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*Gripped By the Greatness of God*
*Introduction Week 2*
Well … we have looked at the greatness of God, the goodness of God and that God is worthy of gratitude …
Now we prepare to move into the study … let’s learn a few things about the Human Author of this God-Breathed book called *“Isaiah”*
Isaiah was a Prophet of God … that is NOT a lightly taken mantle …
There are some preachers today who have been called or call themselves “Prophet” … let me say this clearly while carefully.
IF you want this mantle you best be VERY sure and very clear.
There are two types of “prophesy” … Prophesy can mean “FORETELLING” or “FORTHTELLING”  … that is prediction of the future or proclamation of truth … future telling or truth telling.
Moses was very clear about the qualifications of the office of Prophet
Deuteronomy 18:22 (NIV) \\ 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken.
That prophet has spoken presumptuously.
Do not be afraid of him.
Deuteronomy 18:20 (NIV) \\ 20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.”
Isaiah 8:20 (NIV) \\ 20 To the law and to the testimony!
If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.
So, if a person today claims to be a prophet they must be right all the time or they are NOT a Prophet.
I believe that one of my Spiritual Gifts is the Gift of Prophesy, or “Truth Telling” but I do not claim to be a Prophet … for the very reason I have already stated.
Be cautious and examine fully anyone who would choose to call themselves a Prophet, understanding these guidelines … If they proclaim themselves a Capital P, prophet and are wrong, ignore them.
Now what of THIS man Isaiah
*Who is He?*
Name means “salvation of the Lord” – and God’s deliverance or salvation is a primary theme to the book.
There were plenty of people in his day named Isaiah.
So, as was common he identifies himself by the name of his Father.
His Father was Amoz … not Amos but Amoz.
He was married and his wife is referred to as “the prophetess” which can either mean she shared his gift of prophesy or simply that she was the wife of the Prophet.
Which is it?
We don’t know because the Word of God is silent on that.
He had two sons, which were given names that were significant to the Prophesy given by Isaiah …
Shear-jashub (a remnant shall return)
Maher-shalal-has-baz (quick to plunder swift to spoil)
They point to God’s Judgment and his Restoration
Isaiah received his call in chapter 6 … the year Uzziah, the King, and his Uncle, died – 739 BC
Tradition tells us that he died after being sawed in half by Manasseh … Scripture doesn’t speak to it directly but a reference to someone faithful being sawed in half is Hebrews 11:37 and it is listed there as if they knew who that was.
Isaiah, saw God’s Glory and Understood God’s Glory not just God but Jesus himself.
How do we know?
Read 6:1-8 and then John 12:41 where it says /“Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him”/
Isaiah loved his people saying “my people” 26 times.
Sometimes you get the idea with some preachers that they are just mad at people and have lost their love for the people they speak to or against.
But Isaiah loved the people of God because he understood God.
When you know God, you will share his compassion for people
Isaiah served from and primarily to the southern Kingdom of Judah based in Jerusalem.
The kings in his life were Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, perhaps briefly Manasseh …
Uzziah was a good and godly king.
But he got jealous for the office of the priest, did things that only a priest were to do and God struck him with leprosy that took his life.
His son, Jotham, was also a good king, who saw the rise of the Assyrians during his reign
His son, Ahaz, was a terrible king.
He made alliances that ended with the bondage to Assyria
Finally his son, Hezekiah, reigned for 42 years and was a great king.
Israel, to the north was conquered during Hezekiah’s reign but Judah staved off complete destruction until much later, when his great grandson Josiah was defeated and his sons ruled, leading to the eventual destruction of Judah in 597BC.
God prophesied TRUTH through Isaiah and he Prophesied future events, some that happened more than 150 years after his ministry began.
There are those scholars who have difficulty with prophetic words.
And they will say there were TWO Isaiahs or even THREE.
They believe that the later half of the book, because it refers to events more than a century later, must have been written by someone else.
If that is the case, we must throw out the book of Revelation because we are still waiting for its fulfillment.
We should throw out pieces of the book of Daniel because we are still waiting for some of that to be fulfilled.
Other parts of Isaiah also refer to time that is still yet to be.
People, the author of the book of Isaiah is the Holy Spirit of God 2 Timothy 3:16 says /“all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness”/   Isaiah is NOT the originator but the human author moved by God to write TRUTH.
Truth for his immediate day, truth for the coming generations, truth distant future generations as well.
I believe that we have ONE author of the book of Isaiah.
Why do I believe that?
Because the word of God does not tell us anything different and I believe the Word of God and trust the veracity of it.
*Small Groups*
1.    What do you think it means to be gripped by the greatness of God?
2.    How do you long to be captured ~/ gripped ~/ captivated by God’s greatness?
3.    Of the topics we will cover which one(s) are you looking forward to and why?
a.    Holiness of God
b.    Awesomeness of God
c.    Sovereignty of God
d.    Works of God
e.    Worship of God
My Identity in God
*This Week’s Mountain Top*
On a journey there are many peaks and valleys.
You can’t always see all of the path.
Sometimes guides on a journey will climb a tree to get a better perspective.
Or they will climb a mountaintop to get a better view of where they are headed.
But from that perspective, they will get a vantage point that they can either see or remember from their current vantage point to keep them moving in the right direction.
Last week, I was playing golf.
On the 3rd hole, I hit a terrible first shot.
My drive was pull hooked to the left into the fairway of the 18th green.
From that point, I was 200 yards from the green I was trying to reach.
But worse that than, I couldn’t SEE the green I was trying to reach.
There was a creek lined with trees between me and the green and I couldn’t see my goal.
I went around the creek and looked at the green.
I then noticed that there was a tall tree behind the green.
That tall tree stood taller than the trees in front of me.
I couldn’t see the green, but I could see the tree behind the green.
So, I went back to my ball.
I knew I couldn’t reach the tall tree.
But I knew that if I hit my three iron well, I could reach the green 200 yards away if I hit it AT the tree behind the green that I could see.
I came around the creek and there was my ball safely on the green.
We all want the personal great Christian life that we see in scripture.
But if we are honest we just can’t see it.
We can’t see it happening.
Too many things are in the way, pride, fears, frustrations, imperfections, failures, and much more.
But above the personal perfection that we can’t see, if the perfection of Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.
Aim for him.
Keep striving toward him, and while we will come short we will advance toward the life of obedience that we desire.
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