The entire Bible consists of 66 books. The first 39 are what comprises the Old Testament which tells of God's law and holy requirement, as well as His judgment on His people for their inability to fulfull the law. The next 27 books comprise the New Testament which presents a new covenant through which God offers salvation for sin. It tells how Jesus fulfulls the law's requirement and offers Himself as the spotless Lamb of God, sacrificed for the redemption of our sins. Old hat, right?
Well, in the same way, the book of Isaiah divides quite neatly into two sections. The first 39 chapters deal with judgment for sin, while chapters 40-66 deal with the comfort of salvation.
You see, the O.T. opens with God's case against us humans because of our sin. Isaiah, likewise, opens in the same way. Look at Isaiah 1:18, '"Come now, and let us reason together," says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool."' The first section closes with the prophecy of the coming King of Righteousness and the redemption of Israel, just as the prophets close the O.T. with the prediction of His coming kingdom.
The second section of Isaiah opens with John the Baptist, "the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness," and is concerned with the person and work of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 40:3). The N.T. opens in exact accord with this. John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, is announced in John 1:6, 23, "There came a man sent from God, whose name was John....He said, "I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS. MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,' as Isaiah the prophet said."'
Isaiah ends with the vision of new heavens and a new earth where righteousness dwells. The N.T. closes with this same view in Revelation.
Isn't that a striking similarity between Isaiah and the whole Bible? I think so. It's things like this which makes my journey into God's Word deeper, richer, and unforgettable!