Isaiah was a gifted preacher. He went around graciously telling the people of Judah to repent. We see an example of the way he called the people to repent in Isaiah 5.
Isaiah announces six woes upon the people of Judah (cf. 5:8, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22). Isaiah says “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (v. 20). “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes” (v. 21). “Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine” (v. 22).
After seeing the sixth “woe” we look for the climatic seventh woe. However, that seventh woe doesn’t come in chapter 5. Where is that seventh woe?
The seventh woe comes in the next chapter. Isaiah says, “Woe is me!” (6:5). Isaiah saw that the LORD is “holy, holy, holy” (v. 3) and so he saw his own dire need. He said, “I am lost.” When we see the LORD in His glory we see that we are all in need of grace. We must all be humbled before God.
Ultimately we see the ground is level at the foot of the cross. The problem isn’t just out there within someone else, the problem—sin—is within all of us. We all deeply need Jesus.
We must remember that we were separated from Christ, outsiders to the promises of God, and we had no hope. But now, in Christ Jesus, we who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (cf. Eph. 2:12-18). There is nothing inherently better or good about us more than anyone else. It is Christ Jesus that gives us hope and brings us near to God.
Woe to the wretched, me included!
Are you troubled? Are you overcome with grief, fear, and sorrow? Are you questioning where your next meal will come from? Do you hear the nations rage and shrink in fear?
Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
And are accounted as the dust on the scales (Is. 40:15).
When you weigh yourself, are you worried about the dust on the scale? No! It’s irrelevant. And so, we are reminded:
All the nations are a nothing before Him,
They are accounted as less than nothing and emptiness (v. 17).
We may not know what will happen or how we will get through, but we serve He who does. We serve the One who “stretches out the heavens like a curtain” (v. 22).
If we are down in despair and do not know where our help will come, we must lift up our eyes and see (v. 26a): Who created these? Who numbered the stars? Who calls them all out by name (v. 26; there are some 100 billion stars in our galaxy)?
Thus, why do we say, “My way is hidden from the LORD, He does not see me, He does not care” (v. 27)?
Our LORD says,
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to Him who has no might He increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint (vv. 28-31).
O’ LORD, our God and Father, we wait on You, we trust You. We know that You see, that You care.
The place is forsaken,
the populous city deserted. (Is. 32:14a cf. 2:11; 5:21)
In that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places, there will be desolation.
For you have forgotten the God of your salvation
and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge;
therefore, though you plant pleasant plants
though you sow and toil,
yet the harvest will flee away
in a day of grief and incurable pain. (Is. 17:9-10 contrast Ezek. 47:1-12)
Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field. (Is. 32:15a)
Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.
And the effect of righteousness will be peace,
and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. (Is. 32:16, 17, 18a)
The nations shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore. (Is. 2:2 cf. v. 3b, 4)
In that day the LORD will say, “Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.” (Is. 19:25 cf. vv. 21-25)
The LORD will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the LORD has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, that He might save us.
This is the LORD; we have waited for Him;
let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” (Is. 25:8-9)
For the LORD comforts Zion;
He comforts all her waste places
and makes her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the LORD;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song. (Is. 51:3)
Our Messiah brings good news to the poor,
binds up the brokenhearted
the Anointed proclaims liberty to the captives,
opens the prison to those who are bound
He gives beautiful headdress instead of ashes
the oil of gladness instead of mourning
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit. (Is. 61:1-4)
“For behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
or come into mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever
in that which I create;
for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,
and her people to be a gladness.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and be glad in My people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
and the cry of distress. (Is. 65:17-19 cf. 4:2-6)
There shall be no more a brier to prick or thorn to hurt. (Ezek. 28:24a)
Before My people call I will answer;
while they are yet speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
and dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all My holy mountain. (Is. 65:24-25)
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the LORD delights in you,
and your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you. (Is. 62:3-5)
Zion’s righteousness goes forth as brightness,
And her salvation as a burning torch. (Is. 62:1)
The name of the city from this time on shall be, “The LORD Is There.” (Is. 48:35)
For, the LORD is King. (cf. Is. 33:22)
The government shall be upon His shoulders,
and His name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over His kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Is. 9:6-7 cf. 42:1-4)
Every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear allegiance. (Is. 45:23 cf. 49:7; 66:23)
You shall know that I, the LORD, am your Savior
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. (Is. 60:16)
Our LORD says,
“Come, everyone who thirsts.” (Is. 55:1a)