The Books of the Major Prophets*
In the times of the last kings of Israel, the people were not following God. So God sent prophets* to call the people to return to God. They warned them that if they did not return to God, he would punish them. But the prophets* also reminded them that God would not forget them. And that God always keeps his promises. One day, he would bring them back to the land. One day, God would send them a saviour*.
THE OLD TESTAMENT | THE BOOKS OF MAJOR PROPHETS*
PEOPLE TO KNOW
The Servant of the Lord*
PLACES TO GO
The Day of the Lord* would come.
Isaiah saw God.
A child was born.
God gave comfort for the people.
The servant would rescue the people.
Isaiah is the first of the books that we call Major Prophets. A prophet* is a person who speaks for God. In the Old Testament*, God spoke his words to the prophet*. The prophet* then spoke those words to the people. We call the first four prophets* in the Old Testament* the Major Prophets*. That is because they wrote large books. We call the prophets* that wrote smaller books the Minor Prophets*.
Isaiah spoke to the people who lived in Judah. He spoke to the people and to their kings. Like all true prophets*, he spoke the words that God gave him.
Isaiah filled his book with the things that God showed him. He called the people to stop trusting in an idol*. He called people to return to the true God. Isaiah warned them that they would be judged if they did not return to God. But he also spoke of a time when God would bless* the people again. He told of a time when God would make all things right again. All of the nations would know him. And he would fix everything that was wrong.
Isaiah talked about judgement* in the first part of the book. But there is also some good news. There are words of comfort in the second part of the book.
Isaiah began by telling the people to return to God. The people forgot that God had chosen them. They had stopped being serious about obeying God. They still kept doing some of the things that God told them to do. But they did not love and fear God any more. Isaiah told them that God would punish them. But he also said that God would not forget them or forget his promises to them. He would make sure that a small number of the people remained alive. He would bring those people back to the land and start over again. Isaiah also told them of a day that would come in the future. In those days, the nations would come to Jerusalem. They would listen to God’s words and forget the ways of war.
The nation of Assyria was the enemy of Israel* in those days. They took the people in the northern kingdom* out of their home land in Israel. And they kept them away for many years. So Isaiah told Judah to turn back to God. If they did not turn back, they would lose their land too. An army would take them away. But Isaiah told them something very important. Assyria and Babylon were only great because God made them great. God was using them. God was angry with Judah. They had done many evil* things. So God sent these armies to punish them. But Isaiah also said that God would bring them back. They would return to the land some day. And, some day, he would put everything back to the way it was supposed to be. He would do this and no one could stand in his way.
Many of Isaiah’s words reminded the people that God is not an idol*. His image can not be made by a worker of wood. His power can not be measured. The nations are like ‘a drop in a bucket’ to him. He is the living God. He created* all things. He is the judge of all peoples. His words will stand for ever. He gives hope* to all who trust* in him. God would send someone to rescue them.
In the last part of his book, Isaiah mentioned a new character. He was the Servant of the Lord*. He was the one who would bring hope to Israel. He was the one who would rescue them. Isaiah was talking about someone that the Jews called the Messiah*. The Messiah* was the son that God promised to Abraham. He was the king who would be born of the family of David. He would be a greater prophet* than Moses.
Who was this servant? Who was this man Isaiah was talking about? Who was this child without a human father?Who was this prince that would bring peace*? Who was this man who would comfort the people? Who was this servant that would die and live again? Who was this man who would rescue the people? Who was this Messiah?* Isaiah did not know. When we read the rest of the Bible, we discover that Isaiah was speaking about Jesus.