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The author is a Scientist
and
he
has been a church
planter and a Bible study teacher
for
over three decades. He is
a
child evangelist and has
written over seventy stories some of
which have been published with
coloured illustrations drawn by two
artists from Australia and Hungary.
This book is one among a series on
some famous men and women in
the Bible. These are written in such
a way that apart from the story
value, the excellent character of
these men of God must appeal to
children and they should also learn
to become one like them serving
God and fellow men. For other
publications contact
[email protected]
or
the
publishers
Word of Christ,
RA-GEM,
Tallakulam,
A Prince who became a Prophet
By Dr.N.J.Paul
First Edition-2004
Copies- 2000
Email. [email protected]
Long ago there were Holy men
of God to whom God spoke
directly. Abraham was one such
great person. They led all the
people around them to lead a
good life. Later God sent
priests who taught the people
right and wrong and also
offered sacrifices and offerings
and prayers on behalf of the
people. Still later times there
were a class of people called the
prophets. They were like
hermits but lived among the
people bringing God’s words of
blessings or corrections from
time to time. They were bold
and not afraid even of the kings.
Holy men of God among people
4
One such prophet by name was
Isaiah. Many prophets appeared
in history, but Isaiah is
considered to be one of the
greatest. He brought messages
of warning and encouragement
at a critical time in history of
the Jewish nation. Isaiah in
Hebrew means God is my
Saviour or protector. Isaiah was
born around 700 years before
Jesus. He foretold many things
even about the life and death of
Jesus.
Isaiah
thus
gave
messages of things that were to
take place several hundred years
later.
Isaiah the Prophet
6
Isaiah was born in a royal
family. His uncle was a king.
And therefore Isaiah was a
member of the royal court
advising the king on many
important issues. At that time a
king by name Uzziah was on
the throne and he was not a
very good king. Therefore
Isaiah could not give him much
advise. Uzziah did not even
respect the priests in the temple
and God punished him with
leprosy. Therefore his son took
his place and ruled the country.
Uzziah was not a good king
8
One day Isaiah went to the
worship place to pray. Suddenly
God appeared to him in great
Majesty. He could see the hem
of God’s garment and it filled
the whole temple. Isaiah was
spell bound He wanted to cry in
fear. But an angel appeared to
him and he had a burning stick
in his hand . He touched the lips
of Isaiah with the splinter
because Isaiah was shouting I
am unholy and wicked. God
wanted Isaiah to talk no more
talk politics and things of the
world but only the things what
God would put in his heart and
mouth.
Isaiah in the temple
10
Isaiah was spell bound for a long
time. He saw the angels covering
their faces and their feet by their
wings and hovering over crying
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, LORD
GOD ALMIGHTY. And God
spoke from the throne to Isaiah
that he was deeply upset by the
way which people were living.
Yet they were considering that
everything was alright with them.
He was upset to hear that God’s
people were following the
examples of the heathen nations
around them and were even
worshipping the idols. Even the
priests were not correcting them.
Myriads of angels
12
From that day Isaiah left the
royal court and became a
prophet. Those days people did
not have much respect for the
prophets as we have now. They
considered the prophet as one
who brings bad news and try to
meddle with the social style of
the people unnecessarily. They
felt that the prophets were
overdoing the job of the priests
and the kings. It was sad that the
priests got a lot of money as
offering and sacrifices but the
prophets received no money
from anyone. Therefore the
prophets were a poor class of
people unwanted by any one.
Isaiah became a prophet
14
Isaiah had to give up his royal way
of living and he and his wife came
to live among the poor people. The
priest wore thin fine white linen and
Isaiah had to wear the thick sack
like cloth or a blanket over him
which most of the poor people or
the prophets wore so that people
who saw him could identify him as
a prophet. Also he had to rise very
early in the morning and pray for a
long time and wait for God’s
message if any. Then he had to go
to the market place and shout to the
people what God was telling him.
What a contrast to his royal way of
life!
Isaiah in market place
16
The prophets normally do not
wear slippers and as a royal
family member Isaiah wore
expensive clothing and shoes.
Now his tender feet had to carry
him in the hot sun through the
rough roads of the cities and
villages. Some people who had
seen him in his earlier majesty,
were wondering what had
happened to a prince like him.
Some thought he must have gone
crazy to leave all the luxury and
wander like a beggar. Isaiah
remembered how people in the
royal court waited to hear the
king’s words but in the market
place people ran away from him.
People were wondering at him
18
But when he shouted the words
received from God’s throne,
people walked away without any
concern. Some ridiculed Isaiah
because he spoke of danger and
difficult times while the Nation
was really enjoying prosperity
and having good relationship
with their neighbours. Business
was flourishing. Only lazy and
foolish people like him had to go
about begging for food. Some
hated to hear his voice because
day after day he said the same
message without any change but
nothing happened. It was to
them,like a weather forecast
which always go wrong.
Prophet in the streets
20
Isaiah as a prophet could not
speak anything other than what
God told him. He like any other
prophet had to go even to the
king and boldly tell him certain
things that he would not relish.
The rich people were cruel to
the poor and afflicted them but
enjoyed a luxurious living at
their cost. Even the priests were
crooked and the judges took
bribes to pervert justice. Isaiah
had to go to the king many
times with God’s word of
correction and warning. But it
was always a dangerous thing to
face a king who may not be
good.
He could speak only what
God told
22
To whom could the people then
go and make a petition? So they
went to the god’s of their
neighbouring countries because
they saw the poor people who
were living there did not suffer
as much as they did. It was sad
God’s people went after idols
and even sacrificed their
children to strange gods. The
nation as a whole was going
astray from worshipping a
living God. What would God do
in such a situation?. He gave
them peace and prosperity and
protection so that they could be
faithful to Him, and him alone.
God gave them prosperity but
24
But now…So God was looking
for a faithful messenger.Isaiah
knew very well that the
meaning of his name was help,
protection and salvation. And
that was what God was waiting
to give to his people- protection
at a time of danger that was
waiting at their door step. If
God’s people walk away from
him and do the same things as
the pagan, then they have to go
to those gods for help and
Jehovah cannot do anything to
them when disaster would strike
them. God is like a parent who
wants to correct or sometimes
punish his children.
They worshipped the idols
26
It is because he wants them to
be good. He is not only a
provider for our needs but He is
One who cares for our entire
life.
We want our children to obey us
but we ourselves do not want to
obey a good and a great God!.
It was difficult for Isaiah to
explain the great but the urgent
message to the people. They
thought they were good and
God’s chosen people and
nothing was wrong with them.
So Isaiah made it as a story
form and told them so that even
the simple could understand it.
People thought they were good
28
Many of them were farmers
and some were keeping sheep.
So he told them about a
vineyard that was once so good
but become spoilt and a wasted
away land. That was a parable
about the nation.
And within few years Uzziah
died and his grand son sat on
the throne. God told Isaiah that
the enemy was coming from the
North. But the new king Ahaz,
and the people were not
worried. Every one was
concerned about making more
money and they cheated the
poor people and the rulers taxed
them.
Babylon the enemy coming
30
They were doing all kinds of
crime including murder and theft.
As Isaiah said, few years later the
king of Syria along with the
support of Ephraim came to fight
against Ahaz. And Ephraim were
one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
They had joined hands with the
alien nation to fight against their
own brothers. Ahaz one day went
to the top of a tower and saw a
big army surrounding his city. He
became very nervous. But Isaiah
reminded him to ask God for
help. But he would not believe it.
Instead he decided to get help
from another powerful nation in
the north called the Assyrians.
First attack by neighbours
32
And he paid them lot of gold
which he took from the temple
(God’s holy worship place).
Instead of asking God for help,
he robbed God’s place. What a
sad thing! Isaiah did not like
that idea. But Ahaz had seen
from the top of the castle the
enemy camp below. For him
God’s help seemed not practical
at that time. Isaiah went to meet
Ahaz at the upper pool where
the washer men were at work
washing the clothes. Ahaz had
not only asked help
from
Assyria but also he brought
their idols also and kept them in
his God’s temple.
Isaiah met Ahaz at upper
pool
34
He felt that if Jehovah does not
help him, the strange gods would.
Sad that even these days that
Christians go to other gods for
help.
Isaiah told them how God’s great
plan was to send a virgin who
would bear a child to rule over
the nations and deliver God’s
people from all wickedness and
cruelty and evil. Even Isaiah
perhaps did not know that he was
talking about Jesus Christ who
was to come seven hundred years
after him. Prophets did not us
simple words and are difficult to
understand by the people.
People could not understand
36
The spoke to them in the form of
folk songs and riddles. Some
country folk enjoyed it as music and
failed to see the deep truth behind.
Isaiah told Ahaz that it was God’s
plan to cleanse the nation free from
all guilt just as the washer men were
beating the clothes on the stone to
remove all the dirt from it. But
Ahaz thought he could solve the
problem by paying the money
which was lying idle in the God’s
worship place. If Jehovah did not
help him in such time of danger he
thought it was not worth to decorate
his worship place with so much gold.
They did not want God’s
help
38
Even these days we find people
despising God and not bringing
offering to the church but rather pay
it to people or doctors and try to get
the help they want.
Isaiah gave God’s word, that help
from Assyria would lead to more
danger later. God told Isaiah to
name two of his sons to sound a
message of warning. One boy’s
name sounded ‘the thief is coming
to plunder’ and the other boy’s
name was ‘a small portion would
remain’. Although it was funny to
call boys by such names, God
wanted to remind them that every
time they were pronounced it was to
remind them his warning signal.
Assyria would do more harm
40
People thought and laughed
thinking Isaiah had gone crazy
to a point of calling even his
sons by funny names. The king
of Assyria came and fought
against Syria and helped Ahaz.
And he took away as slaves to
Assyria the people of Ephraim
who had joined hands with
Syria. But he stayed longer in
Juda, and took all other
neighbouring nations of Edom,
Moab and Ammon who failed to
help Juda at that time. All these
happened according to the
words of Isaiah within few
years time.
People laughed at Isaiah
42
They thought the gods punished
the wicked nations and saved
them because they made only
small mistakes compared to the
pagan people. But the poor
people suffered during the time
of wars and peace. Why did
God punish the poor for the
mistakes of the rich? So the
poor people failed to understand
the prophet but mocked at him.
They blamed even God in their
helpless situation. The kings
could no more see Isaiah as a
politician but as an illiterate
farmer. And all of them did not
want to correct their ways but
went into idolatry.
People mocked at the prophet
44
God not only told Isaiah about
Assyria but also about another
great kingdom Babylon which
was just emerging in history.
Isaiah told the kings and the
people if they do not get
corrected after the warnings
they would be destroyed like
Ephraim, their neighbouring
country and be taken as slaves
to Babylon. The Assyrian army
came again twenty years later
under
the
leadership
of
Shalmanazar. He destroyed
many nations on the way and
attacked Juda also as Isaiah had
warned.
Assyria attacked Juda later
46
At that time there was a good
king ruling over Juda. His name
was Hezekiah. He was God
fearing and very wise. He
renewed the worship place and
built many water facilities and
developed farm lands and even
made so many war weapons for
the defense of the nation. And
he listened to God’s word
through Isaiah and obeyed. But
when he saw the Assyrian army
surrounding his city his heart
melted away. The enemy had
destroyed more than 30 villages
that belonged to them.
They destroyed many towns
48
He has heard how they have
destroyed all the nations round
about according to God’s word
through Isaiah One morning
God’s word came to Isaiah and
he went to see the king. He said
God would show mercy to his
people and deliver them from
the hand of Assyrians. That
night a viral fever broke out and
more than 180, 000 of the army
died. In the morning Hezekiah
was surprised to see all men
dead in the enemy camp below
and only their captain marching
back home alone.
Isaiah met Hezekiah
50
There, one day when he was
worshipping his god, his sons
killed him. But Hezekiah after
seeing all these God’s great
deliverance and ‘salvation’
instead of being thankful,
became very proud.
So God let a deadly sickness
come upon him. Isaiah told him
that he would die soon and so he
should organize all family
matters. Hezekiah became sad
and began to cry to God. So
God had compassion on that
good king and told Isaiah to go
back and tell him that he would
live for another fifteen years
more.
Hezekiah became ill
52
Hezekiah was very happy that
God healed him miraculously.
But he did many things
foolishly without consulting the
prophet as before. Many kings
sent greetings and gifts to
Hezekiah when they heard of
his recovery. Among them was
the princes of Babylon. At that
time Babylon was a very small
country. Hezekiah therefore
wanted to show them the
greatness and riches of his
kingdom. He took them round
his palace. And showed them all
the gold and riches he had and
his armory and the weapons.
Princes of Babylon at the
court
54
Isaiah came to know of it and
was very much upset because
Hezekiah had shown them every
thing. God had already told him
of the dangers that was to come
through a country called
Babylon but the king nor his
advisors took note of it. People
become so proud that they want
to show their greatness to others
that it was all through their
efforts or wise action they got
all those riches but fail to thank
God who in his mercies gave it
to them. Even godly people like
Hezekiah make mistakes at
times.
They saw all the riches
56
Hezekiah died fifteen years later
according to the words of Isaiah
and they made a great and
honorable burial for him. And
his son Mannaseh sat on the
throne. Hezekiah did not set up
his home in order as the prophet
warned him and therefore the
king who sat on the throne after
him was very wicked in all
history and he brought back all
the idolatry and worship of
foreign gods into his country.
God gave peace and prosperity
and protection to the nation
because of his father but the
young king despised Jehovah.
Manasseh the bad king
58
He even took away the holy
altar and brought into God’s
holy temple an altar like that of
Assyrians. He thought the gods
of Assyria were stronger than
Jehovah and therefore he no
more deserved reverence or
worship. He removed the
faithful priests of Jehovah and
appointed mean and wicked
people as priests.The nation was
thus going far away from a true
God and failed to take a
warning from the disasters that
came upon their neighbouring
countries including Ephraim.
Idolatry in Juda
60
Isaiah tried to correct him as he
did it with his father and grand
father. But he listened more to
his wicked friends and pagan
priests. Because of him the
whole nation left worshipping
Jehovah and started building
small temples on hillocks and
mounds for goddess Ashera for
fertility and prosperity. They
even started worshipping devils
and the stars and the celestial
bodies. God was very patient
with the people for a long time.
The king one day ordered to kill
Isaiah They tied him between
two poles and cut him by a saw.
The king ordered to kill
Isaiah
62
Thus the life of a great prophet
came to an end. Some kings
who came after Mannaseh were
good but some were even more
wicked. God sent many more
prophets to warn the nation. At
last another great prophet by
name Jeremiah came. He like
Isaiah gave them warnings
about impending danger. By
this time Babylon became a
mighty nation powerful and
strong. They defeated even
Assyria and finally marched
towards Juda and finally
destroyed the city and even the
holy temple of Jehovah. They
took all the rich people captives
to Babylon.
Jeremiah the prophet
64
There they remained slaves for
seventy years. After that
Babylon was defeated by
another king from Media. They
in turn were defeated by Persian
kings. Thus the people of Juda
served prison terms in strange
lands for a long time until one
kind Persian king by name
Cyrus permitted them to return
to their country and build their
temple. That happened in the
time of another great man called
Nehemiah about whom we shall
read in another book.
Taken captives to Babylon
66
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