August 10, 2017
Start by reading Isaiah 1:1 and Isaiah 2:1. What does this tell us about the book of Isaiah? Who do the visions belong to?
What Isaiah saw was presented to Him. The words he heard, were given from God’s lips, as if he was hearing God speak. It was like he was seeing the inner workings of the court of heaven, and reporting back what happened. The revelation of God came through a human.
The role of a prophet and the revelation of God thought the prophet is another theme that comes in in Isaiah. First, let’s define what an Old Testament prophet does.
The role of the Old Testament prophet was primality to call God’s people back to covenant faithfulness, by speaking into the culture of the day and by showing what faithfulness to God looked like. Typically, when a prophet arose the people were being unfaithful and the prophet was to call people back to being faithful to God’s covenant with them. It was a message of both woe and hope. Warning and blessing. Read Deuteronomy 18:15-22 for a role description of a prophet.
Isaiah not only saw, but he lived out the message. His name, Isaiah, means the Lord is salvation.
Read the following and discuss how Isaiah responded and lived God’s message. What are the names of Isaiah’s sons and how do you think they relate to the message Isaiah has for God’s people?
Isaiah is God’s servant. But, it’s a tough task! Read Isaiah 50:4-9 and take note of Isaiah’s faithfulness and disgrace and suffering became of listening to God. What stands out to you in those verses?
Read Isaiah 6:8-11. Who calls Isaiah to this task? What is Isaiah’s response? What does God tell him to say to the people?
It’s a somewhat ironic that Isaiah is call to tell people to listen, who won’t be able to listen! Jump forward and read Mark 4:10-12 where Jesus quotes from this passage. What do you think the reason behind this self-defeating message is?
Read Isaiah 7:13-16. Who is speaking in these verses? Who is he speaking to? Do you think message from would have given hope to God’s people immediately?
When Isaiah spoke God’s message, it had a God-given meaning for the prophet and for the people whom the prophet addressed. The hope in these verse is that God was with his people and that he would give a sign to show it.
Jump forward and read Matthew 1:22-23 and then discuss the following quote from John Goldingay:
When Jesus was born of someone who was actually still a virgin and when he turned out to be the very embodiment of God, Matthews eyes popped when he noted that prophecy in Isaiah. It helped him put a label onto realities that the early Christians knew and to see them in the context of the scriptural story. Something similar is true about the other passages quoted above, and other passages in the New Testament that refer back to Isaiah.
Thus says the Lord is frequently used when Isaiah is telling the people God’s message (Isaiah 22:15; 37:21 for example). When we land in the New Testament this phrases is completely gone. In its place, we have God’s Word appearing to us in the form of a person.
Read John 1:1, John 1:11 and then John 1:14. What do these verses tell you about God’s word and how He relates to the world? Do you notice any similarities between Isaiah’s ministry?
In Jesus, we see God revealing Himself to us perfectly. Jesus is everything God wanted to say to us in a person. The Word of God came, demonstrated, died and rose, to do only what Isaiah could long for and prophecy about. Isaiah was God’s servant, but Jesus was the Good Servant, atoning for the sins of the world and opening a door for the nations to gather around God.
Spend some time this week, thanking God that he has revealed himself to us though His word and though Jesus. Pray that God would open your eyes to more of him each day.