This week we are focusing on Isaiah 41:1-20. Again, the backdrop is the distant future Babylonian captivity which lasted 70 years. I’m sure Israel will question if their God has abandoned them. Does He care about their circumstances? Will He rescue them from their enemies? God reminds His people of who He is and what they mean to Him. He will send a rescuer one day. Fear not! They can trust Him! The following are some study suggestions to help you get started.
- Read through Isaiah 41:1-20.
- 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?
- What do you observe in verses 1-3? What question does God ask and how does He answer? Who is sovereign over nations and history? (Note: The ‘one from the east’ (v.2) is the first illusion to Cyrus, King of Persia, who would conquer the Babylonians in 539 BC and allow the exiles to return to their homeland.)
- What is happening in vv. 5-7? In what are the people of the coastlands putting their trust?
- How does God describe His people in vv. 8-16? Does God pursue His people, or do His people pursue Him? Think about the implications of your answer.
- Three times God tells His people to ‘fear not’. Why are they not to fear?
- God says ‘I am with you’ (v.10) and calls Himself Redeemer (v.14). Read Is. 7:14; Luke 2:38; 21:28; 1 Cor. 1:30; Gal. 4:4-5. What do these verses add to your understanding?
- What do you observe in verses 17-20? What does God do for the thirsty? (see also John 7:37-39)
GOING DEEPER (optional): For further teaching and application, do one or more of the following:
- Read chapter 29, “The Reality of God in an Unreal World (41:1-20)” 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.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”
~ Galatians 4:4-5~