This week we are focusing on Isaiah 13:1-20:6. The following are some study suggestions to help you get started. NOTE: Read these chapters in the NLT version as well. They might be easier to understand. Also, there is a lot of good history covered that you might not be familiar with. Feel free to check out the study notes in your Bible to help you understand what Isaiah is saying in these chapters.
- Read through Isaiah 13:1-20:6.
- Meditate on and/or journal the answers to the following questions.
- What does this passage teach me about God and His character?
- How does this aspect of God’s character change my view of myself?
- What should I do in response?
God alone directs history to accomplish His purposes, and all history is moving to a final climax. God will judge the world for its evil and pride (Is. 13:11; 16:6), yet His grace and compassion will extend to any who cry out to Him for salvation (Is. 14:1; 19:20). In Isaiah 13-20, you will find five oracles of judgement upon nations. One huge benefit of studying the prophets is that your faith in God grows. History shows that what God declared, has already come to pass. This gives us great hope that God can be trusted to keep His promises and bring forth His justice at the end of time. Evil will be judged and the righteous will dwell with Him eternally! Amen!
This is the longest section of scripture we will study in one lesson, so don’t quit! (Most lessons cover 1-2 chapters on average.) There are many words of comfort for us as believers, especially non-Jewish believers. The Old Testament is for us as well! God’s purpose throughout history has been that “…many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be [His] people. And [He]will dwell in [their] midst…” (Rev. 7:9-10; see also Zech. 2:10-11). As you read these oracles, taking note of the following might be a good place to start:
- Who is being judged and why?
- What words of grace, hope and encouragement do you see?
- What do you learn about God throughout these chapters? (Don’t miss Is. 15:5;16:9! See also Ezek. 18:23.)
GOING DEEPER (optional): For further teaching and application, do one or more of the following:
- Read chapter 14, “The Supremacy of God Over the Nations I (13:1-20:6)” in Isaiah: God Saves Sinners or listen to Ray Ortlund’s sermon series on line. (Most of the sermons correspond to the chapters in his book.)
- Listen to the sermon(s) from Pastor Liam Goligher’s sermon series on Isaiah that go along with this week’s reading.