls into this category as Redeemer for us sent from God. The New Testament refers to Him as the Messiah/the Christ. He is the one who suffers on behalf of fallen humanity, yet still fulfills his work of redemption (49:3-7; 52:13-53:12; Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45; Romans 15:8-9). 

Dr. David Moore is a Baptist preacher in Pampa and an online instructor in Bible and theology for Taylor University and Nations University. Email: dm5867se@outlook.com.

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