Audio: Isaiah 1:1-4, 12-23 - A prophet in the midst of problems


Isaiah; A prophet in the midst of problems

Isaiah 1:1-4, 12-23

Rev. Mark Sumpter

Isaiah; A prophet in the midst of problems

Isolation and loss of identity provide commentary for our times. Watching people walk the shopping malls—and what do we see? Heads down and eyes glued to a little electronic gadget. Noticing the billboards along the highway displays people on a quest for self-renewal, being a new, re-made self—whether it’s beauty (cosmetics), intelligence (college), or money (lottery).

The gospel answers isolation and loss of identity. “O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel; that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.”

Israel, back in her Old Testament history, is lonely—isolated.

Israel is in captivity—loss of identity.

We will open up the Book of Isaiah for the rest of this Advent Season. We first get acquainted with Isaiah, who is an Old Testament prophet, and he ministers to Israel (the southern land of Judah), who has big problems.

“…My people have rebelled against Me…” “...they have forsaken the LORD…” Therefore, “…the mighty man shall be humbled…” And “…even though you make many prayers, I will not listen.”

What led to these problems? “Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves…they do not bring justice to the fatherless, and the widow’s cause does not come to them.” And as well, they have not turned away from idolatry and disobedience, to “wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; to remove the evil deeds from before My eyes.”

Jesus Christ of Nazareth came to win salvation and to establish His church. The Son of God has appeared. For Him and for His saving love we give thanks.