Reflections: Isaiah

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 40:1-5

Daily Lectionary: Joshua 24:1-31; Acts 13:1-12   

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
(Isaiah 40:1-2) 

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Isaiah is probably one of the best-known prophets in the Old Testament. His book is prominent. He is quoted about as frequently as one could be, by Jesus, the evangelists, and Paul. Some have even called his book the “fifth Gospel,”  because salvation in Christ is dripping from each and every verse.

Isaiah speaks to the people of God, many of whom have gone astray. He proclaims God’s Law and calls the errant to repentance. He points forward to a savior, Cyrus, who would save God’s people from captivity in Babylon and to a Savior, Jesus, who would save God’s people from their enemies of sin, death, and the devil. He preaches the full counsel of God in season and out of season so that confident sinners can be crushed and terrified sinners can be comforted.

Isaiah gives us the scene of the heavenly throne room: “Holy, holy, holy,” is shouted by the seraphim as the foundations tremble and shake from the glory of God. He then shines a light on Christ’s forerunner, telling John to proclaim comfort and peace and double forgiveness to all those who are terrified in their sin. Isaiah lifts our hearts with songs of the Suffering Servant, each one more Jesus-y than the next, capped off in chapters 52-53. He tells of the silent Lamb who goes despised, stricken, smitten, crushed, buried, and chastised to the slaughter in our stead. There is also the Mountain of the Lord, the future heaven and earth, and so very much more. 

For all of this we can give thanks to our God above who has given us the Words of the prophet Isaiah that we may know that the Suffering Servant has come, and that by His stripes we have been healed. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

Isaiah, mighty seer in days of old, The Lord of all in spirit did behold High on a lofty throne, in splendor bright, With robes that filled the temple courts with light. Above the throne were flaming seraphim; Six wings had they, these messengers of Him. With two they veiled their faces as was right, With two they humbly hid their feet from sight, And with the other two aloft they soared; One to the other called and praised the Lord: “Holy is God the Lord of Sabaoth! Holy is God the Lord of Sabaoth! Holy is God the Lord of Sabaoth! His glory fills the heavens and the earth!” The beams and lintels trembled at the cry, And clouds of smoke enwrapped the throne on high. (“Isaiah, Mighty Seer in Days of Old” LSB 960)

-Rev. Eli Lietzau is pastor of Wheat Ridge Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wheat Ridge, CO.

Audio Reflections speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Come on an adventure with author Eric Eichinger as he unpacks the saga of Jesus’ Hero Journey. You’ll see how aspects of this journey are seen in popular stories, and how God used Jesus to create the most action-packed one with a real Savior for all. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.