Like Obadiah, Micah, and Nahum, Isaiah’s prophecy came to him in a vision. Visions from God are a matter of genuine debate today. I’ve never had one. There have been times I wish God would send me one, but that hasn’t happened. But, I’m surely not going to be the one to say, “God doesn’t use visions today.” He doesn’t use them with me. To answer whether God uses visions today or not, the Christian “God Questions” website says, “Yes! Does God give visions to people today? Possibly. Should we expect visions to be an ordinary occurrence? No. As recorded in the Bible, God spoke to people many times by means of visions. Examples are Joseph, son of Jacob; Joseph, the husband of Mary; Solomon; Isaiah; Ezekiel; Daniel; Peter; and Paul. The prophet Joel predicted an outpouring of visions, and this was confirmed by the apostle Peter in Acts chapter 2. It is important to note that the difference between a vision and a dream is that a vision is given when a person is awake while a dream is given when a person is asleep.”[1]

The book opens up with the setting of Isaiah’s vision, “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.” This represents the 10th through 13th King of Judah. Uzziah reigned in Judah for 52 years. Jothan reigned for 16 years, Ahaz reigned for 16 years, and Hezekiah reigned for 29 years. Wow! Isaiah shared his vision with four kings over about 113 years. Isaiah was the son of Amoz. According to rabbinic tradition, Amoz was the brother of Amaziah, king of Judah. According to Ortland, “We know that Isaiah was a married man with children. We think he was a resident of Jerusalem. But the most important thing about Isaiah is his name. His Hebrew name means ‘The Lord saves.’ This man’s very identity announces grace from beyond ourselves. We don’t like that. We want to retain control, save face, set our own terms, and pay our own way.”[2]

God sent Isaiah a vision. It’s the vision of salvation. Can we ever relieve a troubled conscience? Is there really a pardon for sin? Do the dying really live on somewhere? Is there a future state? Is there really such a thing as eternal happiness? If so, how do I attain it? Is there really any purpose or meaning to life? Does it really matter what I believe? The answers to these questions and many more cannot be discovered by staring into outer space. They cannot be answered by looking within ourselves. They cannot be answered by studying the physical elements or the working of the brain, or the programs of a government. The only way we’ll ever know the answers to those questions is if we get an answer from beyond. Job asks some questions that call for a negative reply.  Job 11:7-9 says, “Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?  It is higher than heaven—what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know? Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.” We’ll only know the answer to these questions if God chooses to reveal them to us. He told them to Isaiah, who gave them to us. The message of Isaiah is his name: “The Lord’s Salvation.”


[2] Ortlund, Raymond C., Jr., and R. Kent Hughes. 2005. Isaiah: God Saves Sinners. Preaching the Word. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.