Our 2019 Sermon Series on Isaiah
We're about to embark on a one year journey through the book of Isaiah. Over the next year most of our preaching will focus on this book and even our worship and liturgy will be shaped by this book. Before we jump in, I want to answer a big question.
Why Spend a Year in Isaiah?
First, because God says it’s time well spent. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” That means that it’s worth spending time in every part of God’s word, even unfamiliar parts like Isaiah.
Second, because we desperately need to have God’s perspective. One of the things the Prophets in Scripture give us, and Isaiah is no exception, is a wider and truer view of the world around us. In Isaiah’s day the people of Judah couldn’t see very far beyond their immediate circumstances, but God’s word to them was to look up and look out, to see things from God’s perspective. We need the same thing.
In our world today topics like these are so misunderstood and so in need of biblical grounding:
- The nations
- The Savior
- Our deepest needs
- Our greatest fears
- True hope
- True healing
In Isaiah we find answers to the deepest most controversial questions of culture, as well as answers to questions we didn’t even know to ask!
Third, read Isaiah because you’ll encounter Jesus in a powerful and new way. Isaiah is sometimes called “the fifth gospel” because among the books of the Old Testament it contains many of the clearest and most powerful pictures of the Messiah. I’ve personally found that, as a church kid who grew up with stories about Jesus, when I see Jesus through the lens of Isaiah I see him in a new and compelling way.
How Do I Read Isaiah?
First, just read it! We believe that each and every Christian can understand Isaiah and that, while some details might be confusing, it’s overall themes and encouragement are clear.
We want to make it even easier to read Isaiah in an undistracted way so we’re going to make available the ESV Scripture Journal for Isaiah. These beautiful journals have the book of Isaiah one side and room for journaling on the other and will be sold at cost for just $5! You’ll be able to grab one starting this Sunday.
Second, get the big picture. When you understand the book as a whole and how it fits into the story of Scripture you will better be able to understand the details of each passage. If you missed the message “The Story So Far” it’s a good place to start to understand the whole Old Testament, an overview of the 39 books of the Old Testament and how they connect to Jesus.
Then there are a few short videos that can help as well from our friends at The Bible Project.
How do you read the prophets like Isaiah? Here's a great overview
What’s the book of Isaiah about? This is a great starting place
[Click through to get the second half of Isaiah!]
Third, get help with the details as needed. I’d recommend a good study Bible like the ESV Study Bible. It’s a great way to get help if you get lost. Or if you’d like to study along with our preaching series Ray Ortlund has a great, accessible commentary to start with. And you can go much deeper in study as well.
Fourth, listen with a soundtrack. For reasons that will become clear later the book of Isaiah (the prophets in general) should be read with a good rap soundtrack. Look for an epic playlist in a future post.
Ready? Here We Go!
I’m so excited to spend the next year or so in this book. I believe God has great things in store for us. Join me in asking God to bless us and be with us and reveal himself. Then come Sunday, expectant that God will answer our prayers.