76 Sermons On The Old Testament Given By Jesus
Sermon 69 - The Third Isaiah models his style after that of the Second Isaiah.
April 1st, 1964
Received by Dr Samuels
I am here, Jesus.
The trek to Jerusalem, in the days of the Second Isaiah, did not happen as the prophet would have liked: a triumphant march back to the land of Israel, with song and cheer, and a great multitude giving thanks to God for His redemption of the land, and the redemption of the people from sin. The return to Jerusalem was a slow trickle, undertaken by some of the young, the pioneers in spirit, a few of the older folks whose religious zest was so high that hardship and death on the sacred soil of Israel were preferable to life in an alien land, given to paganism and abomination. The voice of the Second Isaiah, then, diminishes in its loudness and exultation: not all of the people, thus, will be redeemed; only that remnant that returns to the Holy Land and is redeemed in heart by faith in the Lord and love for the homeland - a homeland given by God to the Hebrews as His Promise to His chosen people.
The Third Isaiah was called so because he continued the plea of his predecessor for the return to Jerusalem from Babylon. With the same great faith in the Lord as Redeemer, this Isaiah was a young man who felt that a renewed voice of thanksgiving unto the Lord for His shaping of events in favor of the Hebrews was then more than ever necessary; the disappointment of the Second Isaiah must not be the final word on the return to Jerusalem while the slow movement back was in progress. A new voice, powerful and triumphant, must go forth in the name of the Lord of Hosts once more to the people, encouraging them to forgo their Babylonian living and return to the land of Jehovah.
Therefore, the Third Isaiah modeled his style on that of the Second Isaiah wherever he could, and it is this that causes many students of the Isaiah group of writings to believe that there were only two Isaiahs.
However, the Third Isaiah felt it was not for him to turn to those who had gone to Jerusalem, or were so planning and in the process of so doing; these were, to him, as to the Second Isaiah, the righteous remnant. Therefore he understood that his message was to the unredeemed bulk of the people who were loath to give up home and livelihood in Babylon to plod their way back over a vast desert to a land in ruins and with little means of subsistence. The new Isaiah felt that this reluctance was transgression against God, who had very clearly made known His Will for the Hebrews: He had created a miracle to make possible the return to His Holy Land of Israel, and they who sought not to do His Will and return were sinful. The prophet, therefore, turned to them in the spirit of the older prophets exhorting the people to forgo their sins and turn to the Lord, and much of the subject matter reads like other prophets on the transgression of the people. But, he declares, the righteousness of the Lord will in the end triumph, and not only will the people return to Jerusalem, but the Gentiles, seeing the light at last - Israel’s sacrifice to bring the truth to all peoples, as I explained in Chapter 53, of the Second Isaiah - will acknowledge the Lord God of Israel, throw away their pagan ways and their abominations, and come to Jerusalem to worship at the Shrine of the Eternal God of Soul and Universe. The voice of the new prophet rings out in Chapter 55, and deals with the theme of the return to the Lord for salvation. In my day in Jerusalem, I was very much impressed with his opening lines, and in my own sermons (John 7: 37), I used the concept of thirst and hunger to satisfy the soul longings for salvation.
Here are the opening verses from the Third Isaiah:
“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, And he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; Yea, come, buy wine and milk and honey without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not the Bread of Life? And your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully unto me, and eat ye that which is good, And let your soul delight in its satisfying love. Incline your ear, and come unto me… .”
(Isaiah 55: 1 - 3)
The Hebrew says:
“Rich nourishment for the soul, Hear, and your soul shall live; And I shall make a covenant with you, Even the sure mercies of David.”
(Isaiah 55: 3)
Here, of course “David” meant the person who should be the “Christ,” and his mercies meant His redeeming Love, and the Messiah of God. The Third Isaiah did not know exactly what the “mercies of David” meant, but he wrote this knowing that it did not refer to the historical person, King David, and that the phrase, used often by prophets, had a connotation far beyond the original meaning, and referring in some way to the redemptive power of God, through His agent on earth.
In Isaiah 61: 1 - 3, I used the opening lines in a sermon delivered to my people in the synagogue in Nazareth, though the words are recorded somewhat differently:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; Because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek. He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, … To comfort all that mourn… in Zion,To give unto them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning….”
In Luke 4: 18 - 19 in the New Testament, I am quoted as follows:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, To preach deliverance to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Jesus of the Bible
Master of the Celestial Heavens