Imagine applying for this want ad… “Wanted: Dedicated employee who will faithfully proclaim messages of judgment to people who will reject and despise you. All efforts will produce little noticeable results and will end in complete destruction.”
I can’t imagine that kind of want ad resulting in many applicants. Yet, this is the job God called Isaiah to do.
Isaiah (“The Salvation of Jehovah”) was closely affiliated with the royal court, since he seems to have had regular access to the king (Is.7:3). But, at some point in his life, God, in majestic splendor, appeared to him in a vision (Is.6). And Isaiah’s life was forever changed. He was called to prophesy God’s message of judgment and restoration to His people, but God also warned Isaiah that the people would not listen… and the nations of Israel – then Judah – would fall.
Even Isaiah’s own children bore prophetic names: Shear-Jashub (“A Remnant Shall Return”) and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz (“Swift Is Spoil, Speed Is Prey”).
Isaiah faithfully carried out his solemn and weighty task to the very end. He began prophesying a few decades before the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and ended a few decades after Israel was taken.
He is considered a “major” prophet, and is a major figure in the Old Testament.
Isaiah’s efforts weren’t really futile; his words were recorded for future generations in the book of Isaiah. Many of these foretold the coming of the Messiah –
700years before Christ would come – and would redeem His people from their bondage.
Isaiah is the Old Testament book most quoted in the New Testament.
Tradition says Isaiah was sawed in half by King Manasseh; Heb. 11:37 may refer to his death.
Isaiah was called to – and was obedient to – what seemed to have been an impossible task. Imagine how frustrated Isaiah must have been, at times. Imagine how futile it must have seemed. But, his work was not in vain.
We are not always called to an easy task. And, sometimes, we can get discouraged. But, stay faithful. And trust God. He sees the BIG picture.
You can read Isaiah’s story in 2Kings 19:2—20:19 & in the book that bears his name.