Lesson 28: God’s Greatness, Our Renewal (40:27-31)

This week we are focusing on Isaiah 40: 27-31. So far in Isaiah 40, we have seen that God comforts His people by letting them know that He will send a ruler/shepherd to rescue them (vv. 1-11). As the Creator and Sovereign, He is more than capable of doing so (vv. 12-26). In these final verses, we will see that the exiles would need to believe and trust in God’s promises and wait on Him for their rescue. The following are some study suggestions to help you get started.

LIMITED TIME:

  1. Read through Isaiah 40: 27-31.
  2. Meditate on and/or journal the answers to the following questions.
    1. What does this passage teach me about God and His character?
    2. How does this aspect of God’s character change my view of myself?
    3. What should I do in response?

MORE TIME:

  1. What are the exiles feeling according to verse 27? Do you ever feel this way? What do you do when you feel this way? (You might want to read the verse in some other translations.)
  2. What does God say about Himself?
  3. Do you ever feel ‘faint’ or ‘weary’…overcome by your circumstances? If so, what does God ask us to do? (Note:  A synonym for faith and trust is ‘wait’.)
  4. What does the Lord say He will do for those who wait for Him?
  5. “Eagles” are a powerful image of rescue. It most likely reminded the exiles of God’s rescue of His people out of Egypt. See Exodus 19:3-4 and Deuteronomy 32:10-12. Why is it important to be reminded of the past?

GOING DEEPER (optional): For further teaching and application, do one or more of the following:

“… they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint..” ~ Isaiah 40:31 ~

Lesson 27: God’s Uniqueness, Our Assurance (40:12-26)

This week we are focusing on Isaiah 40:12-26. The following are some study suggestions to help you get started.

LIMITED TIME:

  1. Read through Isaiah 40: 12-26.
  2. Meditate on and/or journal the answers to the following questions.
    1. What does this passage teach me about God and His character?
    2. How does this aspect of God’s character change my view of myself?
    3. What should I do in response?

MORE TIME:

  1. As you read the passage this week, jot down all that you learn about God.
  2. What/whom does God have control over?
  3. After observing what you learn about God, whom can you compare Him to?
  4. If God is indeed the Creator and Sovereign over all, do you trust Him with every circumstance you face in life? Why or why not?
  5. Thought question: If God created the universe numbering the host of heaven and calling them all by name (v.28), do you think He can forget His own people? As a follower of Christ, do you understand how precious you are in the eyes of God?
  6. Take some time this week to take a walk or spend some quiet time with the Lord out in His creation. Meditate on Him and His works and what you have learned so far in Isaiah 40.

GOING DEEPER (optional): For further teaching and application, do one or more of the following:

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10 ~

Lesson 26: God’s Glory, Our Comfort (40:1-11)

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.

LIMITED TIME:

  1. Read through Isaiah 40:1-11.
  2. Meditate on and/or journal the answers to the following questions.
    1. What does this passage teach me about God and His character?
    2. How does this aspect of God’s character change my view of myself?
    3. What should I do in response?

MORE TIME:

  1. Read verses 1-5.
    1. What message does God have for His people?
    2. 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?
    3. ‘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’?
  2. Isaiah compares God’s creation to His word in verses 6-8.
    1. What do you learn?
    2. How should the truths of this passage affect the way you live?
  3. Read verses 9-11.
    1. What do you learn about God and what He is going to do?
    2. As I read these verses, Luke 2:8-14 came to my mind. Do you see any similarities?
    3. 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:

“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~

Lesson 25: Peace and Security in Our Days? (38:1-39:8)

This week we are focusing on Isaiah 38:1-39:8. The following are some study suggestions to help you get started. Note: Isaiah 36-39 is paralleled in 2 Kings 18:13-20:19.

LIMITED TIME:

  1. Read through Isaiah 38:1-39:8.
  2. Meditate on and/or journal the answers to the following questions.
    1. What does this passage teach me about God and His character?
    2. How does this aspect of God’s character change my view of myself?
    3. What should I do in response?

MORE TIME:

Whereas Isaiah 36-37 looked at God’s divine deliverance of a nation, Isaiah 38 looks at God’s divine  deliverance of an individual.

  1. Read Isaiah 38 (cf. 2 Kings 20:1-11).
    1. Hezekiah is sick and informed that he will never recover. How does he respond? What does he pray? (v.1-3)
    2. How does God reply to Hezekiah’s prayer? (v.4-8)
    3. As Hezekiah faces death, what words and images does he use to describe his thoughts and feelings? (v.9-20)
    4. How does this chapter inform your thoughts of God? What do you learn about Him?
  2. Read Isaiah 39. Babylon is under Assyrian rule at this time in history, and seeking Israel as an ally. (If you like, check out study Bible notes if you’re not familiar with the history.)
    1. How does Hezekiah respond to the Babylonian visit ? Is he acting wisely? (v.1-2)
    2. What message does God have for Hezekiah? What does Isaiah foretell will happen in the future? (v.3-7)
    3. What do you think about how Hezekiah responds to Isaiah’s news? (v.8)

GOING DEEPER (optional): For further teaching and application, do one or more of the following:

“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”  ~ Hebrews 9:27-28~

Lesson 24: That All the Kingdom of the Earth May Know (37:8-38)

This week we are focusing on Isaiah 37:8-38. The following are some study suggestions to help you get started. Note: Isaiah 36-39 is paralleled in 2 Kings 18:13-20:19.

LIMITED TIME:

  1. Read through Isaiah 37:8-38.
  2. Meditate on and/or journal the answers to the following questions.
    1. What does this passage teach me about God and His character?
    2. How does this aspect of God’s character change my view of myself?
    3. What should I do in response?

MORE TIME:

Sennacherib sent out messengers a second time to King Hezekiah calling for him to surrender.

  1. What is the message? (vv. 8-13)
  2. How does Hezekiah respond to this second threat (vv. 14-20)? (Compare this to Isiah 37:1-4 from last week.)
  3. Observe Hezekiah’s prayer. What does he believe about God? What is his request, and why does he make it?
  4. How does God respond to Hezekiah’s prayer? (vv. 21-35)
    1. What do you learn about God?
    2. What does God say he will do? Why?
  5. What happened to Sennacherib and his army (vv. 36-38)?
  6. Do you live your life in such a way that God gets the glory? Why or why not? What does a God-glorifying life look like?

GOING DEEPER (optional): For further teaching and application, do one or more of the following:

  • Read chapter 24, That All the Kingdom of the Earth May Know (37:8-38)” 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.

“I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.” ~ Isaiah 42:8 ~

Lesson 23: In Whom Do You Now Trust? (36:1-37:7)

This week we are focusing on Isaiah 36:1-37:7. The following are some study suggestions to help you get started.Note: Isaiah 36-39 is paralleled in 2 Kings 18:13-20:19.

LIMITED TIME:

  1. Read through Isaiah 36:1-37:7.
  2. Meditate on and/or journal the answers to the following questions.
    1. What does this passage teach me about God and His character?
    2. How does this aspect of God’s character change my view of myself?
    3. What should I do in response?

MORE TIME:

  1. Read Isaiah 36. Sennacherib, king of Assyria, has conquered city after city and is now at Jerusalem’s door. He sends the Rabshakeh, one of his military officials, with a message for King Hezekiah.
    1. Why do you think that the words ‘trust’ and ‘deliver’ are repeated so often?
    2. What message does the Rabshakeh have for Hezekiah?
    3. How does he convey this message, and what effect does it have on the people in Jerusalem?
    4. Why does he think Hezekiah should surrender?
  2. Read Isaiah 37:1-7.
    1. How does Hezekiah respond to the Rabshakeh’s threats?
    2. What message from the Lord does Isaiah rely to Hezekiah?
    3. In Isaiah 36:5, the Rabshakeh asks Hezekiah, “In whom do you now trust?” How would you answer this question if it was posed to you? Why?

GOING DEEPER (optional): For further teaching and application, do one or more of the following:

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” ~Jeremiah 17:7-8~

Lesson 22: The Two Final Outcomes (34-35)

This week we are focusing on Isaiah 34-35. The following are some study suggestions to help you get started.

LIMITED TIME:

  1. Read through Isaiah 34-35.
  2. Meditate on and/or journal the answers to the following questions.
    1. What does this passage teach me about God and His character?
    2. How does this aspect of God’s character change my view of myself?
    3. What should I do in response?

MORE TIME:

            Ray Ortlund poses a thought provoking question in his book, Isaiah: God Saves Sinners. “What are you becoming?” He goes on to say that “whatever you are becoming reveals where you are going (p.196). As you study Isaiah 34 & 35, you will see that there are two very different eternal destinations for two different types of people.

  1. Read Isaiah 34.
    1. What do you observe about God and his final judgement of evil? What aspects of God’s creation are affected?
    2. Isaiah speaks about the ‘day of vengeance’ (v. 8) again in Isaiah 61:2b. Jesus later quotes Is. 61:1-2a (see Luke 4:18-19). What do you learn from these cross references?
    3. The concept of vengeance and recompence are found throughout scripture. What do you learn about this final day of judgement from the following verses: Deut. 32:40-43; Ps. 94:1-2; Is. 59:17-20; 2 Thes. 1:6-10 and Rev. 22:12?
  2. Read Isaiah 35. Soak in this chapter!
    1. What do you observe about what the world (Zion) will be like after the curse of Gen. 3:17-19 is reversed?
    2. How does Isaiah describe those who are heading for Zion?
    3. What do the following scriptures add to your understanding of this chapter? (Is. 40:3-5; Matt. 3:1-3; 2 Cor. 4:6)
    4. So, who are you becoming, and where are you going?

GOING DEEPER (optional): For further teaching and application, do one or more of the following:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  …~John 3:16~

Lesson 21: Finding God in Failure (33)

This week we are focusing on Isaiah 33. The following are some study suggestions to help you get started.

LIMITED TIME:

  1. Read through Isaiah 33.
  2. Meditate on and/or journal the answers to the following questions.
    1. What does this passage teach me about God and His character?
    2. How does this aspect of God’s character change my view of myself?
    3. What should I do in response?

MORE TIME:

Over the past weeks we have looked at five “Ah’s”, or woe’s, that were directed at Judah for her unfaithfulness to God (Isaiah 28:1; 29:1, 15; 30:1;  and 31:1). We now come to the final woe in this section of scripture. It is directed toward Assyria, the destroyer (33:1)! The Assyrian army has Jerusalem under siege. Hezekiah attempts to buy them off, only to be tricked (see 2 Kings 18:13-16)!

  1. How do the people respond, finally, to the Assyrian threat (v. 2)?
  2. Read Ps. 51:17 and Matt. 9:12-13. How do these passages relate to Judah’s situation? What does God desire of all His people? How do these verses give you hope?
  3. What does Isaiah declare to Judah about their God (vv. 5-6)?
  4. How does God respond to the cry for mercy from His people (v 10…)?
  5. Verses 1-12 are rooted in the history of Assyria during the time of Hezekiah. Verse 13 and following become more eschatological in scope. Keep this in mind as you study these verses.
    1. Who can stand before a holy God (vv. 14-16)? (See Romans 4:3; 2 Cor. 5:16-21)
    2. Who will they behold (v. 17)? (See Isaiah 32:1; 33:21-22; 2 Cor. 3:18.)
    3. Describe the place they will behold (vv. 22-24). What will life be like there?
    4. What things can we experience here on this earth as followers of Christ? What things won’t we experience until God calls us to our heavenly home?
  6. Have you ever felt that your life is so full of sin that you are beyond God’s forgiveness? How has the study of Isaiah 33 affected the way you look at yourself and sin?

GOING DEEPER (optional): For further teaching and application, do one or more of the following:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”   ~Matthew 11:28~

Lesson 20: Our Only True Hope (31-32)

This week we are focusing on Isaiah 31-32. The following are some study suggestions to help you get started.

LIMITED TIME:

  1. Read through Isaiah 31-32.
  2. Meditate on and/or journal the answers to the following questions.
    1. What does this passage teach me about God and His character?
    2. How does this aspect of God’s character change my view of myself?
    3. What should I do in response?

MORE TIME:

  1. Once again, God is warning His people not to put their trust in an alliance with Egypt. This alliance will never protect them from Assyria. In God alone is their salvation. As you read Isaiah 31, think about the following:
    1. What do you learn about Egypt? Why does Judah rely on them for protection? What do these verses add to your understanding (Deut. 17:14-16; Ps. 20:7; Ps. 33:17)? (Note: They were written about 700 years before Isaiah!)
    2. You will find two similes in verses 4-5 where God is compared to two animals. What do you learn about God through these comparisons?
    3. What will happen to Assyria according to verses 8-9? (Check out 2 Kings 19:32-37 to see how God fulfilled His words!)
  2. Isaiah is filled with warnings for disobedience, yet speaks of future hope. As you read Isaiah 32, think about the following:
    1. Isaiah speaks of the coming Messiah King. What do you learn about him and his kingdom? What effect will he have on his people?
    2. Complacent women are warned of disaster in verses 9-14. What does it mean to be ‘complacent’? Does this describe you? Why or why not?

GOING DEEPER (optional): For further teaching and application, do one or more of the following:

“…He [Jesus] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”   ~Matthew 3:11~

Lesson 19: The Counterintuitive Ways of God (30:1-33)

This week we are focusing on Isaiah 30:1-33. The following are some study suggestions to help you get started.

LIMITED TIME:

  1. Read through Isaiah 30:1-33.
  2. Meditate on and/or journal the answers to the following questions.
    1. What does this passage teach me about God and His character?
    2. How does this aspect of God’s character change my view of myself?
    3. What should I do in response?

MORE TIME:

  1. As you read Isaiah 30, take note of the following:
    1. What actions and attitudes do you see in the people of Israel that has caused God to bring judgement upon them?
    2. Verse 15 is interesting. What has God been asking of His people? Why is this so hard to do?
  2. Verses 18-33 speak of God’s patience, grace, mercy and justice toward His people. These verses are looking to the future when Israel will return from their exile in Babylon. Ultimately, they find their fulfillment in Christ. We now await His return and final judgement.
    1. What do you learn about God, and what will take place “in that day”?
    2. Jesus seems to permeate these verses. Look up the following cross references and see what you think: John 14:6; 6:35; 4:13-14; 8:14; 1 Peter 2:24.
    3. When God’s people are faithless, He remains faithful! Take a look at Ephesians 2:1-10. How will you respond to God’s grace and mercy in your life?

GOING DEEPER (optional): For further teaching and application, do one or more of the following:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  ~ Ephesians 2:8-9~

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