The Shepherd’s Love - Lesson 39
Holy in God
His call to His beloved people
Isaiah 2 - 6 and 35
1 Thess. 5:23-25
"I am the Lord your God.... And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine." Leviticus 20:24
"For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.' Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:16-17
Our God will only dwell in a holy place, yet only His presence can make anything or anyone holy.1 With confidence that He has made us holy in Himself through the cross, let us delight in His wonderful presence which that perfects that holiness as we trust and follow Him.
Precious Father, show us the glory of Your great holiness. Deepen our understanding and help us set our eyes and hearts on You continually. Thank You, my Lord and King.
1. Read Isaiah (chapters) 3 - 5.
A. Summarize the cultural and moral condition of the people at this time.
B. Which verses might also describe our times?
2. Read Isaiah 6:1-7.
A. God gave Isaiah a vision of Himself to share with us. Describe what he saw.
B. With what words did the Seraphim acknowledge and worship God?
C. Define the word "holy" as it pertains to God.
D. Read Revelation 4:8-11. What words do the "four living creatures" speak continually?
E. (Challenge) No other attribute of God seems to be praised and proclaimed as highly as His holiness. Prayerfully consider why His holiness, among all His wonderful attributes, is so greatly valued in heavenly places -- yet so rarely discussed in the world today.
F. 1. Isaiah saw that "unclean" humanity was incompatible with a holy God (Exodus 33:18, 20) and expressed anxiety and fear. Why?
2. How did God deal with Isaiah's sin? (Notice how fire and burning is frequently associated with cleansing and purification: Lev. 1:3-4; Deut. 4:23-24; Ps. 66:10, 97:1-3; Mal. 3:2-4; 1 Pet. 1:7)
3. (Personal) What "dross" needs to be removed from your life? Will you co-operate with God as He deals with it? (See 1 John 1:7, 9)
3. Read Isaiah 6:8-13.
A. Describe Isaiah's response to the voice of God both before and after he was made aware of his formidable assignment.
B. What do his responses tell you about Isaiah's knowledge of God and of his own purpose and identity?
C. (Personal) How willing are you to trust and follow God no matter where He has you now? (in singleness, in a marriage, in a job...)
God's warning came true: Most people refused to listen or heed his warnings. Consequently, the next stage of God's redemptive plan would take effect. The severe chastisement and eventual exile of God's people would function as "a refiner's fire" which would purge and purify their hearts. But the process would be costly. When God separated His people from their land, all their worldly riches were lost. Yet, God had not forsaken His own. His people were still called to be a holy nation, separated unto God -- and He would accomplish His purpose.
4. Read and enjoy Isaiah 35. Who are the privileged ones who will walk "the highway of holiness?" What does God promise them?
5. God had given this command to us as well as to Israel: "You shall be holy, for I am holy." (Lev. 11:44 and 1 Pet. 1:15-16) Explain the meaning of the word "holy" as it pertains to each one of us, His people. (You may want to study and meditate on the verses at the beginning of the lesson.)
6. Hebrews 12:14 tells us, "Strive for peace with all men, and for the holiness without which no one will see God." Our Lord has provided everything we need in order to live a life of holiness. In the following verses are exhortations and promises that show you the path to holiness. Summarize and apply each of these passages to yourself. (Challenge: Do you see a pattern or progression? What is it?)
A. Romans 4:3-7 (Genesis 15:6)
B. John 1:29 (Leviticus 1:2-4, 9)
C. Romans 12:1-2 (Leviticus 20:7-8, 26)
D. 2 Corinthians 6:17 - 7:1 (Deuteronomy 7:2-6)
E. Matthew 22:36-40 (Deuteronomy 6:5)
F. Romans 6:11, 17-19
G. 2 Corinthians 3:18
H. 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
7. Prayerfully study Mark 8:34-35. What is God asking of you here? (What are some of the moment-by-moment choices you make which build a lifestyle habit of holiness?
8. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:23-25 ("Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it") How do these verses encourage you?
1. In Old Testament days, God sanctified His earthly temple by His presence, but He withdrew His presence from that beloved temple when Israel desecrated it with their pagan sacrifices and idolatrous worship.
SUGGESTED HYMN: Set apart - a chosen vessel (no melody found online)
Next: Lesson 40: Glimpses of Glory
Set apart - a chosen vessel to the King of kings,
Set apart - for ever severed from all earthly things.
Set apart - to bear the fragrance of His blessed name
And with Him to share the sufferings of a Cross of shame.
Set apart - with Him to suffer o'er a world undone,
And to stand in fiercest conflict 'till the fight be won.
Set apart - an earthen vessel, empty, weak and small,
Yet the treasure that it beareth: Christ the Lord of all!
Freda Hanbury Allen