Isaiah 7 – 12


So far in our series on Isaiah, we have been examining each chapter closely, but I said at the beginning of this series there will be times that will cover several chapters at once. So, tonight we look at Chapters 7 -12. Since I will be summarizing a lot of information in these chapters, I encourage you when you go home tonight to read these chapters in their entirety while my lesson is fresh on your mind. What we learn in these chapters is that Israel and Judah are going to be taken into captivity, but a remnant will return. We will also see several prophecies regarding Jesus.


The prophecy found in Chapter 7 was spoken during the reign of Ahaz, the grandson of Uzziah. Ahaz had a weak faith and was not a good king. If you want to learn more details about him and the events described here in Isaiah, then I would suggest that your read 2 Kings 18 and 2 Chronicles 28. At that time, the Assyrians were growing in power, so Israel and Syria decided to join forces to try and combat them. Apparently, they tried to get Judah to join them, but they refused, so Israel and Syria attack Jerusalem so they could overthrow Ahaz and put their own king in place so they could have this new force to help them with their enemy, but they failed.


Ahaz and his people were scared, but God sent Isaiah along with his son Shear-Jashub to Ahaz to encourage him. If you will remember Isaiah’s son’s name means a remnant shall return. Perhaps his son was sent along as reminder that yes things look bad now, but there is hope in the future. In verses 3-9 Isaiah tells him not to be afraid because God is not with these people and he even talks about how Ephraim, which is part of Israel will cease to exist within 65 years. He promised that Syria would not be able to overtake Judah.


God was even willing to give Ahaz a sign to prove what Isaiah was saying was true, but he refused to have a sign given to him because apparently did not want to believe. Ahaz should have been encouraged to trust in the Lord, but we find out that he really does not because he had already planned to align himself with Assyrians instead of trusting in God Almighty. Though he did not want a sign, God says He is going to give a sign anyway, and this sign would happen many years later through that remnant of Jews that would return from captivity. Here is the future sign the God would give:


Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.  15 "Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.  16 "For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings.


Of course, we know this is talking about Jesus being born to Mary during first century. This another great example of how God knew exactly what was going on and could predict the future with pen point accuracy. This is but one of over 300 prophecies made about the coming Messiah. Jesus would be born as a man, and live like man, yet He would learn to choose good over evil every time. Before He is born, both kingdoms Syria and Ephraim would no longer exist.


In the remainder of the chapter, Ahaz fiinds out that the very people he will align himself with will reek havoc on his people, and like a razor they will cut away at their food supply. Not only would God use the Assyrians to carry out this task, he would use the Egyptians as well.


These events could have been avoided if Ahaz had not had a weak faith and had put his trust in God. Isaiah reveals the source of their problem later on in:


Isaiah 63:8 For He said, "Surely they are My people, Children who will not lie." So He became their Savior.  9 In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the Angel of His Presence saved them; In His love and in His pity He redeemed them; And He bore them and carried them All the days of old.  10 But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; So He turned Himself against them as an enemy, And He fought against them.


While there is hope in the future through the coming of the Messiah, chapter 8 gives a sign that shows that God is in control and that Syria and Israel are going to be brought low by the Assyrians with Judah being in their sights next. Part of the sign involves Isaiah having another son, who is given another prophetic name Maher-shalal-hash-baz, which means “speeding of the spoil and the hastening of the prey.” Before this child could even begin to speak words, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be taken away by the Assyrians.


Isaiah makes a great statement that shows that God is the one in control and no matter how much man thinks certain things will take place, their confidence cannot change God’s plans.


Isaiah 8:10  Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; Speak the word, but it will not stand, For God is with us."


Isaiah is given a message from the Lord that we should all learn from. I want to read this in its entirety and make just few comments along the way:


Isaiah 8:11 For the LORD spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying:  12 "Do not say, 'A conspiracy,' Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.  13 The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread.  14 He will be as a sanctuary, But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense To both the houses of Israel, As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.  15 And many among them shall stumble; They shall fall and be broken, Be snared and taken."


It is true that God can be a refuge or He can be against us. It is all about what path we chose to take.


16 Bind up the testimony, Seal the law among my disciples.  17 And I will wait on the LORD, Who hides His face from the house of Jacob; And I will hope in Him.  18 Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel From the LORD of hosts, Who dwells in Mount Zion.


Here Isaiah speaks of the few that are still faithful to the Lord.


 19 And when they say to you, "Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter," should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?  20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.  21 They will pass through it hard pressed and hungry; and it shall happen, when they are hungry, that they will be enraged and curse their king and their God, and look upward.  22 Then they will look to the earth, and see trouble and darkness, gloom of anguish; and they will be driven into darkness. 


In this last section, Isaiah is warned about those whose faith is failing and who are trying put their trust in man instead of God. If they start speaking things not found in God’s Word then there is not light in them and they should be avoided. Same principle is true today, because we should stay away from those teaching false doctrine.


Since these people were putting their trust in man, when they are captured and are hungry, they will blame God and they will withdraw from Him even more. It is a sad commentary for these rebellious Jews, but this same principle applies to all who are rebellious against God today. There is simply no refuge in the way of man.


As we get into Chapter 9 verses 1-7, we have another prophecy about Jesus. These verses talk about how bad things will be, but that when Jesus is born, He will bring about hope and an everlasting kingdom.


Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.


This great prophecy was fulfilled in Christ in the first century. Also, Jesus makes reference to what Isaiah says in these first 7 verses and their fulfillment in Mt. 4:12-16.


Next, we have two different topics covered by Isaiah. The first topic is covered from Isa. 9:8 – 10:4. The focus is on Israel, the northern kingdom, but does not completely exclude Judah because they will be affected as well just not to the same degree. Isaiah makes it clear in verse 8 that His message is from the Lord, and begins to proclaim the crimes of Israel and what their punishment is going to be.


The announcement he makes is given in a song or a poem, which has 4 stanzas, which end with the same terrible refrain:


Isaiah 9:12 … For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still.


Many bad things will happen to Israel, but each wave of devastation will not be enough and it will continue on. Here is just one example of what will happen to them:


Isaiah 9:13 For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, Nor do they seek the LORD of hosts.  14 Therefore the LORD will cut off head and tail from Israel, Palm branch and bulrush in one day.  15 The elder and honorable, he is the head; The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.  16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed.  17 Therefore the LORD will have no joy in their young men, Nor have mercy on their fatherless and widows;


These leaders were leading the people away from God and the supposed prophets were telling lies instead of the truth. These men would be cutoff. Since they corrupted their people, God would have no mercy on them either. Oh how I wish those in the religious world that have corrupted God’s Word would read verses like these and turn from their wicked ways and stop leading people down the wrong path and lying to people just so they can tickle their ears and make them feel like they are heavenward bound when they are not.


People do not like verses like these, but I can promise God has not changed nor has man. There will always be men that are willing to lead people away from God, and they have not problem lying to them. History indeed repeats itself when we people refuse to learn from the mistakes made by others.


In the O.T., we learn that God would use foreign enemies to carry out His punishment against His rebellious people.


Well, the Assyrians would play a major role in carrying out the destruction of Israel, which is the second topic that Isaiah covers in Isa. 10:5-34.


Isaiah 10:5 " Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hand is My indignation.  6 I will send him against an ungodly nation, And against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, To seize the spoil, to take the prey, And to tread them down like the mire of the streets.


Just because God would use an enemy to carry out His punishment does not mean that He approved of them. In fact, we learn that the Assyrians started claiming their victory of Israel being because of their own strength.


Isaiah 10:12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the LORD has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, "I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks."  13 For he says: "By the strength of my hand I have done it, And by my wisdom, for I am prudent; Also I have removed the boundaries of the people, And have robbed their treasuries; So I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man. 


God would not allow the Assyrians’ arrogance to go unpunished. Just as God said, they were punished severely and shown that they were not mighty at all on their own. Many men have fallen into this way of thinking. They allow their pride to overcome them and they think they are great without God, but they always find out in one or another that they are foolish because eventually every prideful person is brought low. Let us never become so arrogant that we push God to the side and think too highly of ourselves. Instead, lets give God the glory for the things that we are able to accomplish because He is the one that has made everything we do possible.


In the last part of the chapter, Isaiah talks about the doom of Assyria, and he also gives God’s people hope because talks about how their will be a remnant that will return that has learned their lesson that God does not tolerate rebellion. This remnant will learn not to lean on their enemies again but to lean on God almighty.


A great lesson for us to learn from this is to never lean on man or worldly ways. Let us always lean on God, because He is our refuge and His our strength. Man can fail us and they never can sustain us, but God will never fail us and He can always sustain us. Let us take heed to:


1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 


As we come to our final two chapters for tonight, Isaiah now turns his attention back to the future and talks about the coming Messiah and His kingdom.


Isaiah 11:1 There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.  2 The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.  3 His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;  4 But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.  5 Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist.


Jesus is this branch being spoken about. Way before it happened, Isaiah is talking about how Jesus would be anointed with the Holy Spirit when He descended on Jesus after He was baptized by John. He goes on to describe how righteous He would be and how His judgment would be based on the will of the Father and not His own.


Isaiah 11:6 " The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them.  7 The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.  8 The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den.  9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea.


There are some religious groups that want to take these verses literally, but these are not to be taken literally, but metaphorically. The picture these verses give is that of peace that would not normally be obtained. This peace being spoken of here comes from the knowledge of the Lord. There are at least two different ways to look at this. First, through Jesus sacrifice, He was able to reconcile man with God. Jesus is the only way that such peace between God and man could be obtained. Second, those who become Christians and live according to God’s Word will have peace that passes all understanding and they will be at peace with one another.


For example, before Christ Jews and Gentiles would not have anything to do with each other, but once Christ came, all were considered to be part of the family of God. Christ brought together people that would not normally get along with each other. So, our verses are not talking about animals getting along or there being no more war in this world, but it was looking forward to the peach that Christ would bring among His followers both physically and spiritually.


Isaiah 11:10 " And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious."  11 It shall come to pass in that day That the LORD shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea.  12 He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.


In that day, is talking about when Jesus would come into this world and how even the Gentiles would seek Him out. This idea of recovering the remnant a second time is talking about how the Jews would be taught the good news of Jesus giving them the opportunity to be saved. Hailey explains it this way:


The first time God set His hand to recover the remnant involved the return of the Jews under Zerubbabel and Joshua the high priest from captivity in Babylon. Now in that day – the day of the reigning Branch- He would set His hand a second time to recover the remnant from all parts of the earth. Under the gospel God has been doing this since Pentecost (Acts 2).


Isaiah 11:13 Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart, And the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, And Judah shall not harass Ephraim.  14 But they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west; Together they shall plunder the people of the East; They shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab; And the people of Ammon shall obey them.  15 The LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt; With His mighty wind He will shake His fist over the River, And strike it in the seven streams, And make men cross over dry-shod.  16 There will be a highway for the remnant of His people Who will be left from Assyria, As it was for Israel In the day that he came up from the land of Egypt.


Again, Isaiah is speaking figuratively here of the various enemies of Judah and is saying that they will no longer be at odds with one another, but they will end up becoming united together in the new kingdom under Christ.


When the gospel was proclaimed, there were no boarders that held it back. It was taught everywhere, and those who used to be enemies or did not have anything do with each were not united under the banner of Christ, which comes back full circle to the peace that is spoken of among God’s people. Though we still have spiritual battles and physical ones, we can know as faithful Christians that the spiritual kingdom we are part of will never be defeated. As a faithful Christians, we know what kind of peace Isaiah is speaking of. Only Christians can understand the peace that God has provided for us.


Our final chapter for tonight is


Isaiah 12:1 And in that day you will say: "O LORD, I will praise You; Though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.  2 Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; 'For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.' "  3 Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.  4 And in that day you will say: "Praise the LORD, call upon His name; Declare His deeds among the peoples, Make mention that His name is exalted.  5 Sing to the LORD, For He has done excellent things; This is known in all the earth.  6 Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!"


This is a song of thanksgiving. Some think this is talking about when the remnant returns from captivity, while other believe it is talking about when the Messiah comes. Another, possibility is that it is talking about both because sometimes prophecy refers to a immediate event and also point a future event.


In either case, we can see the important is to be thankful for what the Lord has done and that He brings salvation. One thing I know for sure is that Jesus made reference to this chapter and applied it to Himself and the Holy Spirit in John 7:37-39. Certainly, we should always give thanks to God for making salvation possible for us. We can learn from our lesson tonight that if we want to be pleasing to God, we must not rebel against Him or lead others astray. Otherwise, we will face the punishment of God because there are always consequences to our sins. God will not overlook them, but if we trust in Him and live for Him, we can be confident that He will lift us up and give us strength in our times of weakness and give us hope for eternity in heaven with Him.