This week we continue our reading in the book of Isaiah. There are 5 major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel) and 12 minor prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi). The distinction between "major" and "minor" has nothing to do with importance and everything to do with the size of the book. And you will find that these are not in any kind of chronological order and eventually will bounce back and forth between prophets to the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah.
Remember this book is named after the prophet Isaiah who ministered to the southern kingdom of Judah for a period of about sixty years (740-680 BC) through four different kings. Isaiah came from a privileged family and he was well educated. Some people have even called him the "Shakespeare of the Bible" because of the beauty and poetry of his words. He lived in the city of Jerusalem for most of his life. He was married (his wife is called a prophetess) and had at least two sons that are mentioned in the book of Isaiah. He lived at the same time as three other minor prophets: Amos, Micah and Hosea. Strong tradition suggests that he died a martyrs death under the reign of King Manasseh by being placed within the hallow of a tree trunk and sawed in two.
The name Isaiah means "the salvation of the Lord" and the book is often referred to as the "Book of Salvation." The first 39 chapters deal mainly with strong messages of judgment against Judah and a call to repentance and holiness. He predicted the demise and captivity of Judah, yet comforted people with the hope that God had promised a Redeemer. Many of Isaiah's prophecies concern a Savior and seem to be answered in the person of Jesus Christ. Consider Isaiah 7:14 for an example: "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel."
Here is the schedule:
24, Sunday: Isaiah 2-5
25, Monday: Isaiah 6-9
26, Tuesday: Isaiah 10-13
27, Wednesday: Isaiah 14-17
28, Thursday: Isaiah 18-21
29, Friday: Isaiah 22-25
30, Saturday: Isaiah 26-29
May God add His richest blessings to the reading, the hearing, the understanding and most importantly the living out of His holy word. Amen.