Bible Study Recap Isaiah 51-55

We completed the second section of Isaiah on Tuesday!  We’ve got two more weeks left before my Bible Study breaks for the summer, so we’re pushing through and plan to finish the last section of Isaiah next week and the week after.  Here are my notes!

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Bible Study Weekly Recap
June 9, 2015
Isaiah Week 15 {Isaiah 51-55}

Isaiah 51

Look to Abraham and Sarah!

Covenantal language

Look at our history! Look at the ways that God has intervened in the past – there is hope (and TRUTH) in the assurance that God will intervene within our lives today as well.

Isaiah was currently calling just to Israel, but later will call to all nations.

Isaiah 51:12
“I, even I, am he who comforts you.

  • It’s almost like God is saying, “come on, guys, pay attention! I am God, I created you, I made a covenant with Abraham and I have not abandoned you.”

The confusing part of this chapter is that the voice constantly changes – from God to Isaiah and back.

Isaiah 52

Look at the first two verses on captivity

  • We are held captive by the things in our lives that pull us away from God.
  • We have to let go of those chains and fully surrender ourselves to God’s love.
  • This is a powerful image, but much easier said than done.
  • What are the chains in your life that are holding you down?

The chains in our lives

  • We all have these chains that hold on to us, that hold us in captivity – some on physical, some are mental/emotional, some are spiritual
  • These chains look difference to all of us
  • To release them is not a one-time thing, it is a CONSTANT process

Isaiah 52:7
How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”

  • This is positive, a call to live in righteousness
  • This call still extends to us today!

Isaiah 53

Isaiah 53:1
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

  • When we talk about God in our lives, who will believe it? It’s unbelievable!
  • We need to believe the impossible, because from the outside looking in, it is hard to believe.
  • This is what makes our witness so powerful.

Isaiah 53:4-11

  • Read through a Christian lens, this certainly points to Jesus.
  • If we are not talking about Jesus, who are we talking about?
    • Isaiah?
    • Israel?
  • Could this describe the journeys that others have taken in the name of their faith and justice? Paul? Persecuted Christians? Martin Luther King, Jr.?
  • How does this describe the way our society often acts as an opposing force to OUR faith?

So why do we trust God? Hope? Eternal life? The promise that there is something better out there?

Do we trust God because we WANT to believe that there is something more?

Isaiah 54

Sing, barren woman (Isaiah 54:1-8)

  • We are the barren woman marrying God who is bringing us into his arms

Reference to Noah (Isaiah 54:9-17)

  • Has this happened again? God made a covenant with Noah that God would never again send a flood, but look at what has happened?
  • These are the challenging questions in our faith. It’s easy to say that the OT is full of violence and the NT is full of love, but that’s not entirely true. There are challenging issues we need to face in the entire bible and in our lives. Where is God in the midst of tragedy? What is the role of reconciliation, forgiveness and grace in the midst of our wrong-doing? I don’t have answers to these questions, unfortunately!

Isaiah 55

Invitation to the feast!

God is INVITING us into his presence

  • Think about an invitation. It makes us feel WELCOME. We are welcome in God’s presence. God has prepared for us. God is read for us.

God is making a covenant with ALL nations, calling them to be a witness to God’s work in the world.

Isaiah 55:10-11
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire

  • The rain does just come, it creates something
  • God’s word is like this – we don’t just hear it, it dwells within us and it creates something with us
  • We need to allow it to work within us!

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