The Shepherd’s Love - Lesson 40
Isaiah's Visions of Glory
Isaiah 40 - 65
1 Thess. 5:23-25
"Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand,
And His arm shall rule for Him;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His work before Him.
He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.
God, our Father, knows and cares about our weaknesses. Therefore, He prepares us, not only for the glorious future He has planned for us, but for the tests and challenges to our faith as we live in a fallen world. In the midst of ominous warnings and dire prophecies, He reaches out with love to hold His hurting remnant of faithful believers close to Himself, reassuring them that, in and with Him, all will be well.
Father, I offer You my heart that You might prepare it to fully receive Your living Word. Let Your promises become my glorious hope -- unfading, joyful expectations which will sustain, strengthen and keep my heart focused on You, no matter how rocky Your path for me might be in this world. Thank You, my Lord and King.
1. Read Isaiah 40 thoughtfully and prayerfully, asking God to reveal Himself to you.
A. Describe the facets of God shown in this special chapter.
B. What is His special message to your heart?
2. The book of Isaiah is full of descriptions and prophesies concerning the Messiah, Jesus Christ, our Lord -- the Servant of God. Describe Him as you see Him in these passages. (Remember that as He lives in you and you live in Him, His work and calling are also your work and calling. That's covenant relationship!)
Isaiah 61:1-4 (See also Luke 4:16-21)
3. Having seen Christ, the Messiah, in the above prophesies, we can understand how He became the "stumbling block" to Israel. God's beloved nation had chosen to look for a great King rather than the suffering servant of Isaiah 53. Now as then, we try to see God from our finite perspective rather than by the revelation of His Spirit in us. Therefore, we often misunderstand His message and redefine His character. (See 1 Corinthians 2:9-10) What does Isaiah 55:8-9 mean to you?
4. Read Isaiah 58.
A. Since God's people ignored God's truth and ways, they misunderstood His promises and lost His favor and blessings. According to the following verses, describe God's people as He sees them. (Do you see yourself in any of these?)
B. What kind of fast would be pleasing to God? (See verses 5-12 and keep in mind what you learned about the Messiah -- and your identification with Him -- in section 2.)
C. As members of the body of Christ, we have the privilege of entering into a "Sabbath rest." (Hebrews 4:9-11) What God says in Isaiah 58:13-14 would apply to our Sabbath rest also. What insights did you gain from these verses? how would you apply them to your life?
5. What does God show you about Himself and the meaning of covenant-relationship in the following verses?
Isaiah 43:1-21, 25
Isaiah 44:1-6, 21-24
Isaiah 51:5-8, 11-16
Isaiah 60:1-5, 15-22
6. Write a thank you note to God for all He has given you in Christ for this time and forever.
SUGGESTED HYMN: My Savior First of All
Next: Lesson 41: Hezekiah and Manasseh