Summary: Isaiah's prophecies regarding the coming of Messiah Jesus are frequently quoted. But it's not always appreciated that God gave Isaiah the words during a time of intense danger for the Kingdom of Judah. An Advent monologue.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 7min
Good morning. I have a question for you. Your city is surrounded by the largest and strongest army on earth, and its commander is laughing at you and hurling insults, saying he will crush you like the 46 other cities he has already destroyed in your country. Meanwhile, your own army is not much better than a Dad's Army, and your king has lost his nerve and is on his face in terror. In desperation he has asked you for advice. My question is simple: What would you do?
Before I give you an answer, let me introduce myself. I am Yeshayahu ben Amoz, although you might know me as Isaiah the prophet. I am actually a member of the royal family that rules Judah in what you now call the land of Israel. In my day, though, Israel is a different kingdom, one that rebelled and pulled away from Judah, for which they paid a high price, being taken captive by the Assyrian army. They are gone, and their country is a burned waste land.
I can tell you that we here in Judah are in deadly danger of suffering the same fate. And all because we have turned away from Yahweh, our God. People call me a prophet, and I have had this role thrust upon me for nearly 40 years now. Believe me, no-one in his right mind would choose to be a prophet. At best you get spat upon for telling people the truth. At worst you get stoned, or left to rot in a slimy well, or sawn in half. It's a strange life. People hate to hear the truth, but they hate it even more if you tell them lies.
My name means “the Lord is salvation”, and He started giving me words and pictures during the reign of King Uzziah. As a member of the royal family, I spend a lot of time at the palace, but that doesn't mean I like the way most there live. Our people have become godless, every man doing what is right in his own sight, selling themselves to idols, with the ordinary folk suffering under the corruption of those in power. While our kings claimed to follow God, in reality they made ungodly alliances with the kings of Egypt and Assyria instead of truly trusting the Lord to protect us. I warned that these alliances would come back to harm us, but no-one listened.
Which brings me to today. Assyria, supposedly our ally, has turned on us. We are in dire peril, with their massive army camped outside the walls of Jerusalem, while our army cowers inside. Our King Hezekiah is at his wit's end, and has appealed to me for advice. What would you suggest? Well, I will tell you what I did. I went to the temple of our God, and threw myself to the floor in front of Him, pleading that He would forgive His stiff-necked people and deliver us from our enemies. The situation looked bad, but I had total confidence that our God is the author and guide of human history, and what we face now is just part of His plan to eventually bring the whole world back to Himself.
Not only that, but Yahweh gave me an amazing vision, a true prophecy for the future. One day a Messiah will come, a King who is the Lord's anointed. He will come from the line of David, the greatest king of our nation's history, and He will restore righteousness and justice on earth. I asked God for a sign of when this would happen, and He told me: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Immanuel, God with us.”
Now I know that the world belongs to the Almighty, and nothing can withstand His power. The tragic story of our world is written in greed, corruption, oppression, godlessness, wars and natural disasters. But our God is a god of peace, and one day He will bring all things under His feet, when His glorious Messiah comes to restore all things.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have an important message to deliver to Hezekiah: “Stand, and watch the Lord deliver His people.”
© Copyright John McNeil 2016, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.