On EU, Chris has suggested we do a Bible Study on the book of Isaiah. He is leading a study at church and would like our (heretical :) perspectives. He posted yesterday that as he read the first few chapters of Isaiah it seemed to be more of the same old, same old "repressive, theocratic religion"
Chris went on to say:
But then I was digging through some of the EU files and found this: “I was sought by those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me…” (Isaiah 65:1).
Following is my reply....posted here not because it was brilliantly written or wittily worded...but because it contains wonderful verses from Isaiah...some that are echoed in the New Testament as well. Post follows. More on Bonhoeffer to come....
That verse goes on to say:
To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, 'Here am I, here am I.'
I love that. Some of my favorite verses are in Isaiah...
Isa 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
This same verse is repeated in Revelation....TWICE. These are my favorite 3 verses in Scripture....
Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Rev 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes
and another hopeful...universalist verse in Isaiah.....
Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
which is also repeated twice in the New Testament....my "second favorite" verses in Scripture...
Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
And more from Isaiah.....66...
3He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man;
He who sacrifices a lamb, as if he breaks a dog's neck;
He who offers a grain offering, as if he offers swine's blood;
He who burns incense, as if he blesses an idol.
Just as they have chosen their own ways,
And their soul delights in their abominations,
And Isaiah Chapter 1:
11"To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?"
Says the LORD.
"I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of fed cattle.
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
Or of lambs or goats.
12"When you come to appear before Me,
Who has required this from your hand,
To trample My courts?
13Bring no more futile sacrifices;
Incense is an abomination to Me.
The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies--
I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
14Your New Moons and your appointed feasts
My soul hates;
They are a trouble to Me,
I am weary of bearing them.
15When you spread out your hands,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers,
I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood.
16"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
17Learn to do good;
Rebuke the oppressor; F8
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.
18"Come now, and let us reason together,"
Says the LORD,
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
Isaiah was farther along in progressive revelation than some of prophets that came before him.