Israel eventually succumbed to the Assyrians in 722 BC, then Judah and the destruction of Jerusalem was inflicted by the Babylonians in 587 BC.
Isaiah saw it all coming and loudly called on God's people in both kingdoms of Israel and Judah to humble themselves before the LORD their God, and to stop trusting in themselves and their own cleverness - outworked in treaties with other super-powers that ultimately betrayed them.
Isaiah is full of poetic literature and beautiful language that is often translated well into our English Bibles from the Hebrew. Indeed, many scholars have said that Isaiah is the 'Shakespeare of the Old Testament'. Vivid word pictures, stories and yes, prophetic visions of future events, are all arrayed throughout the book to inspire, comfort and fortify the people of God who face distress and disaster.
Too often they did not want to hear it because they lived in prosperous and seemingly secure times.
They believed they were immune from the machinations of global politics because they were the offspring of Abraham, the descendants of David and Solomon sat on the throne, and the LORD their God would protect them.
But... they forgot the covenant the LORD had forged with them through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses and David. They willingly turned to other gods, idols and 'detestable practices' (that still make me feel sick when I read them).
Isiah warned and called them back to covenant faithfulness. But the people, including the kings and religious leaders insisted that they knew better. The outcome smashed all their pretence.
Isaiah did not leave it at that though. He used his skill for story-telling and heeding God's voice to tell of future events, including One who would come and usher in God's kingdom in more powerful ways than His people could imagine. He told of God's future rule where every nation would recognise the LORD their God and sovereign over all, and His peace would be established in hearts, minds and governments.
This wold not be achieved by military enforcement, nor by violent bloodshed - except that of God the Son Himself, the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 52-53).
If you take the time to read Isaiah, you will be rewarded with beauty and marvelous story. But you will be challenged about your own place with the LORD, your own sense of security, your expectation of continued prosperity and safety. The answer is given by God who remains faithful, even when His people turn away from Him, who never stops calling us by name to return to Him and receive security, peace and life that can never be taken by this world.
Isaiah's words should resonate within the Church today, in the light of God;s great Easter work in the death and resurrection of Jesus. I pray you will take the challenge to read Isaiah and be lifted up by the LORD your God.