November 12, 2016
This week’s study we move from 1 Corinthians to Isaiah 1-2.
We look at God’s people (about 700 B.C.) whom He loved so dearly but who had turned away from Him in their hearts. The Kingdom of Judah itself was descending into idolatry and evil as a succession of kings promoted the worship of Baal and Asherah, abandoned the temple and the law of Moses, and built social structures that fed the wealthy at the expense of the poor. (Eg. 2 Kings 17:1-23 in particular 2 Kings 17:18-23.)
As a result their worship, lives and country was a shamble.
Read Isaiah 1:1-31. (You may need to read it twice in a modern version eg: New Living Translation, to get a good feel of the state the Israelis (in Judah) were in .
As you read keep in mind the state of the world we live in and even some churches who have turned away from some of God’s holy standards, and have compromised into worldliness.
From Isaiah 1:1-9, 20-23, write down some of the things Isaiah said was wrong with them and their nation.
Re-read Isaiah 1:10-15 and discuss the following:
God was unhappy with their sacrifices, but He was not revoking the system of sacrifices he had initiated with Moses. Instead God was calling for sincere faith and devotion. The leaders were carefully making the traditional sacrifices and offerings at holy celebrations, but they were still unfaithful to God in their hearts. Sacrifices were to be an outward sign of their faith in God, but their outward signs became empty because no faith existed. Why, then, did they continue to offer sacrifices? Like many people today, they had come to place more faith in the rituals of their religion than in the God they worshipped.*
Can we do the same?
Consider and share in your group your response to the following;
Examine your own worship experience: is it just entertainment as you enjoy the music and go along with what others do? Or is it genuine heartfelt praise to God? God does not take pleasure in our outward expressions if our inward faith is missing.*
God gave them hope. He wanted them to repent and change. If they had been willing to, what would have been the result? Isaiah 1:16-19.
List some of the ways God said he would judge them. Isaiah 1:28-31.
3. The Future.
Let’s now see how they will be different in the future when God is in His rightful place and reigning.
Compare the difference. Read Isaiah 2:1-5.
This passage is also looking ahead to “….the last days….” Isaiah 2:1.
Consider Leigh’s words:
Jesus is himself the new temple (John 2:19–21), the glory of God in the midst of his people (John 1:14). He is the ‘Root of David’ (Rev. 5:5). He is the one whose coming brings ‘rest’ to his people (Matt. 11:28; Heb. 4:1–11). He is the one who re-clothes his people in clean garments of fine linen (Rev. 19:8).
Read Isaiah 2:5. How do we as God’s people now: “….walk in the light”?
Read 1 John 1:5-10 and answer the following:
For more about ‘Light’ read John 8:12, 1:4-9, 1 John 2:7-11.
Is the above a reflection of your life? Are there changes you with the help of the Holy Spirit need to make?
Consider praying David’s prayer. Psalm 139:23-24.
*Taken from ‘Life Application Study Bible’