This week we are focusing on Isaiah 40:1-11. Chapters 1-39 addressed Isaiah’s contemporaries in the 8th century. In 722 BC, the northern kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians, but the southern kingdom of Judah was spared. Last week we read Isaiah’s prophetic message that one day Judah would be conquered by Babylon and taken into exile (see Isaiah 39:5-7). This tragedy happened around 100 years after Isaiah’s ministry. Jerusalem fellow in 586 BC and the temple was destroyed. Isaiah 40 marks a key transition in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah is speaking a message to those who will one day be in Babylonian exile. The following are some study suggestions to help you get started.
- Read through Isaiah 40:1-11.
- 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?
- Read verses 1-5.
- What message does God have for His people?
- Matt 3:1-12 explains the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy regarding “the voice” that would make ready the way of the Lord. What do you learn?
- ‘The glory of the Lord’ will be revealed (vs. 5). Read John 1:14; 2 Cor. 4:3-6 and Hebrews 1:1-3. What do you learn about this ‘glory’?
- Isaiah compares God’s creation to His word in verses 6-8.
- What do you learn?
- How should the truths of this passage affect the way you live?
- Read verses 9-11.
- What do you learn about God and what He is going to do?
- As I read these verses, Luke 2:8-14 came to my mind. Do you see any similarities?
- God is described as both a ‘ruler’ (warrior king) and ‘shepherd’. Read Isaiah 9:6-7, John 18:37 and John10:1-18. What do these verses add to your understanding?
GOING DEEPER (optional): For further teaching and application, do one or more of the following:
- Read chapter 26, “God’s Glory, Our Comfort (40:1-11)” 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.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son] from the Father, full of grace and truth.” ~ John 1:14~