A Reading For Sunday, July 7, 2013
Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.
The Prophet Isaiah
The Book of Isaiah is also known as “The Book of Salvation.” In fact, the name (Isaiah) itself means “the salvation of the Lord” or “the Lord is salvation.” Did you know that this was the first book which contained the writings of the prophets in the Bible? And of the many major and minor prophets, Isaiah was perhaps the “Prince of Prophets”, because, of them all, this man was of a distinguished and privileged family, and was also someone who was better educated. I say this because his writings utilize a rich and beautifully resonant use of language and reading his words is akin to reading a work by a great literary master like Chaucer or Shakespeare!
A deeply spiritual and devout man, Isaiah’s obedience to his Father and his ministry as a prophet lasted some 60 odd years, most (if not all) of which was spent in the capital of Judah, Jerusalem, which was also a time of great political turmoil in the land. It is likely he lived (circa 740-680 B.C.), throughout the reigns of King Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah and Uzziah. His eyes bore witness to the nation of Israel being divided into two kingdoms. The theme of most of his messages included salvation, holiness, comfort, hope and salvation through the coming of the Messiah, but also included the warnings of judgement, punishment, captivity and the fall of the nation.
Isaiah was a contemporary of some other men of faith whose names you might recognize….Amos, Hosea and Micah and it is thought that he died a martyr’s death at the hand of King Manasseh by being placed within a hollowed out tree and then being sawed in half.
10 Rejoice with Jerusalem, be glad for her, all you who love her! Rejoice, rejoice with her, all you who mourned her!
11 So that you may be suckled and satisfied from her consoling breast, so that you may drink deep with delight from her generous nipple.
12 For Yahweh says this: Look, I am going to send peace flowing over her like a river, and like a stream in spate the glory of the nations. You will be suckled, carried on her hip and fondled in her lap.
13 As a mother comforts a child, so I shall comfort you; you will be comforted in Jerusalem.
14 At the sight your heart will rejoice, and your limbs regain vigour like the grass. To his servants Yahweh will reveal his hand, but to his enemies his fury.
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