Isaiah was a prophet in Israel during some very difficult times due to the fact that Israel had to a great extent departed from the true worship of God and were not keeping the commandments as God instructed. Due to rebellion Israel was divided into two kingdoms. The Northern Kingdom was known as the Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom was referred to as Judah in the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah. These two divisions were adversarial toward each other. Isaiah was a prophet in Judah over 700 years before the birth of Jesus. It might be mentioned that Jeremiah was a prophet in Judah later over 600 years before Jesus. The sinful departure from serving God continued during the times of both prophets. Perhaps the sinful conditions then were much like and to the degree of the sinfulness that is prevalent in today’s world. God through these prophets warned Israel that there would be serious consequences of their sin, but they would be greatly blessed if they returned to faithful service to God. Unfortunately, Israel did not heed the words of the prophets and made bad choices by continuing in their sinful ways. Indeed, there were serious consequences resulting from their sinful behaviors. We also have to make similar choices almost daily. There are blessings when we make choices pleasing to God. As previously stated, the sinfulness of Judah continued until about 600 years before Jesus. God withdrew his protection and they were attacked by the Babylonians. About 606 BC the Babylonians conquered and took the entire population of Judah from their homeland to the land of the Babylonians where they were to be servants of the Babylonians for 70 years. After the fall of the Babylonian Empire they were permitted to return to their original homeland and to restore their worship of God.
In spite of all the sins of Judah, God never ceased to love them. In Isaiah 27 God promises a brighter day for Israel when they will no longer be divided and when they are turned from their sinful ways to serve and obey God. These blessings will happen after Jesus returns and establishes the Kingdom of God.
We can learn much from the experiences of Israel. We all have sinned and that includes everyone. Yet, God loves mankind so much that He gave his only begotten son as a sacrifice for our sins, John 3:16. Today we live in a world with many problems and challenges. This week we are not at FUEL because of a very serious and deadly virus. There is strife and unrest in our nation often leading to violence. There are a number of wars in the world. Although we live in difficult times, we like Israel are confronted with choices. God has something better ahead for us if we choose to serve him today and accept his son Jesus – The Wonderful Kingdom of God is promised for us!
~ Joe James
Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to on Bible Gateway.
Tomorrow, we continue reading about the history of Judah and Israel in 2 Kings 18:1-8 & 2 Chronicles 29-31 & Psalm 48 – as we continue the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan.