Act on Revealed Truth
Explore the Bible Series
March 15, 2009
Background Passage: Isaiah 7:1-23:18
Lesson Passage: Isaiah: Isaiah 7:1-14, 16
Personal word: Okay, the LifeWay writer has finally beaten me! For nearly five years I have managed to write outlines for some lengthy lesson materials, as many as eight chapters, on occasion.† This weekís lesson includes seventeen chapters from Isaiah, and it seems unlikely that the average teacher (or outline writer) can digest this much material.† Therefore, this outline will center attention on Isaiah 7:1-25 and provide a brief summary of the rest of the background text. I extend my sincere regrets to readers who want a broader overview of the lessons and for the lateness of the outline.
Higher textual critics have faulted this section of the Prophecy of Isaiah for its lack of thematic cohesion, a result, they claim, of a host of editors who introduced disparate materials into the text. John Oswalt, along with a host of other conservative Old Testament scholars, has sought to answer these concerns about the unity of the text.
Oswalt suggests that this section forms a clearly defined,
coherent unit.† The recurrence of the
The message of this portion of the Prophecy of Isaiah focuses on the transitory nature of the power structures of the world.† Political and social strength does not arise from human contrivance and ingenuity; rather, it comes from faith and obedience toward God.† The nations of the earth may form their alliances, but that is not the way of the Lord.† Godís people must possess greater moral vision.† They must understand that Godís ways are not manís ways.† Jehovah will, according to his covenant promises, provide for, nurture, sustain, and protect his people.† Human devises are not necessary for the Lordís people.
Perhaps these chapters may, to some, seem dry and
unappealing.† Some will fail to see the
important implications of the text.† It
has ever been the plight of sinful man that he tries to foster his own security,
strength, and salvation through inventions of human design.† Adamís fig leaves foreshadow all of manís
efforts to cover their guilt, weakness, and shame.† The political alliances of
Brief Summary of the Background Passage:
The Sign of Immanuel (7:1-25): This chapter poses some
formidable difficulties for Bible students.†
A general understanding of the historical context and a good Bible atlas
will provide invaluable assistance in working through the text.† The chapter deals with the reign of Ahaz, son
of King Jotham.† He governed
message to Ahaz (vv. 3-9): The Lord sent Isaiah to challenged Ahaz concerning
the proposed alliance with
B. Godís promise to Ahaz (vv. 9-25): In a second oracle God commanded Ahaz to ask for a sign of the Lordís redemptive goodness to his people.† Ahaz apparently had some fear of the Lord, and he recoiled from asking for a sign.† Jehovah persisted in his command, and he promised Ahaz the birth of a promised son.† A young maiden (a virginal woman of marriageable age) would bear a son, and she would call his name Immanuel, God with us.† Old Testament scholars have struggled with the interpretation of this prophecy.† Clearly, the text indicates that this son would come as a sign to Ahaz; however, the New Testament applies this prophecy to the Virgin Mary and the Lord Jesus (See Matthew 1:23).† Perhaps it is best to understand a double application of the promise; that is, a son, born to a young woman, in the days of Ahaz, would provide an initial fulfillment, and the birth of this son would serve as a type of the incarnation.† Isaiah followed the Immanuel prophecy with a four-fold description of the Day of the Lord.
oracle of the flies and bees (vv. 18-19): Like swarming insects, invading
armies will inundate the
oracle of the razor (v. 20): Shaving the head, in the ancient world, was a
symbol of shame and morning.† Godís judgment
oracle of the cow and sheep (vv. 21-22): The devastation of
4. the oracle of the vines (vv. 23-25): In the day of judgment the beautifully cultivated areas with be neglected and overtaken by the brier and thorn.
II. The Preservation of the Remnant (8:1-12:6): This rich passage deserves thorough treatment, but the limitations of this outline allow only a general overview.†
Assyrian invasion of the Northern Kingdom (8:1-22):
B. The promised child (9:1-10:19): This wonderful chapter outlines some of the characteristics of the Messiah (See 9:6-7) and scathing denouncements of Israel (See 9:8-10:4) and Assyria (10:5-19).
preservation of the remnant (10:20-12:6): Despite Godís pledge to judge
III. The Babylonians (13:1-14:27)
future destruction of
1. God will gather his army against the Babylonians (13:1-5).
catastrophic destruction of
will use the Medes to destroy
1. God will gather the House of Jacob and make it a refuge for many sojourners (14:1-2).
2. Jacobís House will know peace, and the Babylonians will experience decline, death, and decay (14:4-23)
Judgment on Philistia (14:28-32):
Judgment of Babylon Revisited (21:1-17): This is a very
difficult chapter to interpret.† At first
glance, it appears to center attention on