August 4, 2017
It’s easy to forget that God is a global God, interested in all peoples of all nations. One theme that runs through Isaiah is that of God’s dealings with the nations.
Read Isaiah 45:20-25 and discuss how God is relating to the nations here and the call and invitation he gives to them.
This invitation is given way back in Isaiah 2:1-4 where God’s house is to be the highest point of the world, which the nations will see and be draw to Him. In this we see God’s salvation extending beyond His people to all people.
Not only will the nations come, but they won’t be empty handed. Read the following and take note of what the nations will bring to God as they come and what role they will play:
All of this is good news for God’s people. Israel will be a servant of God to show God off to the nations and God’s light will dawn on them, showing the nations the way (Isaiah 52:10). All people will praise, glory, serve, build up and bring offerings to the one true God. If the nations are made away of the Lord though Israel as a light, then the way to Him, is by the servant of God.
Read Isaiah 52:13-15. What is the reaction of the kings and the nations to the news of this servant?
Jump down a little further to Isaiah 53:11-12. How is their relationship to the Lord changed by what the servant does?
God is gathering all people to himself. Foreigners need not feel separation because of their heritage or race. Turn back and read Isaiah 19:16-22. Think back to how Egypt oppressed God’s people and they cried out to God for Salvation, and here, Isaiah see a time when Egypt will do the same to Israel’s God!
God’s plan is to reach the world by relating to Israel. But, it’s not all good news. Read Isaiah 24:4-6. Why are the nations and the earth suffering? Yes, God is angry at them and has given them over to sin and slaughter. Read Isaiah 24:19-21.
Yet, God is always a refuge to the nations and the poor and the needy who turn to Him. Read Isaiah 25:1-5 to see the response that some have to this destruction. Can you describe a time when you have felt like that?
God will be found by those who seek Him. He will not hide His face, He is Holy and just, meaning He will punish rebellion and sin. But Merciful and compassionate because he will redeem and restore.
We see this perfectly displayed in the person and work of Jesus. He came to Israel, but He is God’s Word to the nations (John 10:16). In Him the wall was broken down between people groups and the way to God opened though His death and resurrection.
Read Ephesians 2:11-19 to see how Jesus did this and who we are in Christ. Take note of how we are bough near to God in Ephesians 4:13.
Does your mind go back to any passages you read in Isaiah as you read about Jesus? What verses stands out most to you in light of what we have look at so far in Isaiah?
God’s invitation is to come to Him. He will not hide His face. He will not cast aside those who seek Him. How does this understanding of the nation’s give hope to you in what you are facing?
This week, spent some time praying for the nations that the light of the Gospel would shine upon them. And rejoice that you have been bought close to God, destined to worship Him for all eternity, starting each day that we are alive.