This week we are focusing on Isaiah 51:9-52:12. Israel calls on God to “Awake, awake” and rescue them from physical captivity (51:9-11). God in turn calls on Israel to awaken themselves, because He will soon rescue them spiritually (51:12-52:12). As you read this week, think about what God is saying to His people on both a physical and spiritual level. Many times He uses physical realities to point to spiritual truths. The following are some study suggestions to help you get started.
- Read through Isaiah 51:9-52:12.
- 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?
- It might be helpful to jot down an outline or write a short summary of what is happening in these verses.
- How does God answer the question of ‘who will comfort you’? (v.19)
- Only the ‘clean’ will enter Zion according to 52:1. Who does God declare as clean and unclean? (see also Acts 10:1-11:18; 1 Cor. 6:11)
- Isaiah 52:7-12 poetically describes God’s promise to rescue His People from their sin. Paul quotes verse 7 in Romans 10:13-15. What light do these verses shed on the proclamation of God’s saving work?
GOING DEEPER (optional): For further teaching and application, do one or more of the following:
- Read chapter 38, “Wachet Auf (51:9-52:12)” 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.
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free.
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? ~Psalm 118:1-6~