The Greatest Prophet (Week 26)
Out of all the prophetic books in the Bible, Isaiah is the longest—one reason he is often considered the greatest prophet of Israel. His ministry spanned a period of some 60 years and included the defeat and exile of the Northern Kingdom of Israel at the hands of the Assyrians. However, the message of Isaiah is largely to the remaining Kingdom of Judah as they, too, faced judgment and exile. His book also foretells of a future time when God would regather His people and restore their national homeland. He predicted the Galilee would see a great light and that a child would be born to carry the weight of the government and sit upon the throne of David.
The call of this great prophet, however, was not one to great fame or fortune. It was to speak to a people who would not hear nor understand what he told them. I wonder how many of us today would consider that to be a successful ministry. What kind of prophet is rejected by the people he is called to speak to?
That, however, is the life and calling of Isaiah. He saw God’s judgment fall upon the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and He knew it was coming to the Southern Kingdom of Judah if they did not change their ways. But the people did not believe him. King Uzziah had just died, but during his 52-year reign, he had brought great stability and prosperity to the citizens of his kingdom. He had shared the throne with his son, Jotham, who then took over with a smooth transition of power. Everything looked good on the outside.
But idolatry was still a plague in their midst. Isaiah then witnessed Jotham’s son, Ahaz, take the throne and lead the kingdom into full idolatrous rebellion. He not only participated in child sacrifice and worshiped the pagan gods, but he also set up an altar to one of them in the great temple in Jerusalem. God revealed to Isaiah the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem that would eventually come as a result.
Isaiah was not considered a great prophet because of a large following or wealthy ministry but due to his anointed oracles and purity of vision. To learn more about the calling of the great prophet Isaiah, please join me for this Out of Zion podcast, “The Greatest Prophet.” Walk Thru the Bible with me each week by downloading our Bible reading plan, and get started reading right away!
Invite your friends and family to join us! I can’t wait to Walk Thru the Bible with you!
About this episode:
The prophet Isaiah was called at a critical moment in history with a mission to speak to a people who would not hear nor understand him. He was not called to great success in terms of impact but to declare the word of the Lord as a witness to what was about to happen. The prophet Micah was raised up during the same period and predicted many specific events. Both had glorious visions of a future messianic kingdom. But first, God had to judge His people’s sin and rid them of idolatry once and for all. This episode complements the daily readings from our Walk Thru the Bible reading plan for July 26 – Aug 1, covering Isaiah 1-17; Micah; 2 Kings 15-17.