The prophet Isaiah spoke during the late 8th and early 9th century B.C.E. During Isaiah’s time the Israelites lived under the power and threat of the Assyrian empire. There was also failure of faith and injustice among the people. Isaiah prophesies God’s punishment against the people’s arrogance and injustice and foretells God’s deliverance of the people from their enemies. God’s will is for a faithful people living in justice and peace.
Though God seems absent when the people are rebellious and when they suffer oppression. Isaiah says that a new time will come. God will deliver them from their oppression and their enemies will be destroyed. A child will be born the Messiah king, who will bring justice, righteousness, and peace. The Messiah will be a descendant of David and Jesse, David’s father. The spirit of the Lord will be present with this leader. The leader will have the gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear of the Lord. The leader will bring justice for the poor and meek and the wicked will be destroyed. Creation will be made new. Peace will come and be realized in all creation. Those who seem to be “natural” enemies will live together, even sleep alongside one another in safety. All creation will know God. The knowledge of God will be as much a part of creation as water is part of the sea.
This story is important because of the hope it offers. Isaiah prophesied that God protects and provides for the people. God never abandoned the ancient Israelites and will not abandon us! God brings judgement, justice, and restoration.