Thursday, August 20, 2009 – Isaiah – God of Time and SpaceThe writings of this prophet are usually studied in three parts: First Isaiah as the prophet of historical context in the 8th century B.C.E., (1-39), Second Isaiah as the prophet of exile, (40-55, and Third Isaiah as the various post-exilic writings of others (56-66). The beautiful yet concise and contained style we find in chapters 1 through 39 is more rhetorical and passionate in second Isaiah. The structures are more embellished and prepare us, in a way, for the beautiful poetry in third Isaiah – just as Isaiah prepares the Jewish world for the coming of the Messiah. This book may be the best known in scripture with its dominating language, beautiful poetry, and richness images which convert this into one of the most universal works of prophetic literature. At a theological level, the messianic oracles, the poems of consolation and the new exodus, the songs of the servant and other hymns written by a collection of at least three writers all hold this complex collection together. (Notes from La Biblia de América,page 704)
All three Isaiahs bring us a singular message: That when we are living through critical moments in our own history, we too might share in a vision of God’s holiness, God’s greatness and God’s desire to live among his people. God is seen here as the Lord of history, as having dominion over the past, present and future, as holding sway over all nations and all places on earth. We see a God for whom time and place are irrelevant in that he has power over these two forces which both mystify and control the human race.
It is through this poetry that we will find our own consolation when we are troubled or weary.
It is through this poetry that we will find freedom from our fears and wants.
It is through this poetry that we will find the energy and the voice to praise God for the passionate love he has for us.
When we are troubled, when we rejoice, Isaiah helps to give expression to our inmost thoughts. We might want to find time to sit with Isaiah today.
LA BIBLIA DE LA AMÉRICA. 8th. Madrid: La Casa de la Biblia, 1994. Print.