The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), July 24
Several times in Isaiah 48, Isaiah mentions the importance of God’s foretelling:
- “I have declared the former things from the beginning; they went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass” (48:3).
- “Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you, lest you should say, ‘My idol has done them, and my carved image and my molded image have commanded them’” (48:5).
- “You have heard; see all this. And will you not declare it? I have made you hear new things from this time, even hidden things, and you did not know them. They are created now and not from the beginning; and before this day you have not heard them, lest you should say, ‘Of course I knew them’” (48:6-7).
- “I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, I was there” (48:16).
From the very beginning of God’s story, He foretells of future events:
Creation Era – God pronounces a death sentence on those who eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He foretells of the Messiah through the seed of Eve, who will crush the head of the seed of the serpent. He speaks of a coming worldwide flood.
Patriarchal Era – God promises Abraham and his barren wife that they will have a son, a land, and a great nation. He promises to bless all the families of the earth through their descendants. He promises that He will destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, should less than 10 righteous be found in the city. He rains fire and brimstone from heaven, destroying the city and its inhabitants. He promises Abraham that his descendants will live as captives in a foreign land for 400 years, but that He will deliver them, punish their captors and plunder their wealth. He promises Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that kings will come from their descendants until “Shiloh” comes.
Exodus Era – God promises to bless those who obey Him and curse those who disobey Him. He enumerates consequences for obedience and disobedience. He speaks of a coming time when He will place His Name permanently among His people after they inhabit the land of promise. God also speaks of a time when His people will demand a king like the peoples around them. He gives Israel instructions regarding intermarriage and idolatry, listing the negative consequences that both will have on His people. God establishes the priesthood of the Levites in partial fulfillment of the promise He gave Judah in the Patriarchal Era (Gen. 49:10).
Conquest Era – God fulfills His promise to Abraham regarding the land of promise, when Joshua leads Israel out of the wilderness and into Canaan. Joshua announces that the man who rebuilds Jericho will lose two children in the building of the city (this happens in 1 Kings 16:34).
Judges Era – Israel intermarries with the Canaanites, and they begin worshiping the gods of the Canaanites, just as God said they would.
Kingdom Era – Israel demands a king like the peoples around them, and God gives them the king they want. God partially fulfills His promise to Judah regarding future kings among his descendants. David desires to build a temple, a place for God’s Name, but that task passes to his son Solomon.
Divided Kingdom Era – The Assyrians take Israel into captivity. The Divided Kingdom ends when Judah is taken captive by Babylonians. Isaiah foretells of a foreign king named Cyrus who will decree the rebuilding of Jerusalem and her temple. He foretells of the Messiah and of the judgment of the nations.
Each of these eras contains many more promises regarding Israel and future events. No book compares to the Bible. Its foretelling or prophecy demonstrates God’s involvement in human affairs.
Sadly, inattention to God’s promises will soon lead to Judah’s captivity, “Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river . . . “ (Is. 48:18).
Knowing God’s promises, instructions and prohibitions was crucial in Israel’s day and is no less important in ours.
Question from today’s chronological Bible teaching (Is. 44:6-28; 45-47; 48:1-11):
Summarize what today’s reading teaches about idolatry and its consequences.