Isaiah’s Imagery Project Mission
I remember listening to a Dave Ramsey show when a caller asked about Dave’s view on a certain political topic. He replied, “I don’t get into politics. I prefer to focus on individuals. If we create a nation of individuals who are financially responsible, they won’t tolerate government leaders who are financially irresponsible.” Similarly, while my project does have some cultural and political implications, in and of itself it is not about reaching some cultural or political ideology. It is about becoming the kind of people that can live courageously and freely no matter what culture or government permeates our lives.
The goal, then, of this project is to encourage people to obtain their individual freedom—not through legislation—but through the grace of our loving Savior and by accepting personal responsibility. Let me clarify, however. The freedom I refer to is not simply being allowed to “do what you want.” The freedom I’m talking about is the kind you can exercise even if you’re tied in a torture chair. It’s what comes when you have developed the ability to bridle your emotions, master your impulses, grant forgiveness, and show love even when others would break. While I do not pretend to be this person yet, I invite you to join me in reaching my goal. By the grace of God may we be truly free.
So why Isaiah? Isaiah is a difficult book of scripture. Not only are his cultural customs and analogies so far removed from our own, but he also uses poetic language forms that are nearly undetectable to people other than ancient Hebrews and trained scholars. As a result, studying Isaiah takes more work than other Biblical prophets. However, as I’ve come to know Isaiah through his writings, I’ve wanted to share his message for two reasons:
First, because Isaiah is a remarkable prophet. Christ Himself, as well as Christ’s apostles, quoted Isaiah more than any other Biblical prophet. Isaiah is so accurate in his prophecies of not only the Christ child, but also non-Israelite leaders and international events far removed from his own time period that most biblical scholars conclude that there were actually three different authors of the book of Isaiah. After a great review of this theory, Biblical Scholar John Oswalt states, “it is my conviction that the essential content of the book has come to us through one human author, Isaiah the son of Amoz.”1 I agree that Isaiah was one man; that he actually was a prophet; that prophets can, indeed, prophesy; and that Isaiah was the best of the best.
Second, because Isaiah’s prophecies are critical for us. I believe he has forseen not just the mortal Christ and the circumstances around His life, but also the millenial Christ and the events leading up to His return. I believe he understood human nature and is encouraging people of all historical ages—but especially ours—to take more personal responsibility, and to trust God above all else. That said, if you wonder why I didn’t dress my models in traditional biblical attire, this is precisely the reason.
(1) Oswalt, John. The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39 (New International Commentary on the Old Testament). Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co., 1986. Pg 25.
Ultimately, I still struggled with the balance between saying enough but not too much. While a painting can be worth a thousand words, I wanted to make sure at least a portion of them were mine and a portion of them were yours. I hope that through my art and my stories, this project will encourage you to know your Savior better, to allow Him to inspire you to take more personal responsibility in the ways that only you can and must do. I hope you share your journey with me as I am trying to share my journey with you. I hope that as we do so, we can discover Truth together. I look forward to the day when the Truth will make us all Free.