The patience of God for His creation is a remarkable thing and one of the fruits of that patience was His prophets. The first of many we shall study is Isaiah. His name means "Jehovah's salvation" and we'll find that this subject is a prominent theme in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah's call came in 756 B.C. during Uzziah's reign over Judah and went until the beginning of the reign of Manasseh. He therefore prophesied through King Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.
Isaiah was to let Judah know that the time of God's patience and long suffering were running out. They had choices to make leading to salvation in God or judgement under their enemies. If that choice seems a simple one to us it was not to them. They had strayed far from God's path and their hearts were hardened. "Sons have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the ass its master's crib; but Israel does not know, my people does not understand." (Isaiah 1:2b-3)
Isaiah warns Judah as a nation, but nations are made up of individuals. Therefore the truths are recorded for our admonition. "Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come." (I Corinthians 10:11).
Therefore I invite you to LISTEN and HEAR for yourselves......
Day 1- What was the situation with the people at the time Isaiah was
sent to prophesy?
Isaiah 1:2b-8, 21-23/ 30:9-11
There was so much corruption and sin in the people that the results were to be visibly seen in Jerusalem and the land. Here are ways it showed up...... (Can we parallel our own nation today?)
Day 2- There were more that listened to foreigners and fortune tellers
that that listened to God.
Day 3- The people were full of themselves--ie. what they owned and could
do with those things.
Isaiah 2: 7-9
Day 4- How did people treat one another?
Isaiah 3:5, 12
Day 5- Their speech and their deeds were against the Lord and they made
no pretense to hide it.
Isaiah 3:8-9/ 5:18, 20-21
Day 6- What were the women like?
Day 7- There was much greed to acquire land and possessions at the
expense of others.
Day 8- Alcoholism had become a problem.
Isaiah 5:11-12, 22/ 28:7
Day 9-How does Isaiah describe the leaders?
Isaiah 3: 14-15/ 9:16 / 10:1-2 /28:14-15 / 56:9-12
Day 10- They were a people in spiritual blindness so that the revealed
will of God was like a sealed book.
Isaiah 29: 9-12
Day 11- The people had set themselves up like god and forgot their place
before the God of the universe.
Isaiah 29:15-16 / 30:9-11
Day 12- As a nation they made plans and alliances with foreign countries
that they should not have.
Isaiah 30:1-2 / 31:1
Day 13- The people had become weary of God. They did not give Him what
they owed Him and certainly showed Him no love.
Day 14- In absolute defiance, they offered sacrifices to other gods!
The behavior of this nation had become a stench to God. He had done everything for His beloved chosen people but they were like a crop of wild (or sour) grapes (Isaiah 5:1-4). As a father must discipline a son to keep his entire life from being wasted, so God needed to take disciplinary action. Notice that with the judgement was always a promise of better days afterwards.
Day 15- What alternatives does God put before the people?
Isaiah 1:18-20, 24-31
Day 16- How will He deal with their great pride?
Day 17- What will happen to those that have been wicked?
Isaiah 3:11 / Isaiah 57:20-21
Day 18- How will God handle the "haughty daughter of Zion? "
Isaiah 3:16-26 / 32:9-13
Day 19- What will happen to Jerusalem?
Isaiah 5:5-6, 9-10, 13-15/ 32:14-15
Day 20- Where will the people have to go to be disciplined?
Isaiah 5:13, 26-30
Day 21- Who will do the disciplining for God?
Isaiah 9:11-12/ 10:5-6 / 20:5-6 / 28:11
The subtle danger for many of the Israelites was that they appeared to be good people who believed in God, went to the temple, and offered all the right sacrifices. Some were outwardly wicked, but probably most appeared as righteous, pious Jews!
Day 22- How does God feel about "the practice of religion?"
Isaiah 1: 10-14
Day 23- What is often the problem with those that merely go to church
and do all the right activities?
Isaiah 29:13 / Ezekiel 33: 30-32 / Matthew 15: 7-9 / Mark 7:6-8
Day 24- How will God respond to such religious activities?
Isaiah 1:15 / 59:1-2
Day 25- How do "religious" people deceive themselves?
Day 26- Perhaps we can skip ahead on our time line to when John wrote
down God's revelation to the churches in Asia. This church was doing many good
things BUT what did God have against them?
Day 27- Reading our Bible is a good things but what did Jesus say was
missing from these Jews that were absorbed in the scriptures?
Day 28- If anyone should have qualified for Heaven it would have
appeared that the Jewish scribes and Pharisees would have. But what strong
words did our Lord have to say concerning them?
Matthew 23:13-33 / Luke 11: 37-42
Day 29- After all that exhortation to the Scribes and Pharisees, what
was it that Jesus really wanted?
Matthew 23: 37
Day 30 -When we become proud of all that we are doing for God then let
that be our "red flag" as it should have been to this man.
Luke 18: 10-14
Day 31- Just as we want to be loved and needed, God wants us to love Him
for Himself. He delights when we love and depend upon Him for our needs. Israel
no longer loved or needed God.
So, what does God really want from us ?
Micah 6: 6-8
In our next study we'll look at the Israelites during their time of chastening and at God's great love and tender mercies to them during it.
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