LIBERTY UNIVERSITY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Interpretive Essay 3
Submitted to Dr. Cheol Choi in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the completion of the course
OBST 661 LUO B01
July 3, 2015
After reviewing J. J. M. Roberts’ Isaiah in Old Testament Theology, the theological message of Isaiah has become resoundingly clear. Previously, the theological message of Isaiah was considered to be the redemption of Israel, however, Roberts broadens this perspective by focusing on the One by whom redemption comes. The theological message of Isaiah is the majesty of the Holy One of Israel, the Suffering Servant, the Messiah, who ...view middle of the document...
God had grown weary of their prayers and offerings but inwardly forsaking the Gods has “reared” them up and spared them. In 1:9-10, the Prophet emphasizes the mercy of the Lord and compares it to the judgment God set against Sodom and Gomorrah. Again in V.10, the Prophet echoes his plead for them to hear the Word of the Lord paralleling his Sodom and Gomorrah to emphasize the conviction and severity of his message. Although the message comes through the prophet, it is God’s vision and God’s words that profoundly conveys the mind of God through earthly language where the people were able to understand.
Another pivotal point in the Book of Isaiah happens in the chapter 7 where the Ahaz is confronted with a challenging situation and finds himself and Judah in a predicament where he must choose between trusting in God or the alternative. As Israel has aligned with Syria and attempting to pressure Judah into the alliance or face being overrun. Isaiah comes to challenge Ahaz to join the faithful remnant of believers but he because he is fearful of invasion by Israel and Syria, even more fearful of the Assyrians, and he refuses. The prophet advises Ahaz to ask of God any sign and God would perform it to assure him that God was with during this perilous time. Unable to see beyond his own lack of faith, Ahaz declines the Isaiah’s offer. Through the prophet, God gives Ahaz a sign despite his declination of a child who would be given as a sign that God would be with Judah. This child would remind Ahaz of his decision not to trust God and put his faith in his own resources.
In 7:14, the prophecy regarding this child is seen indicating the almah would give birth to son and call his name Immanuel. This passage is pivotal because many see it as a prophecy of the Messiah and couple it with the reference of the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:23. To some, this passage signifies the virgin birth of Christ while some scholars contend that exegesis suggests otherwise. According to Herbert M. Wolf in A Solution To The Immanuel Prophecy In Isaiah 7:14-8:22, some scholars suggest the child may be Hezekiah’s son, Isaiah’s son, Maher-shalal- hash-baz, and is not born of a virgin.The almah is not interpreted as a ‘virgin,’ the proper interpretation is ‘young woman,’ the child is given as a sign to Ahaz and this Scripture does not fit into the prophetic context for reference to the birth of Christ. Historically, Ahaz aligned Judah with the Assyrians who would later become the instrument of their captivity.
Ironically, Hezekiah was confronted with a similar situation against the Assyrians and was had to decide to trust God or be fearful of the taunting of the enemy (2 Kings 18-19). Ultimately, the result of trusting the Lord is witness in God’s fulfillment of His promises and God’s extension of Hezekiah’s life in Isaiah 38. Throughout this saga, God shows His providence and again demonstrates to His people that His word is reliable.