Hope Lost and Found:
Insights from Isaiah on God’s Plan of Salvation, Revival, Transformation and Restoration
by Harvey L. Diamond
A Series of Prophetic Echoes for Our Generation from Isaiah
The book of Isaiah has long been a source of great controversy and contention amongst Jews and Christians. Perhaps it is because his name means “God is salvation.” That in and of itself inherently points to the topic of salvation and revival; clearly a controversial subject.
One can’t overlook the fact that the book acts as a prophetic capsule of the entire volume of the Old and New Testaments! For, it uniquely reflects the basic messages and themes represented in all 66 books of the Bible. Its first 39 chapters reflect the issues on the heart of God that underpin the messages of the 39 books of the Old Testament; and its latter 27 chapters reflect the themes and messages of the 27 books of the New Testament!
Sprinkled with promises of hope, the first 39 chapters of Isaiah largely include numerous indictments against both, God’s people—Israel—and the gentile nations of the world. These indictments lay out on a canvass God’s perspective of a society in need of social shifts; more importantly, humanity in need of salvation.
God had given the Hebrew people the key to real truth and eternal wisdom. He gave them His oracles. He established in them His covenant. In their lack of faith, however, they lost the vision God had given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For, they continuously compromised God’s ways of righteousness through unholy allegiances. They lost site of the value of God’s real love, peace and joy.
At the core of Isaiah’s message, therefore, God reveals that the fulcrum of His sovereign justice system rests in the Lord. Yes, the “balance of power” truly rests in the prophesied Messiah. For, in the Messiah, the way of God and nature of the kingdom of God is revealed. Likewise, in the Lord, is the salvation of God.
What Isaiah illustrates is God’s view of a society without a moral compass. For, the world’s justice system had no foundation. What would be the inevitable result? The Creator’s natural law would bring judgment—various forms of disaster.
In His mercy God, therefore, outlined His plan of salvation. This plan is revealed in the pattern of His way. Isaiah brings the process of God’s plan of salvation and restoration to the light. He further adds substance to the declaration Daniel would communicate—and God would demonstrate to the king of the great nation of Babylon—“that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men.”
Isaiah, therefore, addressed topics supporting God’s claim and cause. These topics include man’s worship of false gods and idols, state of moral depravity, systems of political and religious corruption, and the effects of cultures spoiled and polluted by social injustice.
Isaiah goes deeper, describing the fallout resulting from societies froth with social injustice. He illustrates through imagery, allegory and use of metaphors how the world’s societies were stained with various forms of self-indulgence and motivations of greed. As a result, people had grown cold and callous. Cynicism became pervasive. Does such a pattern not parallel and characterize today’s society?
Where would hope be found? The latter 27 books of Isaiah, in fact, are filled with God’s messages of hope and plan of salvation, revival and restoration. They reflect God’s heart reaching out to His people; the remnant who will believe. They, therefore, contain invitations to return to God, restore the relationship, and experience revival of God’s kind of spiritual life.
Isaiah, therefore, expresses God’s messages, calling His people to restore the intimate relationship with Him that had been lost. It is no surprise that the apostle, Paul, therefore starts the book of Romans off expressing these very sentiments.
Are the patterns of history not being repeated? Does God have a plan for this generation? Is His Spirit reaching out to us to wake up and shift our thinking, and change courses of direction? I believe, very much so.
This series, therefore, brings God’s pattern and process of salvation, revival and restoration to light. In doing so, it addresses the following topics:
- The Overarching Themes of Isaiah
- God’s Heart Crying out to His People for Revival and Restoration
- Times of Transition and Transformation Precede Revival andRestoration
- God’s Promises of Rest, Revival and Restoration
- Coming to Peace with God
- Hope Revealed in the Lord
- God’s Kingdom Administration by His Spirit
- Why Shall Many Not Know God’s Truth?
- The Way of God’s Spirit
- God’s Way of Preparing People for Renewal and Revival
- God’s Invitation to Seek Him His Way
- God’s Way of Assuring us that His Salvation and Revival is Approaching
- God Challenges us to Forsake Complacency
- God Calls us out of Hypocrisy
- Hope Rests in the Grace of God’s Covenant Word and Spirit
- The Lord’s Living Sacrifice Begs the Response and Revival of our Heart
- Arising in God’s Glory
- God’s Way of Challenging Us
- The Issue of Truth