God Comforts His People
41 Small Group Bible Studies
By John Edmiston
These studies are designed for personal or small group use and take about 45 minutes to an hour each. The questions are designed to be thought-provoking. There are eight or nine questions per lesson. The studies are interdenominational in nature.
A good accurate translation of the Bible suitable for research purposes (not a paraphrase)
A study Bible would be helpful
The group leader should have access to a Bible dictionary or a commentary.
Themes: Jesus in prophecy, the folly of idols, ethics, the sovereignty of God, the uniqueness of God, prophecy, justice, the love, mercy and compassion of God, God and Israel.
Isaiah 40:1-11 Some Big Themes Get Introduced
Isaiah starts this section by throwing out 4 short snippets
of the really BIG ideas that he will then develop through to the end of chapter
66. These are words of comfort for Jews in Babylon and are written for well
into the future from Isaiah’s day two centuries earlier. Many of the prophecies
have multiple references – Jews in Babylon, the time of Christ, the Gospel and
Church, and the Return of the Lord.
Isaiah 40:1,2 – What is God saying to the Jews? Does God stay angry forever?
What does this say about our relationship with God?
is sin so weighty that it naturally brings about its own catastrophic
punishment (Isaiah 30:13). Iniquity is compared to a bulge in a wall that
breaks and brings down the whole wall on those underneath. But God forgives it,
see Isaiah 33:24, Jeremiah 50:20, Micah 7:18,19
Isaiah 40:3-5 and Matthew 3:1-5, John 1:19-34 - How was Isaiah’s prophecy
fulfilled? How many centuries did it take?
does Isaiah 40:3-5 also point to the Return of Jesus? (Revelation 1:7, Matthew
Isaiah 40:6-8 (This is an interaction between Isaiah and God.) What is the
stark contrast that it draws between human history and God’s eternity? How
does it compare with the message of Isaiah 6:8-13?
does it tell us about God’s Word and the Gospel? See 1 Peter 1:22-25
7. Read Isaiah 40:9 - What is the “good news”? (Luke 8:1, Romans 10:15) How many different fulfillments does this prophecy have? What does it mean to “behold your God!”
Isaiah 40:10,11 - What do these two verses tell us about God? About both His
severity and His mercy? (see Romans 11:22 which speaks about Jews and Gentiles,
9. How is God gentle toward the weak and vulnerable? (Isaiah 42:3, Ezekiel 34:16, John 10:11-16)
These verses involve a lot of analogical thinking, where you have to use analogies, comparisons and inferences to get the point of what is going on. Try to think “what is the background to which this verse is the foreground” e.g. the contrast between created / humanly constructed idols and the Creator God.
1. Read the whole of Isaiah 40:12-31 – how does it answer
the theological question of:
“To whom then will you liken God?”
2. Isaiah 40:12-14 is a series of rhetorical questions
(questions that are asked just to make a point in an argument, and which have
obvious answers). What point is Isaiah making here? What does this tell us
about the greatness of God?
3. Read Isaiah 40:15-17 What are the nations like before
God? How “big” is God? What does this tell us about world politics and about
ancient empires such as Babylon? How important is it to have this divine
4. Read Isaiah 40:18-20 List at least five of the
differences between idols and God.
5. Read Isaiah 40:21-24 How does the eternal God outlast
human institutions and empires? How are they like “stubble”? How should this
knowledge help us as we pray to God?
6. Read Isaiah 40:25,26 What is God’s relationship to the
stars? How does this refute Babylonian astrology? Why shouldn’t Christians read
horoscopes? (Isaiah 47:12-15)
7. How great is God’s knowledge of the Universe? How intimate is God’s knowledge of the stars? Does He ever fail to keep things going? How does this contrast with the chaotic behavior of the so-called pagan gods?
8. Read Isaiah 40:27,28 - What is Israel complaining about?
How was this questioning of God based on an incorrect understanding of God?
How can good theology help us?
9. Read Isaiah 40:29-31 How does God strengthen those who have faith in Him? How is God’s strength, our strength? See also Galatians 2:20 and Ephesians 3:20,21
Isaiah 41:1-20 Do Not Fear
This prophecy seems to jump between Cyrus, Israel and
condemning idols, but all along it is declaring the absolute sovereignty of
YHWH and His love for His people.
Isaiah 41:1-4 as God contends with certain nations by bringing the Persian
ruler Cyrus against them. How does this illustrate the sovereignty of God?
claim does God make about His existence (v.4)? See also Revelation 22:13
is the futile response of those who are about to be judged by God? (Isaiah
41:5-7, Isaiah 2:18-22, Revelation 9:20,21)
Isaiah 41:8-10 What had God done for Israel in the past? How is Israel
feeling now? What is God’s reassurance to them? And what is His promise to
Isaiah 41:11-13 - How are the wicked often incensed against the righteous
(think social media)? Should we be afraid of angry sinners? Who is our help?
Isaiah 41:14-16 How will God use Israel as part of His process of judging the
nations? What do the “mountains” and “hills” symbolize? (Isaiah 2:12-17,
Zechariah 4:7, 2 Corinthians 10:4,5)
Isaiah 41:17,18 How can this be interpreted on BOTH a literal level and on a
spiritual level? (Ezekiel 47:1-11, John 4:14, 7:38, Revelation 7:17, 21:6,
Isaiah 41:19,20 How has some of this been fulfilled since the reestablishment
of the State of Israel? Where does God do His best miracles (v.19)? What are
the spiritual lessons here for Christians?
9. How many times does God declare: “I will”, “I shall” or “I am” in these 20 verses? What does that tell us about the way that God works?
The futility of idols and the glory of the coming Messiah
Isaiah 41:21-24 – What is the Lord’s challenge to the idol gods and to those
who worship them? What are the idols incapable of doing?
does God regard people who choose to worship idols instead of the Living God
(Isaiah 41:24, Deuteronomy 7:25,26)? Does this still apply today (1 John 5:21,
Revelation 9:20)? What should we do with idols?
Isaiah 41:25-29 - What were the idols and astrologers unable to predict? What
was God’s evaluation of their so-called wisdom? See also Romans 1:18-25
Isaiah 42:1-4 and Matthew 12:15-21 What events in the life of Jesus fulfilled
this prophecy of Isaiah? What are some of the key characteristics of the
Messiah? What should Christians be like as a result?
Isaiah 42:5 How is God described? How is YHWH related to His Creation?
Isaiah 42:6,7 How does this passage describe the ministry of Jesus Christ?
What incidents in the gospels remind you of this passage being fulfilled? See
also Matthew 11:5, John 8:12, Acts 26:18, etc.
did God set Jesus Christ as a covenant for us? Matthew 26:28, 1 Corinthians
11:25, 2 Corinthians 3:6, Hebrews 8:6-13,
Isaiah 42:8 How does God protect His glory? What is the consequences of this
for us as Christians?
9. Read Isaiah 42:9 How does the fulfillment of prophecy help us to have confidence in the power, sovereignty and wisdom of God?
Isaiah 42:10-25 Two Kinds Of Blindness
These passages are
full of illustrations, analogies and allegories, so put your spiritual thinking
Isaiah 42:10-12 God’s praise reaches the ends of the earth and the remote
parts of the earth (deserts, islands etc.). How can we carry the gospel to the
last, the lost and the least so that Jesus is worshipped? (Psalm 97:1, Isaiah
Isaiah 42:13,14 What is God doing here? Why does God restrain Himself in
times past? What happens during times of judgment? (2 Peter 3:9,10; Acts
42:15,16 In a previous study we saw that mountains = high and lofty people/
situations and pride that obstruct God (Zechariah 4:6,7). What sort of changes
is God making in the world? How is He removing obstructions to the gospel? Who
are the “blind” in these verses? What will God do for those without the
42:17 What will happen to those who trust in worldly idols?
Isaiah 42:18-20 and Revelation 3:17,18 Who are “the blind” in these verses
and how are they different from the “blind” in the remote parts of the world?
What is the cause of their blindness? What is the spiritual effect of constant
Isaiah 42:21-23 What happens to people who ignore God’s instruction? In what
are they being “plundered and looted”? How does that teach us to “listen up and
obey” in future?
Isaiah 42:24 How does God give people over to be “plundered” when they ignore
the hard and fast rules of His moral universe? What is happening in many areas
of society today?
Isaiah 42:25 What happens when judgment finally comes? Do people understand
why they are being judged? (see also Isaiah 1:5,6; 9:13)
9. How does the repentance of “the islands” and the stubbornness of Israel play into the prophetic theme of Romans 11:7-9, 25-27?
Isaiah 43:1-13 The Price of Jewish Redemption and Liberation
The Jews in
Babylon are sent back to Judea, in turn Cyrus gets to conquer Egypt and other
Isaiah 43:1,2 What is meant by this, God’s opening statement to Israel?
do the promises in verses 1 and 2 above also apply to the Christian life?
Isaiah 43:3,4 How is God showing His love for His people? - [BTW: The
“ransom” here is used as a rather loose term meaning that in return for letting
the Jews go back to Judea the Persian King Cyrus will get to conquer Egypt and
some small North African nations that were not previously part of the
Isaiah 43:5-7 Where will God gather the returning Jews from? How is this an
example of the multiple fulfillment of a prophecy?
not fear for I am with you!” (Isaiah 43:5 see also 43:1,2 and 41:10,14 and
also 1 John 5:18, Matthew 28:18-20). How can we live fearless Christian lives?
Can you think of some gospel stories involving Jesus that involve this
Isaiah 43:7 How does this verse apply both to Israel and to Christians? What
does it teach us about God’s purpose for our Christian lives?
Isaiah 43:8-10 [There are two groups here. The nations (idol worshippers) in
verses 8 and 9, whose witness is futile. And the Jews in verse 10 , who are
witnesses to Yahweh the One True God.] What is God’s purpose for His witnesses
and how does it apply to us?
Isaiah 43:10-13 What do we learn here about the absolute incomparable
uniqueness of the One True God?
9. Compare verse 13 “I act and who can reverse it” with John 10:28-30 – What does this tell us about the security of our salvation ?
Isaiah 43:14-28 Israel Neglected God!
Context notes: In verse 14 – the Babylonians were trapped by the Persian King Cyrus who drained the River and accessed Babylon and the ships they had prepared for escape were useless. Also there are two distinct sections here: verses 14-21 Escaping from Babylon, making a way through the wilderness. And 22-28 – Renewing the abandoned covenant with God.
Isaiah 43: 14-21 where God’s redemption is described as an escape from Babylon,
through an impassable and impossible wilderness, into a new and amazing
relationship with God. How is this true on both a natural level and a spiritual
is spiritual Babylon? (Revelation 17:1-5, 18:1-8)
and how are we to escape it? (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)?
does God make a path in the wilderness for believers? (Isaiah 43:16-19) And
what does He provide for us there? (Isaiah 43:20, Revelation 22:1,17)
Isaiah 43:14,15,21 Describe the relationship between God and believers. What
are the terms used? What do they signify? What does God promise?
can Christians get stuck in the past? (Isaiah 43:18,19) What are we to do
6. Read Isaiah 43:22-28 What is God’s complaint with Israel?
Acts 17:24,25, Micah 6:6-8 with Isaiah 43:23,24 What does God really want
does God blot out our sins? (Isaiah 43:25, Ezekiel 36:21-24, Psalm 25:11, Micah
9. Read Isaiah 43:26-28 and compare this with the curse of the Law in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. How did the disobedience of Israel trigger the curse of the Law? How are we redeemed from the curse of the Law? (Galatians 3:10-14)
Isaiah 44:1-8 - Water On Thirsty
Isaiah 44:1,2 Notice the three names of Israel: Jacob (Genesis 25:24-26)
which means Supplanter, Israel (Genesis 32:24-29) which means Prince of God,
and Jeshurun (Deuteronomy 32:15, 33:5,26,27) which means Upright One. What is
the theological significance of these three names in this passage?
is an Old Testament way of saying the same thing in slightly different ways for
reinforcement of an idea. Here it is …”Jacob My servant and Israel my chosen”…
later followed by “Jacob my servant and Jeshurun My Chosen…” What is God
trying to say here?
does the first part of Isaiah 44:2 tell us about God’s absolute commitment to
Isaiah 44:3 [Notice the parallelism! In verse 3, the first part of the verse
is concrete and literal, while the second part is spiritual and theological,
but they are saying exactly the same thing!] What is God’s promise to His
people? Compare it with Acts 2:17,18 and Ephesians 4:10
Isaiah 44:4,5 How does verse 5 expand on the idea in verse 4? How does the
pouring out of the Spirit (v.3) result in spiritual growth (v.4,5)? How do they
express their loyalty to God?
Isaiah 44:6 List all of the ways in which God describes Himself? How would
this encourage Israel? How would it help them to overcome any superstitious
fear of foreign gods such as the occult gods of Babylon? [Note: Lord of Hosts
of Hosts" (Yahweh tsebha'oth) and means the God who is in
charge of spirits, angels, heavenly armies etc. Psalm 103:21. A term associated
with God defending Israel in war – 1 Samuel 17:45, Isaiah 1:24]
Isaiah 44:7,8 What theological challenge is God issuing here? What is God’s
question to them?
Isaiah 44:8 (in the Hebrew and in some translations) God describes Himself as a
“Rock”, what does that mean? (1 Samuel 2:2, 2 Samuel 22:2,3, Psalm 31:2,3, 1
9. “Do not tremble, do not be afraid..? How does having a correct view of God help us to conquer all anxiety? Philippians 4:4-9
Isaiah 44:9-28 - Idols Are Nothing,
God Is Everything
Isaiah 44:9-20 What is Isaiah’s logic here? How is this a completely
devastating argument against idols?
is God’s opinion of idols? (Isaiah 44:9,19) What is fundamentally wrong with
people who choose to worship idols? (Isaiah 44:17-20, 2 Corinthians 4:3,4)
Isaiah 44:21 What is God asking Israel to remember? What won’t God forget?
Isaiah 44:22,23 What two things has God done for Israel, that will cause the
heavens and all nature to rejoice? How is joy a fundamental part of the way
that we should react to God? (Philippians 4:4)
Isaiah 44:24 How was God involved in Creation? How does this refute
polytheism (belief in many gods)? How does it also refute abortion? (Psalm
139:13, Luke 1:15,41)
Isaiah 44:25 What does God do to astrologers, diviners, false prophets and
people who use the occult to make predictions about the future?
Isaiah 44:26-28 What does God do with His prophetic word given to His
servants? What are some of the specific things that God promises that will
8. Isaiah wrote this winning argument against idols nearly 2800 years ago. On one hand we have the blindness and folly of those who worship idols and follow the occult and on the other hand we have the clear testimony of the One Creator God and of His prophets. What is the reason that some people still choose to worship idols today?
Isaiah 45:1-13 The Absolute
Sovereignty of God Over People
Isaiah 45: 1-3 and John 3:27 - Where did Cyrus receive tremendous strength and
victory from? (The Persian Empire was the largest of its time.) How does God
“give” things to people?
Isaiah 45:1-3,13 and list all the things that God was saying that He would do
Isaiah 45:4-6 Did Cyrus know God? Did Cyrus pray to Yahweh? Was Cyrus’
success due to his goodness or piety? How does this challenge some of our religious
assumptions? Can God sovereignly use non-Christians for His purposes and can
God reward non-Christians in doing so?
Isaiah 45:4-6 and John 17:3 What does it mean to really know God?
Isaiah 45:7 in a number of different translations. It is a very puzzling
verse. What does it tell us about God? How could it be misunderstood? (see 1
John 1:5 for a correct perspective) How does the overthrow of Sodom and
Gomorrah fit into this picture?
45:8 is very poetic and uses the phrases “let the skies”, “let the earth” how
must we respond to God’s initiative if salvation and righteousness are to grow
in our midst?
Isaiah 45:9,10 What was God’s response to those who might question Him about
His blessing of Cyrus who was “the work of His hands”? How can we be envious
about what God is doing with other people? (see Matthew 20:1-16)
Isaiah 45:11,12 Why does God have absolute authority over people and their
9. Read Isaiah 45:13 What was God going to do for the captive Jewish people, through Cyrus?
Isaiah 45: 14-25 A God Who Hides
Isaiah 45:14 and Ezekiel 38:1-5,23 - These are the people of the eastern
regions of North Africa, who are now solidly Muslim. What would it take for
them to bow down to the God of the Jews?
Isaiah 45:15, Romans 11:33,34 - How “wise” and inscrutable are the plans of
God? How is God hidden from unbelievers?
Isaiah 45:16,20 - What happens to those who create “alternative spiritual
Isaiah 45:17 - There are two kinds of Salvation a capital “s” Salvation which
is for all eternity and a small “s” Salvation which is something like being
saved in battle or from a flood. What is God describing here?
Isaiah 45:18,19; Amos 9:13-15, Isaiah 65:17-25 - What point is God making
here? How does He create flourishing ecosystems? What can we expect if we obey
God’s rules for our relationships and for our communities?
Isaiah 45:21,22 - How many times is the concept “no other God” used in these
verses? Through our section today (v. 14-25)? Why is “alternative spirituality”
a total fraud? Why does EVERYONE on earth have to turn to the one and only God?
Isaiah 45:23, Psalm 22:27-31 and Philippians 2:5-11 – how will God get the
whole earth to worship Him, and Him alone? How serious is God about this?
Isaiah 45:24 and Psalm 2 - Who is enraged at God and why? How do we see this
rage displayed today?
9. Read Isaiah 45:25, Romans 3:24,25; 1 Corinthians 6:11, 2 Corinthians 5:21 – What does it mean to be “justified” by God?
Isaiah 46: 1-13 Spiritual Failure and God’s Grace
In this chapter the idols turn out to be totally useless failures, and are carried off into captivity. (46:1,2,6,7) At the same time Israel is shown grace despite being transgressors (v.8,12). God demonstrates His sovereign grace to His chosen people with powerful promises and the fulfillment of prophecy.
Historical note: Bel, called Belus by the Greek and Roman writers, is the same as Baal; and Nebo is interpreted by Castell and Norberg of Mercury; the two principal idols of Babylon. When that city was taken by the Persians, these images were carried in triumph.
1. Read Isaiah 46:1,2 and Colossians 2:8 What happened to the so-called powerful gods of Babylon? Why does idolatry and false philosophy always end up in spiritual failure?
2. Read Isaiah 46:3,4 – What is the promise of God here? How does it apply to us as individuals? To Israel as a nation?
3. Read Isaiah 46:5,9 What is the challenge of the Lord in verse 5? How should this challenge be answered (v.9)?
4. Read Isaiah 46:6,7 How does God ridicule idols? Should Christians point out the faults of cults, false religions and empty philosophies? If so, how should it be done?
5. Read Isaiah 46:8,9 – What were the Jews to remember? How important is it for us to remember the works of the Lord?
6. Read Isaiah 46:10,11 What do these verses tell us about God?
7. Read Isaiah 46:12 What was the spiritual state of Israel? (see also verse 8) What does it mean to be hard-hearted and far from justice?
8. Read Isaiah 46:13 – What will God do for Israel in spite of their terrible spiritual state?
Isaiah 47 – The Fall of Babylon
Contextual Note: The Chaldeans were a tribe in south-eastern Babylonia noted for their astrology, “daughter of the Chaldeans” means that the Babylonians had become spiritual daughters of the astrologers.
Main Point: How God judges arrogant, wealthy oppressive nations that trust in magic and sorcery.
Isaiah 47:1-3 What kind of woman is Babylon portrayed as? What happens to
her? How does sin lead to utter humiliation in the end?
Isaiah 47:4 This verse contrasts sharply with the surrounding verses. How are
the elect redeemed out of Babylon? (2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Revelation 18:1-5)
are Christians to be separate from the world? There is a saying: “In the world
but not of the world.” However, at some points we may need to get out of a
certain situation (e.g. working for a dishonest employer). How can we draw the
line and make the decision?
Isaiah 47: 5-7 Babylon is portrayed as a merciless harsh and haughty mistress
who makes life hard for her servants. How is our attitude toward others
important to God? (Luke 14:11, James 4:6, Psalm 18:25-27)
Isaiah 47:10,11 Why did Babylon feel secure? How can great wisdom and
knowledge lead to a false sense of security that rebels against God?
Isaiah 47:12,13 - What challenge does God hurl at the Babylonian astrologers?
How much wiser are those who serve the Lord? (Daniel 1:20, 2:17-28)
Isaiah 47:14,15 - The astrologers are powerless to prevent the fall of
Babylon. We can only manipulate things so far with “witchcraft” before God’s
absolute moral laws and total sovereignty take over. How can Christians be
involved in manipulative behavior? What should we do instead?
8. Think of the stock market. People are always trying to predict it and manipulate it but mostly they totally fail with their “systems”. How has God created a world that only works “by faith”?
Isaiah 48:1-11 God vs. Israel
In these verses God rebukes Israel for its willful
stubbornness and unrighteousness, while, at the same time, showing great mercy
Isaiah 48:1,2 and Isaiah 1:10-14 What was wrong with the way that Israel worshipped
the Lord? How does this apply to our lives as Christians?
Isaiah 48:3-5 Why did God tell them things long ago? How does the fulfillment
of prophecy confirm God’s word? (e.g. Micah 5:2 and Matthew 2:1-6)
Isaiah 48:6,7 What was God going to do? Why was He going to take this
approach? What is God’s attitude toward rebellious Israel?
Isaiah 48:8 What was the spiritual state of the nation of Israel? How long
had it been that way? What does it mean by “their ears” had not been open?
(Hebrews 5:14, Jeremiah 6:10)
Isaiah 48:9, Psalm 78:38, Ezekiel 20:21,22 Why does God delay His anger?
Isaiah 48:10, Proverbs 17:3 and Ezekiel 22:18-22 What was God going to do to
Hebrews 12:3-13 and Romans 5:1-5 Why does God discipline Christians? What is
the end result?
Isaiah 48:5,11, Daniel 9:19 and Isaiah 42:8 Why does God act? Why is His
glory very important?
9. How can we live for the glory of God? Why should we be very careful to give the glory to God for our success in life? (Acts 12:20-23)
Isaiah 48:12-22 God’s Alternatives
These verses emphasize BOTH God’s sovereignty and human choice. Our destiny is formed by our obedience to and interaction with God’s will (verses 17-19), while God is absolutely sovereign over the Babylonians.
Isaiah 48:12,13 God is speaking like a commanding General who calls the
Universe to stand at attention. What is God in absolute command of (according
to these verses)?
Isaiah 48:14-16, Luke 4:18 Who is God speaking about here: Cyrus or the
does God send Jesus and the Spirit? (John 3:16, Acts 2:32-36)
48:15 “and he shall prosper in his way.” How much of our prosperity is because
of our own hard work, and how much is by the blessing of God?
Isaiah 48:17-19 How does God “teach us to profit” and “lead us in the way to
go”? What would have happened if Israel had obeyed God? What paths will God
open up to us if we choose to obey Him? What will be denied to us if we choose
to disobey Him?
6. Read Isaiah 48:20 What was Israel to do now? Was there a risk involved? What is the cost of “leaving Babylon”?
7. Read Isaiah 48:21 How would God provide for the people going back to Israel as they obey Him? How does faith lead to blessing? What is the choice here?
Isaiah 48:22 Peace =Shalom = The Blessed Life Why is there no peace for the
wicked? What does this tell us about choosing to obey or disobey God?
9. How does God interact with the decisions of human beings?
Isaiah 49:1-13 The Lord, The Redeemer
A description of the Messianic Redeemer
Isaiah 49:1-3 Colossians 1:24-26 How is the Messiah “God’s secret weapon”?
Isaiah 49:4,5 and 2 Corinthians 4:9-13 How do prophets, pastors, missionaries
and other servants of God feel at times? What is God’s promise to them?
Isaiah 49:6 and Luke 2:29-32 How is the Messiah to be for all nations?
Isaiah 49:7 and Philippians 2:5-11 How did this verse become a true prophecy
of the life of Jesus Christ?
Isaiah 49:8, Matthew 26:28, Hebrews 8:6, 12:24 How was Jesus given as a
covenant to the people?
Read Isaiah 49:9,10 and 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 What does the Messiah do
for His redeemed ones? Why should this verse be interpreted allegorically /
spiritually? How do these verses apply to Christians?
7. Read Isaiah 49:11,12, Luke 3:4,5; John 14:6 Who comes to the light of the gospel? What does God do to enable this to happen?
8. Read Isaiah 49:13, Psalm 96:11-13, 2 Thessalonians 2:16,17 What is God’s assurance to exiled Israel?
“I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…”
A response to Israel’s complaint.
Isaiah 49:14, Psalm 42:7-11 What is Israel’s complaint? Have you or someone
you know ever felt that they have been completely forgotten by God? What
happens when we adopt a short-term view of God’s actions and justice?
Isaiah 49:15,16, Genesis 8:1, 9:15,16; 19:29 How much does God remember
Israel and His elect? What about the persecuted Church?
Isaiah 49:17,18 What does God promise? How do we see this coming true today?
Isaiah 49:19, Job 42:10 How does God promise increase after decrease? How can
we apply this to our lives, ministries etc.?
Isaiah 49:20,21 & 54:1-3 “Where did these come from…” God has
imperceptible solutions. He works in ways we cannot see. Have you ever been
totally surprised by one of God’s solutions? Also, how does God work to
enlarge our territories?
Isaiah 49:22, 1 John 3:1-3 God calls the nations to Israel – and also into His
eternal Kingdom. How are we sons and daughters of the Living God?
Isaiah 49:23, 60:5,11; 61:6,7 How does God take us from being dishonored to
being honored? What is the benefit of waiting upon God? What happens if we
take a short-cut instead?
Isaiah 49:24,25, Luke 11:21,22 Ephesians 6:10-18 How does God defeat tyrants?
How is the salvation of our children a matter of winning a massive spiritual
battle with a “strong man”?
9. Read Isaiah 49:26, Lamentations 2:20, 4:10 - The siege of Jerusalem was terrible and involved people eating their own children out of starvation. This would be repaid on the enemies of Israel. How does God’s justice “come around” eventually?
Isaiah 50 “But The Lord God Helps Me….”
Sometimes the Christian faith is a dynamic process with many factors in play all at once.
Read Isaiah 50:1 Romans 8:1,2,31-39 Why was Israel “divorced” from
the land and sent into exile? What ruptures our relationship with God? How
does this change in the New Testament because of the work of the Cross?
Isaiah 50:2,3 God replies to the accusation that Israel went into exile
because He (YHWH) was too weak and the Babylonian gods were stronger. What is
God’s answer? How important is prayer and intercession?
3. Read Isaiah 50:4, 1 John 2:20,27 How does God instruct Isaiah? How does this apply to us?
4. Read Isaiah 50:5,6; Matthew 5:39, 26:67 How does the Suffering Servant (the prophet Isaiah / Jesus Christ, both are in view) obey God during severe trials and humiliation?
50:7-9 How does God help and vindicate His afflicted and persecuted
servants? What is the spiritual attitude of the Suffering Servant?
Isaiah 50:9 What eventually happens to the enemies of the Gospel?
Isaiah 50:10 What is Isaiah exhorting believers to do? What should be our
attitude during tough times? How do we do this? How is faith-filled
8. Read Isaiah 50:11, Proverbs 3:5,6; 16:3,9 Romans 1:21,22 What is dangerous about walking “in our own light” during times of darkness and turmoil?
Isaiah 51:1-11 Hope For Those Who Seek After God
1. Read Isaiah 51:1,2 and Genesis 1:28 – What are some of the similarities? What does it mean to be fruitful and multiply and to have dominion? How does God’s blessing accomplish this?
2. Read Isaiah 51:3 How does God comfort Zion? (Zion is spiritual/ideal Israel.) What is the end result of this work of God? What emotions are present once God has done it?
3. Read Isaiah 51:4,5 What does God mean when He says, “Pay attention to Me my people?” How could these verses be used to encourage overseas mission?
4. Read Isaiah 51:6 How does this verse help us to have a right perspective on life? What does it tell us about the difference between the material world and the spiritual world?
5. Read Isaiah 51:7,8 “What are we to remember during times of persecution? How are we to cope with feelings of fear and dread? What will happen to the enemies of the gospel?
6. Read Isaiah 51:9,10 What is the prophet Isaiah calling out for God to do? How do believers often wish for God to do the great miracles of old?
7. Read Isaiah 51:11 What emotions should accompany being ransomed and redeemed? How does this verse apply to both Jews and Christians?
8. Go through Isaiah 51:1-11 and list all of the emotions mentioned, then discuss the role of emotions in the Christian life (as a reaction to the work of God).
Isaiah 51:12-23 – The Recovery of Zion From The Wrath of God
1. Read the whole passage (Isaiah 51:12-23) and try to figure out the overarching theme. What is God saying here as a whole?
2. Read Isaiah 51:12,13 What is God’s question to the Israelites? How do circumstances make us forget about God? How is God trying to change their perspective on their situation? Has God ever tried to get you to change the way that you look at life?
3. Read Isaiah 51:14 What is God’s promise here? How could it be spiritually interpreted? What is the “pit” spiritually? What is meant by “bread” spiritually? (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4, John 6:35)
4. Read Isaiah 51:15,16 In what terms does God describe His power? What has He done for Israel (verse 16a)? How would this give a courageous perspective to the people of God?
5. Read Isaiah 51:17,21,22 What is God saying to Israel about the “cup of wrath”? What is the wrath of God?
6. Read Isaiah 51:18-20 What terrible things happened when Israel experienced the wrath of God?
7. How is God’s judgement of wrath turned away from Christians? (Romans 5:9, 8:1,2;
1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9)
8. Read Isaiah 51:23 What happens to those who “add extra” to the punishment that God inflicts upon people? How is it human nature to “kick those who are down”? What should be our attitude instead? (Job 19:21, Matthew 5:7)
Isaiah 52:1-12 Israel’s Redemption From Babylonian Captivity
1. Read Isaiah 52:1 What is happening to Jerusalem / Zion? How are the literal and the spiritual interpretations intertwined here? Who are the uncircumcised and the unclean? (See Romans 2:24-29)
2. Read Isaiah 52:2 How do we have to take personal action to shake off the past, and get out of our captivity if we are to be spiritually free?
3. Read Isaiah 52:3 and Romans 6:23 – What is the cost of our salvation? What does this say about those who relate giving with blessing (Acts 8:18-20)?
4. Read Isaiah 52:4,5 What is the history of the oppression of the Jews? Why do the righteous always have to deal with oppression and injustice? What will God do?
5. Read Isaiah 52:6 What is God’s promise of intimacy with His People?
6. Read Isaiah 52:7-9 and 40:9 What is going on here? What is the good news for the exiled Jews? For Christians?
7. Read Isaiah 52:10 How does this verse relate to the Great Commission? Why should Christians have a gospel vision that is greater than just their local area?
8. Compare Isaiah 52:11 with Zechariah 2:6,7; 2 Corinthians 6:17 and Revelation 18:4 – What is the impression that you get? What is a “Babylonian lifestyle” and how are we to avoid it?
9. Read Isaiah 52:12 How does God enable us to make major life transitions if they are part of His will?
Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 The Suffering Messiah
1. Read Isaiah 52:13-15 How does this describe the three phases of Jesus’ ministry, the time of fame, the crucifixion, and His time as Heavenly High Priest as the gospel spreads?
2. Read Isaiah 53:1 “Who has believed our report?” What are some of the different responses possible to a gospel about a suffering Servant?
3. Read Isaiah 53:2,3 What was the appearance and personality of Jesus like (in the eyes of the world)? Was Jesus a natural leader before His baptism in the Jordan? (see also Matthew 13:54-56).
4. Read Isaiah 53:4-6 These verses describe what is known as the substitutionary atonement. That is, Jesus took our sins, disease, and anguish upon Himself at the Cross. Make a list of the various things that Jesus took upon Himself, what did He do for us who believe?
5. Compare Isaiah 53:4-6 with 2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 4:25, 5:6-21 and 1 Peter 2:24 – What are some of the things that you learned about Christ from these verses?
6. Read Isaiah 53:4 How did people react to their Savior? How are we often offended by the people whom God sends to help us grow spiritually (e.g. the prophets)?
7. Read Isaiah 53:7 and 1 Peter 2:23 What should our reaction be when we are persecuted for our Christian faith? Why is this difficult?
8. Read Isaiah 53:8,9 How unjust was the Cross? How was this strange prophecy fulfilled?
9. Read Isaiah 53:10-12, Philippians 2:5-11 and Hebrews 12:1,2 What was God’s strange plan for Jesus and how do we often have to suffer prior to spiritual victory?
Isaiah 54:1-17 Comfort For The Afflicted
In this chapter Israel is portrayed as a deeply afflicted woman who has been abandoned, is barren, is a widow and who has no children of her own. Instead of barrenness a covenant of peace and protection is established and there is great multiplication, expansion and blessing.
54:1 How does God’s grace compensate for our human weakness and for life’s
unfairness? (See Luke 16:25)
54:2,3 What is the woman to do with her tent? Why? What is this a symbol of?
How can we apply it to our Christian life?
54:4,5 Why is the woman to be free of shame? Who is her new Husband? (see
also Ephesians 5:25-27, Revelation 21:2,9)
54:6-8 Describe the relationship between God and Israel. What stages did it go
54:9,10 and Genesis 8:20,21, 9:11-16 What do these verses tell us about God’s
covenants and how they operate to preserve and save us?
54:11,12 What does God do for Jerusalem? What is the spiritual significance
Read Isaiah 54:
13 How is this fulfilled in the New Covenant? (Hebrews 8:10-12,
54:14,15 Evil does come against Christians, but it is not “from God”. (1
Corinthians 10:13). What are God’s promises in this situation?
9. Read Isaiah 54:16,17 This is a complex thought and illustration. How does God create weapons and what is their purpose? What happens when they are turned against His people?
Isaiah 55:1-13 A Great and Free Salvation
Isaiah 55:1-2, John 6:26,27, Revelation 21:6, 22:17 What is God inviting us
to? What is the cost of salvation (for the believer)? How does the heavenly
economy work? How can we get caught up in materialism and neglect our
Isaiah 55:3, John 5:24,25 - Underline the verbs (action words) here. What are
the three things we must do if we are to enter into God’s everlasting covenant?
Isaiah 55:4,5 These promises apply to: David, Israel, the Messiah, and
Christian believers, each in different ways. How does God glorify those who
believe in Him?
Isaiah 55:6, and Matthew 7:7,8 What does it mean to seek the Lord?
Isaiah 55:7 – What does God ask us to do as part of being pardoned by God? How
do we forsake our sins in thought and deed? What is real repentance?
Isaiah 55:8,9 and 1 Corinthians 2:12-16 and Romans 12:1-2 What do these
verses tell us about God’s thoughts and our thoughts? How can we have the
“mind of Christ”?
Isaiah 55:10,11, Hebrews 4:10-12, John 10:35 What do these verses tell us
about the power and efficacy of God’s prophetic word? How then are we to apply
this principle in our lives?
Isaiah 55:12 What is the picture that Isaiah is painting about Israel’s
return from Babylon? How does this apply to Christians coming back into God’s
9. Read Isaiah 55:13, and Genesis 3:17-19 What is God signifying by the change in vegetation? How is God glorified by His ability to change a curse into a blessing? (see also Galatians 3:10-14)
Isaiah 56 - Preserve Justice!
Isaiah 56:1, Isaiah 1:16-19 and Micah 6:6-8 What sort of lifestyle should be
the “new normal” for godly Christians? Why is this sometimes missing from
Isaiah 56:2 mentions two huge priorities:
1. Devotion: worship, keeping Sabbaths and
2. Lifestyle: not doing any evil
How should Christians combine both right worship and right living?
Isaiah 56:3-8, Galatians 3:26-28, Colossians 3:11, Ephesians 2:11-22 How is
God including new groups of people such as eunuchs, foreigners and so on? How
does God tear down barriers between people?
Isaiah 56:4, 6 On the other hand, what does God require of those being
included? Does God “include” the wicked and the lawless without repentance?
(Matthew 7:21-23, 1 Corinthians 6:9,10)
Isaiah 56:7 and Mark 11:15-19 How does Jesus make God’s temple a house of
prayer for all nations? Why was this a very radical teaching to the Jews? What
did Jesus cast out of the Temple? What is necessary if our churches are to
become houses of prayer for all nations?
Isaiah 56:8, John 10:14-16, John 11:51,52 How is Jesus always adding new
kinds of people to His Church? Is anyone kept out because of their race or
gender or social status? (Revelation 22:17) How can we improve the
hospitability of our churches?
Isaiah 56:9-12 [Note: watchmen and shepherds denote Israel’s leadership
especially prophets, priests and kings] What had gone wrong with the leadership
of Israel? In verse 10, what was wrong with the watchmen (prophets) who were
supposed to warn people? In verses 11 and 12 what was wrong with the shepherds
(priests and kings)?
Isaiah 56:9, 2 Kings 9:30-37, Revelation 19:17,18; What was God going to do to
the corrupt leaders? How does God devour those who have become corrupt and have
neglected to do justice?
9. Discuss: “God wants justice yet God wants to include everyone.”
Isaiah 57:1-13 Life In A Time of Great Wickedness
Today (Friday 18th
January 2019) is Right-To-Life Day which aligns very well with this passage.
Isaiah 57:1-2 What is Isaiah’s answer to the premature death of the
righteous in times of evil? How does that apply today, to Christians?
(Philippians 1:21-24, Acts 7:54-60)
Isaiah 57:3-5 What is the reaction of the wicked when they see the
righteous? What is the lifestyle of the wicked? What sins are they committing?
What are they doing to their children? Is this like life in the USA today?
Isaiah 57:6-8 How extreme is Isaiah’s language? Could we preach like that
today? Why was it necessary to be so tough?
Isaiah 57:6-8 Who were the Israelites making a pact with when they sinned?
How does sin and rebellion put us in the Devil’s camp?
Isaiah 57:9,10 How persistent were they in their sin? How much effort were
they expending? What was the spiritual significance of their Molech worship (1
the light of 1 Corinthians 10:18-22 – Are all religions worshipping the same
Isaiah 57:11 How does fear and anxiety make idolaters out of people? Why do
people trust in statues, magic charms, amulets, bracelets and idols?
Isaiah 57:12,13 But how effective are these things on the Day of Judgment?
Even huge collections of them?
9. Read Isaiah 57: 13 (last part) - Who IS able to stand on the Day of Judgment? Why is the fear of the Lord ultimately better than the worship of idols? (See also Isaiah 26:3,4)
Isaiah 57:14-21 God Dwells With
Isaiah 57:14 Who is God instructing here? Who is the hinderer and the
obstacle maker (1 Thessalonian 2:18)? How does God remove life’s obstacles?
Isaiah 57:15, 61:1-3, 66:1-2 and James 4:6 Where does God dwell? What
attitude brings God close to us?
Isaiah 57:16, Psalm 78:38-39; 103:9-16 Why is God merciful to us?
Isaiah 57:16 Why does God have regard for the human spirit? See also Isaiah
42:5, Numbers 27:16, Zechariah 12:1, Hebrews 12:9
Isaiah 57:17 What gets God angry? (see also Isaiah 5:8,9 Micah 2:2,3
Ephesians 5:3-5, Colossians 3:5) How addicted were they to their devious
Isaiah 57:18,19 What are God’s divine plans for the backslidden nation of
Israel? How does this apply to some Christians?
Isaiah 57:18,19 and Ephesians 2:14-17 How does God create peace and for whom
does He make full Shalom (Isaiah 26:3)
Isaiah 57:20,21, Jude 1:12, Proverbs 4:16,17 What are some of the emotional
and spiritual characteristics of the wicked?
9. Read Isaiah 57:20,21; 48:22, 2 Kings 9:22, Romans 3:12-18 What kind of people never receive God’s peace in their lives? Why?
Isaiah 58:1-14 True Fasting
Isaiah 58:1,2 What did God tell the prophet Isaiah to do? What was the
spiritual state of Israel at the time? How do prophets “declare to people their
58:3-5 What was wrong with the fasting and other religious practices of the
Jews at this time?
happens when we separate our lifestyle and ethics from our religious practices
so that they are compartmentalized into two separate compartments, e.g. “It’s
just a business decision…”?
Isaiah 58:6,7 What kind of fasting does God want?
Isaiah 58:8,9 What are the blessings that God promises that people will obtain
when they stop judging and gossiping?
Isaiah 58:10,11 What are the blessings promised to those who help and comfort
Isaiah 58:12 How does social justice lead to restored communities and
Isaiah 58:13,14 What are the blessings promised to those who observe the
Sabbath, taking time out from the hurry of life to be with God and with others?
How important is it to have sacred times and spaces? How does modern life push
sacred space to the margins?
9. What is the difference between a legalistic Sabbath and a true Sabbath? (Matthew 12:10-13, Luke 13:10-17, Hebrews 4:9-11)
Isaiah 59:1-11 Sin Separates Us From God
Most of the sin mentioned here is “structural sin”, the combined sin of an entire nation. Today’s structural sins would be abortion, infanticide, economic injustice, racial discrimination, oppression, corrupt banking laws etc.
Isaiah 59:1-2, Jeremiah 5:25, Proverbs 15:29 Why was God refusing to answer
the prayers of the nation of Israel?
the table below that lists 18 Reasons For Unanswered Prayer, and discuss the
reasons why God does not answer prayer.
Isaiah 59:3,4, Ezekiel 9:9,10 What was wrong with Jewish society during
Isaiah 59:5,6, Revelation 19:8, Zechariah 3:1-7 Our righteous deeds are our
clothing before God, but Israel’s deeds were as “spider’s webs” and were toxic
and inadequate. Why is practical righteousness, such as integrity, important
for the saints? (true Christians)
Isaiah 59:7,8, Mark 7:21-22 Here we see a discussion of our lifestyle and
choices, using symbols such as: feet, walking, running, roads, ways and paths.
How do our thoughts and our choices (v.7) determine our paths in life? What
happens if we choose a wrong or crooked path?
Isaiah 59:9, Amos 5:18-20 What were the devastating spiritual consequences of
a society that, as a whole, had continually chosen the wrong paths in life? How
did this make life miserable for everyone?
Isaiah 59:10, Deuteronomy 28:15, 28,29 What had happened to their moral and
spiritual perception? What about their spiritual life? What was sin doing to
Isaiah 59:11, Ezekiel 7:14-18, Psalm 32:3,4 What adjectives would you use to
describe the final spiritual state of sinful Israel?
18 Reasons For Unanswered Prayer
There are four basic categories of reasons why your prayers are not answered other than "the sovereignty of God". These are: A) Spiritual sins such as doubt, hypocrisy, pride, flippancy etc. B) Treating others badly - rudeness, unforgiveness, malice, anger, wrath, divisiveness. C) Major sin - things categorized as "doing evil" (1 Cor 6:9,10) D) Praying amiss - lack of persistence, not fasting, not using Jesus' name etc.
Deciding to believe what God says and acting on it.
Not asking God in the first place but trying to obtain it by quarreling.
Ask God in prayer for your needs.
Asking wrongly e.g. for worldly pleasures.
A distinct separation from the world/not loving it.
1 Peter 3:7
Treating your wife in an inconsiderate manner.
Living with her in an understanding way.
1 Peter 3:12
1 Peter 4:7
A flippant attitude to holy things.
Being serious and watchful.
Pray in private to God not publicly for show.
Using vain repetition (e.g. like Buddhist prayer wheels etc.).
Pray concisely knowing that God is hearing and knows your needs.
Lack of unity especially among Christian leaders.
Agreement & fellowship.
Some situations need fasting as well.
Spiritual discernment and a disciplined life.
Forgive whoever has offended you from the heart.
Lack of persistence
Do not lose heart or give up.
Luke 18:9 ff
Humble yourself before God.
1 Timothy 2:8
Live peaceably in prayer.
1 John 5:14
Not according to God's will (God's broad moral will is meant here)
Ask within the bounds of Scripture.
An erratic life that seldom "abides" in God.
Abide in Jesus words and let them abide in you.
Not asking "in Jesus name" i.e. asking in the will and clear purposes of Jesus and with His designated authority.
Ask in Jesus's will for God's purposes with a sense that the authority comes from God not you.
Not believing in Jesus.
The Father loves those who believe in his Son and will answer their prayers as a result.
Isaiah 59:12-21 The Lord Turns Up!
Isaiah 59:12,13 What are the spiritual sins of Israel? How do they
contrast with the typical OT sin list based on the law of Moses?
Isaiah 59:14,15a Here spiritual qualities are “personified” and treated as
humans. What was the moral state of Israel? How could you use personification
to describe the spiritual state of our society today?
Isaiah 59:15b,16 and Isaiah 63:3-5 How does God always take the initiative
Isaiah 59:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:8, Romans 13:12 and Ephesians 6:10-20 What is
the armor of God? What is it used for?
Isaiah 59:18, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10, Revelation 20:12,13; Matthew 16:27,
Hebrews 12:25-29 Here we see God’s intense fury, which is something we almost
never mention. What would it be like if God just forgave everyone for
everything so there were absolutely no consequences for doing evil?
Isaiah 59:19, Zechariah 4:6,7 God storms in – in revival. A mighty global
revival will take place. Wind=Spirit (same word “Ruach YHWH”) bringing people
to God from both the East and the West. Discuss revival. Let us stop and pray
that God arrives “like a stream driven by a mighty rushing wind” among us!
Isaiah 59:20 and Romans 11:25-32 What does this tell us about the destiny of
the Jewish people? Remember Paul is writing after the Cross.
Isaiah 59:21, Hebrews 8:6-13 What is God’s covenant with the Redeemed?
9. Can you see a prophetic sequence of Redemption here? God initiates salvation, judges the wicked, sends a revival, saves Israel, sends forth His Spirit? Where else in Scripture / the Christian life is this sequence found? What does it tell us about how God acts and who God is?
Isaiah 60:1-11 The Glorified and
1. Compare Isaiah 60:1-11 with 1 Kings 10:14-29 and note the similarities and the differences. When does this spiritual revival of Israel take place? (Romans 11:25-27)
Isaiah 60:1, John 1:9, 8:12, 12:46, Ephesians 5:8, James 1:17, 1Peter 2:9,
1John 1:5-7, 2:8-10
How is the concept of “light” interpreted in the Scriptures?
Isaiah 60:2a and Matthew 4:16, Psalm 82:5, Ephesians 4:17-20, Isaiah 5:20
What is spiritual darkness? What are some of the causes of spiritual darkness?
Isaiah 60:2b,3 and Matthew 5:14-16, 10:26-31 How is Israel (In the Old
Testament) and the Church and Christians (in the New Testament) the light of
Isaiah 60:4,5 How does it feel to have sudden prosperity after a long time of
difficulty? In addition, what is the connection between spiritual revival and
later material prosperity?
Isaiah 60:6,7 How do the nations respond to the presence of God in the midst
of a spiritually revived Israel?
Isaiah 60:8,9 What is being referred to here? How are people returning to
Israel “flying like a cloud” and does Isaiah’s prophecy imply they would be
brought back on aircraft, thus seeing nearly 3000 years into the future? How
many prophecies have come true since the end of World War 2?
Isaiah 60:10,11 How does the mercy of God drive both spiritual revival and
material prosperity? What would happen to us if God was NOT merciful?
9. Read Isaiah 60:5, 11; 61:6, 66:12 and Zechariah 14:14 What is the wealth of nations? Who does this wealth end up with?
Isaiah 60:12-22 Israel Gets A
Isaiah 60:12, Genesis 12:3, and Zechariah 14:12-19 What eventually happens to
those who oppose Israel once Israel is again obedient to God?
Isaiah 60:13,14 How might the Islamic world have a change of heart about
Isaiah 60:15 How does Israel “receive an upgrade”? Notice how the thought
“Instead of X, you will get Y” is used throughout this section [Isaiah
60:11-22]. How does God determine the quality of our existence?
Isaiah 60:16-18 These verses continue the theme of Israel (God’s people)
receiving a major upgrade. What areas of life are covered? Is God interested in
Isaiah 60:19,20 and Revelation 21:21-27 Where are we now? In which biblical
“age”? How do God’s transformational principles work from age-to-age? What is
the light of Israel?
Isaiah 60:21, Ephesians 1:7,11-14, 2:10, Matthew 15:13 Why did God “plant
Israel”? Why did God create the Church? Are there things in society that God
does not “plant”?
Isaiah 60:22 How does God amplify the power and productivity of His faithful
9. “He will do it quickly, in its time” – How does God have precise times and seasons for events to happen in? How can God do something quickly once the timing is appropriate?
Isaiah 61:1-11 The Lord Restores The Righteous
Isaiah 61:1-4 and Luke 4:18,19 How does Jesus fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah?
2. What happens when the Spirit of the Lord comes upon someone? Numbers 24:2-9, Judges 3:10, 6:34, 11:29; 1Samuel 10:6,10, Acts 2:17,18
3. Read Isaiah 61:2,3 What happens to the quality and tone of life and spiritual existence when the Spirit of God is poured out through the Messiah? It is not just about us, what is the final purpose of this? How is God glorified when we experience peace / Shalom?
Isaiah 61:4 What does God do to the “waste places” of our lives, both
physically, and spiritually?
Isaiah 61:5, 6 and 1 Peter 2:5,9 How are Christians also a “royal
Isaiah 61:7 and Romans 5:11, 14:17, 15:13 What in the gospel brings about
everlasting emotional transformation?
Isaiah 61:8,9 and Zechariah 8:13 How does God take captive Israel in
Babylon, from being a curse, to being a blessing? Does this happen to
Christians as well?
Isaiah 61:10 and Luke 1:46-55 How can we rejoice and exult in God our
9. Read Isaiah 61:11, John 15:1-8 and Mark 4:26-32 How is the Kingdom of God a place of natural, gradual spiritual growth?
Isaiah 62:1-12 The Coming Salvation of Zion
through the article on Zion – the holy city, and the heavenly city….
1. Read Isaiah 62:1
Note the Hebrew parallelism that equates Zion with Jerusalem. What is the
prophet declaring? What are God’s plans for Jerusalem?
2. Read Isaiah 62:2,3 Notice
the repeated statements “you shall be”…. This says that God has a definite
destiny for Jerusalem that will be achieved despite her sin, mistakes and
self-will. The salvation of Zion is never in doubt. How does this apply to our
3. Read Hebrews
12:22-24, 1 Peter 2:6, Revelation 3:12, 14:1 How are Christians part of Zion?
How do the promises of Isaiah 62 apply to us? (2 Corinthians 1:20, Ephesians
4. Compare Isaiah
62:4,5 with Revelation 21:1-5 Who is Zion married to? Why does God use human
marriage as a metaphor here? What does that tell us about God?
5. Read Isaiah
62:6,7 Ezekiel 33:1-9 What was the role of a watchman? How important are
intercessors who “watch and pray” (Mark 13:32-37 KJV) Why do we have to “remind
6. Read Isaiah
62:8,9 God promises Israel that they will never work in vain. That what they
earn, they will get to keep and to enjoy. How does this apply to the Christian
life? How can we pray against financial predators?
7. Read Isaiah 62:10,
Psalm 56:13, Isaiah 35:3 - What does it mean to “remove the stumbling
stones”? How can we do that so that people are able to come into the Kingdom of
God? (Luke 17:1-4)
8. Read Isaiah 62:11,
Revelation 22:12, Ephesians 4:7-11 How does the triumphant saving Christ
distribute gifts and rewards to those who are “in Zion”?
9. Read Isaiah 62:12,
1 Peter 1:17-21 How are we “the redeemed” and the “chosen”?
Isaiah 63:1-9 God Avenges Israel
Isaiah 63:1 (note: Edom was a traditional enemy of Israel and Bozrah was its
capital city, it was also the land of Esau and was associated with the color
red) Who is doing the marching? How powerful is He? What does He claim about
Isaiah 63:2,3; Joel 3:13-16; and Revelation 14:19,20 & 19:11-16 Why do
you think a winepress is used as a symbol of utter devastating judgment? When
does this “winepress” battle of total judgment take place?
Isaiah 63:4, 34:8, Luke 11:45-52, 21:22, and Revelation 6:9-17 How does it
make you feel that God has set “times of vengeance” for the persecution of the
saints and prophets, the Jews, and of the Christian Church. Why doesn’t God
just “zap them immediately”?
Isaiah 63:5 Luke 18:7,8 Why was there no one to help Jesus? Do you think
that, by this time, the whole world might be under the control of the
Isaiah 63:6, Revelation 14:9-11, 17:1-6, 18:1-6 What are the “nations” /
Babylon drunk with? What does God do in response?
Isaiah 63:7, Lamentations 3:22-24, Psalm 108:1-6 What is meant by the
“steadfast love” of the Lord? How does it operate? Is it deserved? Can we earn
Isaiah 63:8, Romans 11:1-6 How does God choose His children?
Isaiah 63:9, Zechariah 2:8 How does God have deep affection for the Redeemed?
9. How is God fierce in both love and judgment? How does the idea of a fierce and passionate God fit with your theology? How does this refute the idea of a mild, weak, apathetic, and passionless God?
Isaiah 63:10-19 Isaiah Laments the Spiritual State of Israel
To lament is to outwardly and openly express deep regret, grief, or sorrow. We can lament through words or actions. Lamenting is a common theme in the Bible. In fact, there is an Old Testament book named Lamentations.
Isaiah 63:10 What did the Jewish people do wrong? What was God’s response?
What does it mean to: “Vex the Holy Spirit?” (Matthew 12:31,32; Acts 5:1-4,
7:51, Ephesians 4:30,31; 1 Thessalonians 5:19, Hebrews 10:29) Which of these
sins against the Spirit did Israel commit? (1 Thessalonians 2:15,16)
Isaiah 63:11-13 What is being recalled here? How does it help us when we
recall all the lovingkindesses of the Lord to us and to our nation? (Psalm
Isaiah 63:14 How does the Holy Spirit give people rest? What is the
illustration here? (Matthew 11:28-30, Hebrews 4:3-11)
Isaiah 63:15 How does Isaiah express his utter spiritual desolation? Have you
ever felt like this?
Isaiah 63:16 “Yet you are our Father...” This is a very dramatic verse. What
is Isaiah doing here? What claim is he making on God? How can we make such
claims on God during prayers of intercession?
Isaiah 63:17 – This is a very difficult verse about God hardening people’s
hearts! There are three views:
A. That God has designed a Universe where people’s hearts can be hardened by sin and this law is so strict that it can be said that God hardens people hearts.
B. That God deliberately and sovereignly hardens people’s hearts whether they want them hardened or not and that we have no choice in the matter.
C. Both of the above but at different times. Mainly we have a choice.
(Exodus 10:1, 14:8 Joshua 11:20, Psalm 95:8, Mark 6:51,52; John 12:40, Acts 28:25-28, Ephesians 4:18, Hebrews 4:7)
7. Read Isaiah 63:18,19 Can you hear the sadness in Isaiah’s voice as he cries out about a dispossessed and rejected people: Is it OK to talk like this to God? To express such negative feelings about where things are at?
Isaiah 64:1-12 An Appeal To God
For National Revival
Isaiah 64:1,2 What is the “tone” of the prophet’s question? Also, what is he
asking God to do? Have you ever felt like this?
Isaiah 64:3 Have you ever seen an “awesome work” of God? Here Isaiah looks
back to the Exodus and the ten plagues and to Mt. Sinai. What would be an
awesome work of God today?
Isaiah 64:4 What does it mean to “wait upon God”? (Psalm 62:1, 130:5) How do
we do this?
Isaiah 64:5 The first half of the verse contrasts strongly with the last half.
What is Isaiah trying to get across? How is our relationship with God affected
by our disobedience?
Isaiah 64:6,7 Zechariah 3:1-5, Philippians 3:7-11 What is the spiritual
state of a person who is religious but who is without Christ? How do we become
Isaiah 64:8, Jeremiah 18:10, Psalm 119:73 What are the three metaphors that
Isaiah uses to illustrate the relationship between God and Israel? How do
these relate to the idea that God creates national destinies? How might this
apply to the various nations of the world today?
64:9,10 2 Chronicles 36:19-21 What happens when God judges national sin? Why
is the prophet sad at the righteous judgment of God?
Isaiah 64:11,12 The severity of God can be terrifying, at least it was to the
prophet Isaiah. How many empires have come and gone because of the judgment of
God? How many places, once great, now stand in ruins? How can this teach us to
fear the Lord?
9. Read Jeremiah 7:1-16, Acts 7:48, 17:24 The destruction of the Temple was particularly shocking. Surely it should be spared! What was God’s view of His Temple? How does that relate to church buildings today?
Isaiah 65:1-12 Spiritual Rebellion
Isaiah 65:1 and Romans 10:19-21 God seeks out all people, even those who do
not seek Him at all! What does this tell us about the nature of God? (Also
see the three parables of lost things in Luke 15)
Isaiah 65:2, Romans 10:21 Who is God talking about? What is His initial
posture toward them? What is their attitude to God’s offer of salvation?
Isaiah 65:3-5, Proverbs 6:16,17 What is the attitude of people who are
spiritually rebellious? Why does this offend God?
Isaiah 65:6,7; Jeremiah 16:18, Ezekiel 11:21, 22:31 What happens when God
finally runs out of patience with such spiritual rebels?
65:8, Amos 9:8,9; Matthew 24:22, Romans 9:27-29, 11:5 This is the doctrine of
the Remnant, even when God judges harshly He often saves a chosen remnant of
the people. Why does God do this? How does this demonstrate His very great
mercy and grace?
2 Peter 2:4-10 Do the remnant vanish before the trial / judgment or are they
left standing AFTER the trial/judgment?
Isaiah 65:9,22 Romans 11:5-7 Who are the “chosen”? What do they possess?
Isaiah 65:10 What are the benefits of being those who “seek God”? Achor means
“Disaster or Trouble” so what is implied here? See Joshua 7:24-26, Hosea 2:15
9. Read Isaiah 65:11,12 “for when I called, you did not answer”…. What is the end result of spiritual stubbornness? What does it mean to choose that which the Lord delights in?
Isaiah 65:13-25 The Glory of God’s Servants
This passage foretells of a time on earth that is radically different, but is not yet the eternal state because 1. There are sinners and 2. People do die (but they live very long lifespans) so it seems to support the idea of a Millennium where Satan is bound for 1000 years (Revelation 20:1-3)
Isaiah 65:13,14 and Malachi 3:16-18 “My servants shall… but you will….” At
the moment we do not see much difference in prosperity between those who serve
God and those who do not, but in this future time, the distinction will be
clear. Why is it tricky to measure God’s favor and blessing in terms of
Isaiah 65:15, Revelation 2:17, 3:12 What is the idea of a new name? Who in
the Bible got “another name”? (https://godwords.org/name-changes-in-the-bible/
) In Isaiah 65:15, whose name becomes a curse? Whose name becomes a blessing?
Isaiah 65:16,17, 66:22; Revelation 22:1-5 and 2 Peter 3:11-13 What things
are not remembered any more? What happens to the painful, cursed, fallen world?
Isaiah 65:18,19 How are we to rejoice over God’s future Creation? Why is the
“end of the Story” the most important part? (Matthew 16:26, Luke 16:22,23)
Isaiah 65:20-22 What will happen to the human lifespan in this time of
blessedness and favor? What will be different about the nature of work?
Isaiah 65:23 and Matthew 19:27-30, 22:30 We find the blessed people during
this age are bearing children and having descendants, so how is it different
from the eternal state? How does this support the idea of a Millennium and the
restoration of all things?
Isaiah 65:24, Psalm 91:15 and 1 John 5:14,15 What is the difference between
prayer in the broken world and prayer in the age of blessing? Are there places
and times when prayer is much easier?
Isaiah 65:25 What do each of these animals symbolize? How can animals
represent certain aspects of human nature e.g. wolves, foxes, pigs etc.? How
is this to be interpreted spiritually (not literally)? Who is both the Lion and
9. Read Isaiah 65:25, Matthew 10:16-18 How does God’s Perfect Shalom tend towards total harmlessness and trust? Why is that not the case now?
Isaiah 66:1-14 Peace Like A River
Isaiah 66:1 and Acts 7:48-50, 17:24 What do these verses tell us:
a) about who God is , and
b) about how we are to worship Him?
Isaiah 66:2, Luke 18:13,14, Philippians 2:12 - Who does God take notice of?
What is to be our attitude toward the Almighty?
Isaiah 66:3,4 and Micah 6:6-8 What does the Lord do to those who are only
outwardly religious? What does he think of their temple sacrifices? What were
they doing wrong that displeased God?
Isaiah 66:5 and 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 What happens to the righteous once
religion becomes completely formalized and corrupted?
Isaiah 66:6 and 1 Peter 4:17, James 3:1,2 Where did God’s judgment start?
Isaiah 66:7,8; Jeremiah 51:8, Malachi 3:1 Does God sometimes do things with
great suddenness? What is the fulfillment of this prophecy?
Isaiah 66:9, Philippians 1:6, Matthew 17:20, Luke 1:37 Does God leave things
half done? How does this encourage you?
Isaiah 66:10,11 and Psalm 122:6 This is a rather strong image. What is the
prophet trying to paint a picture of? What has happened to desolate Jerusalem?
9. Read Isaiah 66:12-14; 40:1,2 and 48:17,18 How does this start completing the circle of Isaiah’s prophecy? What does peace like a river mean to you?
Isaiah 66:15-24 - The Conclusion
Isaiah 66:15, Hebrews 12:26-29, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9, 2 Kings 2:11, 6:17;
Psalm 11:6, Revelation 18:7,8 How does God punish the wicked?
Isaiah 66:16, Revelation 19:17-21 How is God’s direct punishment from Heaven
different from His punishment through earthly magistrates and rulers?
Isaiah 66:17 and Mark 7:17-23 What makes people unclean spiritually?
Isaiah 66:18, Ezekiel 38:17-23 and Revelation 20:7-10 What is the Great
Battle of Gog and Magog and how is the Lord glorified through it?
Isaiah 66:19-20 What amazing spiritual event happens after God is glorified by
the Great Battle?
Isaiah 66:21 and 1 Peter 2:5,9 How are even Gentile Christians “priests” of
God and of Christ? And with which kind of priesthood? (Hebrews 7:15-17)
Isaiah 66:22 and Revelation 21:1-7 What is the new heavens and the new earth?
How do “our offspring and our name endure” because of this?
Isaiah 66:23 and Zechariah 14:3-5,16-19 After the great revival, after the
Great Battle, apparently “everyone” will worship God in Jerusalem. How is this
the completion of the Great Commission? How does the Great Battle lead to the
fulfillment of the Great Commission?
9. Read Isaiah 66:24, Mark 9:42-48, Revelation 14:9-12 Why does God tell us about Hell?
John Edmiston (CEO, Cybermissions)
P.O. Box 40
Rhoadesville, VA 22542 (USA)
Office phone: +1 424 358 1207
Please make donations out to: “Cybermissions”