Isaiah 59 – Part 4

We continue our series in Isaiah 58-59, with guest writer Rev. Christine Redwood.

Confession

If you’ve traveled with me through all this sin it is almost a relief to come to this new section! It commences with the point of view switching to the people. Collectively they speak in the first person plural (‘we/us’):

So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. Isaiah 59:9

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Isaiah 59 – Part 3

We continue our series in Isaiah 58-59, with guest writer Rev. Christine Redwood.

Hatching Sin

They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider’s web. Whoever eats their eggs will die, and when one is broken, an adder is hatched. Their cobwebs are useless for clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their deeds are evil deeds, and acts of violence are in their hands. Isaiah 69:5-6

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Isaiah 59 – Part 2

We continue our series in Isaiah 58-59, with guest writer Rev. Christine Redwood.

Picturing God

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2

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Isaiah 59 – Part 1

We continue our series in Isaiah 58-59, with guest writer Rev. Christine Redwood.

Dividing Isaiah (Everyone has an opinion!)

Sometimes we can be unaware of the fierce debates happening in the academic world! This can be a good and a bad thing. I remember how shocking it was to discover that there is no consensus concerning who wrote Isaiah or how to divide it. So let me introduce you to some of these arguments so you’re prepared. Many commentaries will refer to chapters 56-66 as Trito-Isaiah.[1] Interestingly, the third part of Isaiah has not received the same scholarly attention as chapters 40-55, which have been perceived to be the ‘pinnacle’ of Isaiah’s theology (Christians also love the middle of Isaiah which contains those beautiful servant songs which Jesus fulfills). [2]  It is easy to ignore the difficult and obscure parts of the Bible! Yet in recent years as scholars have studied the whole of Isaiah they have rediscovered the unity between the three sections and now appreciate how the final section brings the previous two sections together.[3]  Goldingay creatively calls the voice in Isaiah 56-66 the ‘preacher, a bringer of good news’.[4]

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Isaiah 58 – Part 4

We continue our series in Isaiah 58-59, with guest writer Rev. Christine Redwood.

Tying the Strands Together

 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honourable, and if you honour it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Isaiah 58:13-14

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Isaiah 58 – Part 3

We continue our series in Isaiah 58-59, with guest writer Rev. Christine Redwood.

Hope on the Horizon

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk… Isaiah 58:8-9

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Isaiah 58 – Part 2

We continue our series in Isaiah 58-59, with guest writer Rev. Christine Redwood.

Heavy Speech

“Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.” Isaiah 58:1

Isaiah 58:1 opens with a series of commands from God to the prophet.  These orders function to stress the importance of this speech.[1] Then comes a classic example of Hebrew poetry, the use of parallelism. In this case synonymous parallelism is used. The second line repeats the first line using different words and this serves to ‘intensify, or refine the thought’.[2] If you read the psalms or the prophets you’ll see this technique a lot! The prophet is commanded to proclaim with his voice, and the next line emphasizes this with another instruction to shout like a trumpet. The prophet is thus charged to speak as powerfully as possible.[3] This is an important message.

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Isaiah 58 – Part 1

We begin a new series in Isaiah 58-59, with guest writer Rev. Christine Redwood. Christine serves on the pastoral team at Hornsby Baptist Church in Sydney, and has been a student of mine at Morling College.

Imaginative Isaiah

Hello everyone! If you notice a change in style over the next two weeks that is because Tim has kindly offered me the chance to contribute to his blog. One of the things I am passionate about is communicating God’s Word. I believe it is important not just to think about the content of the Bible but the different forms the writers of the Bible use to communicate their message. One of the questions I have spent some time reflecting on is: How might those different forms shape both us and the way we communicate?

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