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Week 17 - The Harsh Words of Isaiah

Isaiah is like many of the other prophets in that some of the harshest judgments and strongest language. The picture that we often get is of an angry God. This is true of Isaiah, much of his prophecy is about the downfall of various nations who have set themselves up against God. The very harshest judgments are reserved for God's own people, the Israelites.


At the same time, though, Isaiah is also like the other prophets in that he also speaks some of the most tender and loving words of God in the Bible. Isaiah is filled with gracious invitations to God's people, to come back to God, to be healed. So what do we make of these two ways of speaking that we find in the book?


I once heard it put like this: There is a very easy way to tell the difference between a word from the devil and a word from God. The devil will say, you are a sinner, you are wrong, you are broken, therefore, you should walk away from God and never look back. A word from God often begins in a similar way. You are a sinner, you are wrong, you are broken. But here is where God speaks differently. A word from God will say, you are bad in all these ways, so come on back! Come back to God and be healed! This is Isaiah, he speaks God's words!

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