Speaker: Michael Penny & Sylvia Penny
5 studies on 2 CDs
- Isaiah 1,2 & 6: Michael Penny
- Isaiah 41,49 & 50: Sylvia Penny
- Isaiah 7 & 8: Michael Penny
- Isaiah 52 & 53: Sylvia Penny
- Isaiah 35, 61, 65, 66: Michael Penny
Details of the Studies Prophecy in Isaiah:
Studies given during an OBT Study Day in South Wales
When asked ‘Which is the greatest prophet of the Old Testament?’ many will reply ‘Isaiah’. That is understandable but really it was Moses, who foreshadowed the greatest prophet of the New Testament (Acts 3:22).
Some think that a prophet is someone who ‘foretells’ future events, but in the Bible a prophet is someone, inspired by God, to ‘forth tell’ some things about Him. It may be what God has done in the past, is doing at that time, or will do in the future.
It is certainly true that Isaiah had much to say about what was to happen in days future to him.
It was a bit surprising when Michael Penny opened the first session with Psalm 44, written by the Sons of Korah, Levites who served Israel in a number of capacities including helping priests in the temple and being the temple musicians.
In this Psalm they complained about God not helping Israel any more and that He was silent. They could not understand this as, in their eyes, the people were righteous, not worshipping idols etc.
This Psalm was written during Isaiah's time and in his opening chapter he made it clear that the reason why God was silent and did not listen to their prayers was because they were not looking after poor, the widows and the fatherless (Isaiah 1:17), a duty which fell open the priests and Levites.
Isaiah followed this up with a conditional prophecy based on the promises of Deuteronomy 28. If they repented and were obedient they would be blessed; if they resisted and continued, they would be judged (Isaiah 1:19-20).
Then followed a further prophecy; see Isaiah 2:1-5. This was one stating what God was definitely going to do sometime in the future.
In ‘the last days’, or ‘days to come’ would be a better translation, Jerusalem was to be exalted and the law was to go forth from there. All nations would visit it to settle disputes and there would be no more war. Such a prophecy was designed to encourage the people of Judah to repent … but did they?
It was seems not! Thus in time another prophecy was given: Isaiah 6; a prophecy of judgment.
If they continued with their blindness to what the Law taught and their hardness of heart, they would be judged—as per Deuteronomy 28—but this judgment would be for an unspecified period of time.
Did Israel respond to this prophecy? No! And later, Jeremiah was told the judgment would be an exile to Babylon which would last for seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11; 29:10).
In this first session we saw three types of prophecy:
- Isaiah 1:19-20: a conditional prophecy (as per Jeremiah 18:7-10, which is a key to understanding certain unfulfilled prophecies);
- Isaiah 2:105: a prophecy of distant future blessings; and
- Isaiah 6: a prophecy of more imminent judgement.
Sylvia Penny, in both her studies, focused on what Isaiah prophesied about ‘The Servant’. In her first talks she concentrated on Isaiah chapters 42,49 and 50.
Isaiah 42 spoke of the Perfect Servant who was to be a light to the world: a clear picture of Christ,
Isaiah 49 spoke of this Servant being hidden in the shadow of God’s hand, like an arrow in a quiver, to be revealed at the right time, which may explain silence about Christ from the ages of 12 to 30.
He was to be Israel's ruler and would gather them, as a hen does her chicks, which is what Christ wanted to do at His first coming (Matthew 23:37) and which He will do at His second coming (Matthew 24:31).
Isaiah 42 brought out the Servant’s patience, gentleness and tenderness. Isaiah 49 brought out his obscurity and grief, and in Isaiah 50 He is shown to be willing to suffer and be one who would be mistreated, for the benefit of His people.
After lunch Michael Penny dealt with Isaiah chapters 7 and 8. The historical situation was that Judah was under attack by two kings but a sign was given to King Ahaz. A child was to be born and before the boy could say mother or father, the attacking kings would be destroyed by Assyria.
This was the prophecy fulfilled in the birth of Christ (Matthew 1:22-23). Then followed some detailed discussion on the meaning of ‘fulfilled’, which is used a number of times in the opening chapters of Matthew.
In Sylvia Penny’s next session she considered the ‘Suffering Servant’ of Isaiah 52 and 53. The structure of the passage formed the basis of the study.
He was to be raised and lifted high.
He was to be rejected.
He was to make an atoning sacrifice.
He was to suffer unjust death sentence.
He was to be given a portion with the great.
She discussed the different interpretation of Isaiah 53 by such groups as the Jews: some of whom saw this as relating to the nation of Israel while others taught it referred to some un known person. However, by looking at the New Testament, this Suffering Servant was clearly a prophecy about Jesus.
Psalm 22 was also considered in detailed and shown to apply to Christ and a great parallel was seen between Psalm 22:7-8 and Matthew 27:41-43.
In the final session Michael Penny looked at various prophecies which, to our eyes, seemed to have events and times mixed up. This was because the prophets of old did not distinguish, as much as we do, between the first and second coming of Christ. Example of this can be seen in Isaiah 61:1-3, which Christ split in two in Luke 4:17-21. Another such prophecy is Isaiah 35:3-7.
This is also true of the Millennium Kingdom, to be set up on this earth when Christ returns, and the New Earth, which God is to create afterwards. Such prophecies can be seen in Isaiah 65:17-20 and 66:22-24—and in Revelation 21 and 22.
In these, having spoken of the New Heavens and New Earth, the writers then drop back to speaking of the millennial earth. We can tell this because they mention sin and death and judgement, which will still be present during the Millennium, but have no place on the New Earth (Revelation 21:4).
This was an excellent study day. Not only did it covers much ground in Isaiah, but it also gave an understanding of the different types of prophecies which we see not only in the Old Testament but also in the New.
It also covered many issues and topics, as can be seen from the resources mentioned on these pages, all of which were referred to or commented upon.