July 23, 2017
The first theme we will look at that emerges from Isaiah is that God is the Holy One and the Powerful one.
Let’s start by reading Isaiah 1:4; 17:7; 37:23 and 41:14. How is God described in these verses?
The phrase, Holy One of Israel is mentioned 30 times in the Old Testament and 25 of those occurrence are in Isaiah. Read Isaiah 6:1-7. How is the Lord described and what are the reactions to being in His presence by all those described?
The reference to the three-fold declaration of holiness isn’t referring to the threefold nature of God, rather, everything pictured here is to described and declare that the Lord is indeed holy, holy, holy! It must have been an awesome scene for Isaiah to witness.
The Lord is not only holy, but Isaiah describes Him as a powerful worrier. Our English translations often say, Lord of Hosts, but the Hebrew captures it with the phrase, Yahweh Armies and it points to God as a powerful worrier. Read each of the verses, taking note as to how the Lord is described and what action He is performing:
These declarations are staggering, the Holy One of Israel, wields an army and is the absolute sovereign and powerful God above all earthly powers. Hezekiah was someone who also saw the Lord as all powerful. In Isaiah 37:18-20 he prays to God to rescue His people from the hands of Babylon. Babylon may be able to level a nation, but the Lord can lay waste the entire earth!
Share what comes in your mind’s eye to ponder over God as so holy and powerful. How does this enrich your understanding of God?
This big, sovereign, powerful and holy view of God is exactly what God’s people needed to hold on to in the latter part of the book. In Isaiah 40-66 we have some of the most wonderful language from the mouth of God as He describes Himself to His people. At this time, God’s people have received the punishment for their sins (Isaiah 40:1) and Cyrus has decreed that they can head back to Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:22-23) to rebuild the temple. Only problem was that their land was overrun by wild animals, foreigners and their buildings, political and economic stability was destroyed. What a bleak outlook to go back to! Have a read of how God revealed Himself to His people at this time:
God’s intent is clear, stop looking around at what you see, and lift your eyes upon me. The Holy One, the Lord of Armies and the God who has chosen you and is showing you with compassion, justice and mercy. What they needed was a re-alignment to God’s holiness and power in their life.
How does Isiah’s message relate to you and what you are currently facing? Share with your group. After reading and listening to God’s declaration of His holiness and power, how has that helped lift your eyes onto Him at this moment? Have any verses stood out as God realigning moment for you?
In Isaiah 46:7-10 the people cry out to lifeless images, little created gods that cannot save. But this is not the God of Israel, and this is not the God we worship. Over in Romans 8:31-39 Paul writes about God’s power and presence for His people, and that through the un breaking grace of God in Christ, nothing will separate us from Him. No sin or conflict will overrule God’s holiness and power at work for in believer.
Spend some time in prayer thanking God for who He is and that He has bought us near to Him though the Cross of Jesus.
This week, how will God’s holiness and power define you as you face the ups and downs of life?