Isaiah Key People
Tress and prophets share at least one important characteristic - both are planted for the future. Yet seedlings are often overlooked and prophets often ignored. Isaiah is one of the best examples of this. The people of his time could have been rescued by his words. Instead, they refused to believe him. With the passing of centuries, however, Isaiah’s words have cast a shadow on all of history.
Isaiah was active as a prophet during the reigns of five kings, but he did not set out to be a prophet. By the time King Uzziah died, Isaiah may have been established as a scribe in the royal palace in Jerusalem. It was a respectable career, but God had other plans for his servant. Isaiah’s account of God’s call leaves little doubt about what motivated the prophet for the next half century. His vision of God was unforgettable.
His encounter with God permanently affected Isaiah’s character. He reflected the God he represented. Isaiah’s messages - some comforting, some confronting - are so dissimilar that some have guesses they came from different authors. Isaiah’s testimony is that the messages came from the only one capable of being perfect in justice as well as in mercy - God himself.
When he called Isaiah as a prophet, God did not encourage him with predictions of great success. God told Isaiah that the people would not listen. But he was to speak and write his messages anyway because eventually some would listen. God compared his people to a tree that would have to be cut down so that a new tree could grow from the old stump (Isaiah 6:13).
We who are part of that future can see that many of the promises God gave through Isaiah have been fulfilled in Jesús Christ. We also gain the hope of knowing that God is active in all of history, including our own.
Strengths and accomplishments
Lesson from his life
Isaiah’s story is told in 2 Kings 19:2-20:19. He is also mentioned in 2 Chronicles 26:22; 32:20, 32; Matthew 3:3; 8:17; 12:17-21; John 12:38-41; Romans 10:16, 20, 21.