April, May, June 2004
Want to learn more about Isaiah? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
Lesson 1: Crisis of Identity (Isaiah 1)
Have you ever been in a courtroom while a trial was taking place? If you watch a criminal trial, you will see that the first thing the prosecutor does after the jury is selected is to explain the charges against the accused. The defense can then explain its side of the case or wait until after the prosecutor puts on the state's evidence. Isaiah starts out his book like he is a prosecutor laying out his case to a jury. Jurors, let's jump in and find out what this case is all about!
Lesson 2: Crisis of Leadership (Isaiah 6)
Do you like change? Most people fear change because it brings uncertainty. When it comes to the basics, there has been little change in my life. I've lived in the same house for over 20 years, been married to the same wife for almost 30 years, had the same job for almost 30 years, and have been a member of the same local church for about 25 years. That is a lot of "sameness." But in the last three years my two immediate bosses have changed. While that change was taking place, I had some anxiety about the leadership at work. Outside of the basics, my life is one of constant change. I litigate cases for a living. The judge is "the boss" in the case, and since I have cases all over the country, I'm always before a different judge in a different court. That can create some real anxiety. This week our lesson starts out with changing leadership, let's dive into our study of Isaiah!
Lesson 3: When Your World Is Falling Apart (Isaiah 7)
Think about what causes you the most worry. Is it something bad that already happened? Or, is it something bad that you think might happen? I find that most of my worry is about things that might happen in the future. If you find that you turn "molehills into mountains" this lesson is for you. If you are not sure where to turn in times of trouble, this lesson is for you. Let's jump in!
Lesson 4: The Hard Way (Isaiah 8)
Let's review. King Ahaz of Judah finds that his enemies (Syria and Israel) have shown up, armed and dangerous, at his front door step. He could rely on God for help, but he does not. Instead, he bribes the King of Assyria to attack Syria and Israel. What does Ahaz use for bribe money? The valuables from God's temple and palace money. Instead of relying on God, he relies on money and other humans. Is it a smart move? Let's jump into our lesson and find out!
Lesson 5: Noble Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9 & 11)
Last week's lesson ended on a very dark note. We found a progression of life for those who do not rely on God. Life turns out badly and they become angry and blame God. Continuing to look away from God finally brings them to a point of "utter darkness." That doesn't sound like the trip I want to take. There is another journey we can take instead. Let's dive into the Bible and discover that path!
Lesson 6: Playing God (Isaiah 13 & 14)
Some people really irritate me! How about you, do you find that a certain type of person irritates you? When I was first married my wife and I were invited out to lunch. Almost immediately I was annoyed by our host. Why? Because he was a "Mr. Know-it-all." His pride of opinion rubbed me the wrong way until I realized the reason I was so annoyed was that I too had strong opinions. Our church devotes part of the worship service to prayer requests and praises. I am often in charge of this and I find, to my great irritation, that some members use this time to make spiritual exhortations. It is not a prayer request or a praise, but a little "Let me tell the rest of you how you should live." Arghh! Then I think, "I love to teach and preach and tell people how they should live!" We notice our sins in other people. Our lesson this week is about pride. Let's jump into a very relevant study!
Lesson 7: Defeat of the Assyrians (Isaiah 36 & 37)
Our study this week involves one of my favorite stories in the Bible. King Ahaz dies and King Hezekiah, who loved the true God, is now on the throne of Judah. The problem is, as you will recall, that Ahaz had made a deal with the Assyrians. The Assyrians decided they would not simply take Ahaz's bribe money, they would take his whole country! Do you have impossible problems? Has your father created difficulties for you? Need help yesterday? Hezekiah is our "poster child" for dealing with serious difficulties. Let's plunge into his story to learn how a master handles impossible problems!
Lesson 8: Comfort My People (Isaiah 40)
We just celebrated Mother's Day in my home. Although my mother died four years ago, and disappeared into the dark world of Alzheimer's many years before that, I will never forget the feeling of comfort that she would give me. I like to avoid sick people so I will stay well. Not my Mom. When I was sick, she was there to try to make the sickness as comfortable as possible. This week God our Father, the One who has been disciplining His people, now sounds more like "God our Mother" as He turns to comfort His people. Let's charge into our lesson!
Lesson 9: To Serve and to Save (Isaiah 43 & 44)
Each week we are watching the progress of God's people as He leads them on a journey back to Him. So far, the passage has been pretty rough. But, God's people seem to be coming out of the difficult areas into more normal life. What should we consider to be "normal life?" How can we know when God is with us? How do we even know that God exists? Let's dive into the lesson and find out!
Lesson 10: Doing the Unthinkable (Isaiah 50-53)
Ever feel helpless? Ever feel hopeless? Ever wish someone would help you? Do you try to get help when you feel like that? Who do you call? In our lesson today we learn that we are helpless and hopeless without God. Not only is God willing to help us, but the extent to which He has already helped us is, frankly, unthinkable. Let's take a journey into God's incredible love for hopeless humans!
Lesson 11: Waging Love (Isaiah 58)
What does God expect of you when dealing with others? Is it possible to attend church each week, know the Bible, and yet utterly fail to follow God as a practical matter? How do we "wage love" in our everyday life? Is "tough love" a way to wage love? Let's jump into our lesson and find out what Isaiah has to say!
Lesson 12: Desire of Nations (Isaiah 59-61)
Are you troubled about the terrible things you read in the newspapers and see on television? Is there any end in sight to the problem of sin? If there is, what is it? Looking down the long ages of earth's history, Isaiah reveals God's ultimate solution to the sin problem. Let's dive into our study and find out about God's plans!
Lesson 13: Rebirth of Planet Earth (Isaiah 65 & 66)
We have come to the end of our study of Isaiah. Isaiah knows how to make a great ending to his book! He ends with a picture of God's final judgment and the reward of the righteous in the earth made new. Let's plunge into our study of Isaiah 65 and 66 and learn about our future!