Most of us like the view from our own backyard better than from anywhere else. Oh, we open the gate now and then to see what’s going on in the world. We watch the news or read the paper and shake our heads over the pain, injustice, and persecution in other countries. But that is often as far as it goes. After all, we’ve got our own lives and our own problems to worry about. We’ve got our own dreams to fulfil and goals to pursue.
Isaiah probably felt the same way. Born almost 30 centuries ago, likely into an aristocratic family in Judah, Isaiah probably had his life plan all mapped out. He surely caught reports about the mounting power of Assyria, Judah’s notorious enemy. He probably sighed about the pagan customs that had spread their roots across his homeland. He might have mourned about the idolatry, immorality, and ritualism that had begun to erode the foundations of his religion. But, at least from the biblical text, it didn’t seem like Isaiah had personally involved himself in changing the moral or spiritual landscape of his country—at least, not until Isaiah faced a heartbreaking loss and then had a life-changing encounter with God.