August 25: Isaiah - God Saves
Isaiah 1:1-2a The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken. (ESV)
We will begin our study of Isaiah this week with an overview of the entire book in order to understand its basic purpose and structure, helping to orient us for following sermons. If you’re able, take time to read through the book of Isaiah prior to meeting on Sunday morning. Isaiah’s purpose is bound up in his name, which means “God Saves.” As you read the book you will notice that it speaks to the whole plan of God’s restoration for his entire creation. In the first part of the book (chapter 1-39) God warns of impending judgment on the nations for their idolatry, religious formalism, social injustice and more moral breakdown. Yet throughout these words of judgment God speaks of a future comfort and restoration. This theme of consolation culminates in chapters 40-66, where we see God’s mercy coming through a servant, a single human being, the Messiah. This One will bring about a full restoration of all sinful creation into a new heavens and a new earth. Therefore, we see in Isaiah the entire plan of God, culminating with the new heavens and new earth. Themes of God’s justice, holiness, righteousness and mercy abound throughout the book. God’s sovereign power is displayed as he works amid the nations bringing about his purposes. In the end we are left with the call to trust and follow him and him alone. Pray for God to open our eyes to see his glory and majesty as we begin our study of the book of Isaiah.
Review and Apply
- What was the role of the Old Testament prophet?
- How does Isaiah’s endurance in ministry encourage you in the ministry God has called you to?
- What do you turn to first for help in times of tragedy, trial or difficulty? How does Isaiah describe God as the one worthy of all our trust? Is self-reliance good – why or why not?
- Why is it right for God to bring judgment to the nations? How does God offer consolation to the people of the world even in the midst of judgment?
- How is God's promise confirmed in the gospels of the New Testament?
- Take a few moments to read 52:13-53:12. What is the passage talking about? Why is this the very heart of the Good News that Christians have to proclaim to the world?
- Speak to the comfort you receive as you consider the new heavens and the new earth (Isa. 66)? How does that affect your decisions today in relationships, parenting, marriage, work or community?