This month we will focus primarily on the riches of Isaiah chapter 40. We’ll begin to refresh our understanding of Isaiah and the nature of his ministry by witnessing God’s call to Him in chapter 6. Then we’ll dip into Isaiah 1 and Isaiah 39 to help us set chapter 40 in its proper context.
Isaiah chapters 1 through 35 focus on God’s judgment upon Israel by Assyria. Chapters 40 through 66 focus on God’s gracious deliverance of His people from the predicted Babylonian captivity and upon their ultimate spiritual deliverance through Jesus Christ. Chapters 36-39 are a historical bridge between these two sections, paralleling 2 Kings 18:13-20:19.
The two main sections are so distinct that critics say they are written by different authors, especially since they assume that an author can only be writing about the past or present. Yet the New Testament clearly attributes the entire book to Isaiah. As someone else has written, “Isaiah’s remarkable prophecies about Christ’s suffering and death put the case for supernatural prophecy beyond reasonable doubt!”
God authors amazing prophecies designed to comfort His people during a captivity 150 years in the future. This inspiring message of salvation for God’s people through Jesus Christ, which Isaiah unfolds, continues to thrill the hearts of God’s people through the ages!
Isaiah 40 trumpets the call to “Behold Your God” and to prepare yourselves for His coming! Behold Him in all the facets of His glorious Being! He brings an end to warfare and pardons our iniquities! Isaiah sets before our minds both God’s gentleness as our Shepherd, as well His immeasurable power and majesty.
Isaiah calls us to 100% confidence in His care, His knowledge, and His provision for our lives. Nothing is hidden from Him and those who wait upon Him will truly renew their strength!
The cleansing of Isaiah
“And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged.”” – Isaiah 6:7
Scripture reading: Isaiah 6:1-8
Isaiah’s vision of the Lord defies imagination. He sees the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, His train filled the temple! The glory of the Lord is so awesome that even the perfect seraphim cover their faces and feet with wings while they call to each other declaring, “Holy Holy Holy is the LORD of Hosts!”
Isaiah feels himself ‘undone’, which means to be ‘cut off’ or ‘destroyed.’ His lips are so unclean that he does not see how he can survive his encounter with God. Isaiah is not far off the mark, because no man with sinful lips can see God and live unless something drastic happens. And it does! The seraphim takes a burning coal from the altar of sacrifice, flies to him and touches his mouth with it. This fire takes away his iniquity and purges the guilt of his sin!
How deadly our unclean lips are! If nothing drastic happens to us, encountering God will leave us destroyed by His holiness as well! To enter into God’s presence and not be consumed, you must believe in Jesus Christ. The coal of the altar of His sacrifice on the cross has to touch your mouth and your heart. Don’t avoid it. Don’t put it off. Let it take away your iniquity and purge your sin. Then you’ll be cleansed and ready both to meet Him and to serve Him faithfully in whatever He calls you to do today!
Suggestions for prayer
Pray for a deep sense of the holiness of God, an intense awareness of your sinful nature, and great peace and joy in knowing that your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is purged!
Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.