the Visionary Prophet
Who was Isaiah?
Isaiah (meaning "God Saves"), was the son of Amoz (meaning "The Strong One"). Isaiah called his wife "the prophetess", as she seemed to have great favour from God. Isaiah had two sons, "Shaar Yashob" (meaning "The Returned Remnant") and "Maheer Shalal Hash Baz" (meaning "Spoils" or "Booty of War".)
The following is the vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. (Isaiah1: 1 3: 87, 8: 3)
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw God seated on a throne, high and exalted. Above him were seraphs. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is God Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” The doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips." Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” (Isaiah 6:1-7)
Q : Why do people fear the moment of facing God the judge, as Isaiah did?
Because when we are faced with God's purity and holiness we become more aware of our selfishness, wrong attitudes and behaviour.
God Calls Isaiah
Then I heard the voice of God saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” He said, “Go and tell this people: ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people calloused, until the cities lie ruined. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.” (Isaiah 6:8-13)
Q : What do we learn from God sending prophets like Isaiah to people who will never listen to him and obey what he says?
We learn that God gives chances to everyone and so those who don't listen will have no excuse to give them an escape from condemnation.
From his Teaching
My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. He said, "What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. I will make it a wasteland, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it.” (Isaiah 5:1-6)
Q : What do you think of someone who closes his heart so that he can't listen to God's whisper?
He loses both in this life and in the life after.
God is not Pleased with People Keeping only the Ceremonial Law
Hear the word of God, listen to His law, “The multitude of your sacrifices— what are they to me?” says God. "Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." God says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." (Isaiah 1:10-17 & 29:13)
Q : So how can we please God?
By repenting from the stubbornness of our hearts, and by stopping our rejection of His voice in our hearts.
God's Promise to the Faithful
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in God will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:30-31)
A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of God blows on them. But the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:6-8)
Q : Why should the believer rest in God and on His Word?
Because those who rely on Him experience His mercy and gain spiritual encouragement in their hearts.
From Isaiah's Prophecies
Therefore God himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. And the glory of God will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of God has spoken. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and God has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. (Isaiah 7:14; 45; 53:3-9)
Q : Why should we test the credibility of every Prophet?
Because God warned us against those who might appear as prophets, but are not sent by God.