The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: Isaiah: Feeling Secure in the Arms of God [NOOK Book]

Overview

The book of Isaiah has been called “the Bible in miniature.” Both are comprised of sixty-six sections—chapters in Isaiah, books in the Bible. Isaiah first chronicles a holy God’s need to judge sin, reflecting the Old Testament, as latter chapters preface the New Testament, revealing the mercy to come through God’s Son. This study examines a sweeping narrative of Israel, and explores the very arch of God’s redemptive story, as sin and judgment are defeated through the grace of ...

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The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: Isaiah: Feeling Secure in the Arms of God

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Overview

The book of Isaiah has been called “the Bible in miniature.” Both are comprised of sixty-six sections—chapters in Isaiah, books in the Bible. Isaiah first chronicles a holy God’s need to judge sin, reflecting the Old Testament, as latter chapters preface the New Testament, revealing the mercy to come through God’s Son. This study examines a sweeping narrative of Israel, and explores the very arch of God’s redemptive story, as sin and judgment are defeated through the grace of our Savior.

The Wiersbe Bible Studies Series explores timeless wisdom found in God’s word. Based on Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe’s popular “BE” series, each study provides topical, relevant insights from selected books of the Bible. Designed for small groups, this eight-week study features selected commentaries from BE Comforted, engaging questions, and practical applications, all designed to help you connect God’s word with your life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781434702630
  • Publisher: David C Cook
  • Publication date: 11/12/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 641,549
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher and the former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago. For ten years he was associated with the Back to the Bible radio broadcast, first as Bible teacher and then as general director. Dr. Wiersbe has written more than 160 books, including the popular “BE” series of Bible commentaries, which has sold more than four million copies. He and his wife, Betty, live in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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Read an Excerpt

THE WIERSBE BIBLE STUDY SERIES: ISAIAH

Feeling Secure in the Arms of God


By Warren W. Wiersbe

David C. Cook

Copyright © 2010 Warren W. Wiersbe
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4347-0263-0



CHAPTER 1

Prophet Wanted

(ISAIAH 1—12)


Before you begin ...

• Pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal truth and wisdom as you go through this lesson.

• Read Isaiah 1—12. This lesson references chapters 1–3 in Be Comforted. It will be helpful for you to have your Bible and a copy of the commentary available as you work through this lesson.


Getting Started

From the Commentary

The first thing you must know about prophets is that their ministry focuses on the present as well as on the future. They "tell forth" the Word of God as well as "foretell" the works of God. True prophets are like good doctors: They diagnose the case, prescribe a remedy, and warn the patient what will happen if the prescription is ignored (see Jer. 6:14 and 8:11).

Unlike Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Isaiah did not begin his book with an account of his call to ministry. This he gave in chapter 6. Instead, he started with a probing examination of Judah's present situation and gave a passionate plea for God's people to return to the Lord.

Be Comforted, page 27


1. Why do you think Isaiah opened his letter with a plea for God's people to return to the Lord instead of an account of his call to ministry? How does Isaiah's analysis parallel the situation in the Western world today?

More to Consider: Isaiah notes that God's people were a religious people (Isa. 1:10–15). What did this religiosity consist of? How is that similar to or different from the religiosity in today's church?

2. Choose one verse or phrase from Isaiah 1—12 that stands out to you. This could be something you're intrigued by, something that makes you uncomfortable, something that puzzles you, something that resonates with you, or just something you want to examine further. Write that here.


Going Deeper

From the Commentary

The prophet looked ahead to the time when God's righteous kingdom would be established and the temple would become the center for the worldwide worship of the Lord. In Isaiah's day, the Jews were adopting the false gods of the Gentiles, but the day would come when the Gentiles would abandon their idols and worship the true God of Israel. The nations would also lay down their weapons and stop warring. These promises must not be "spiritualized" and applied to the church, for they describe a literal kingdom of righteousness and peace.

Be Comforted, pages 30–31


3. What are some of the things Isaiah promises in chapters 2—4 concerning God's future work? Why is it wrong to "spiritualize" these promises and apply them to the church? What lessons can today's church glean from examining these promises in their cultural and historical context?


From the Commentary

Anyone reading Isaiah might be inclined to ask, "What right does this man have to pronounce judgment on the leaders of our land and the many worshippers in the temple?" The answer is in chapter 6: Isaiah's account of his call to ministry. Before he announced any "woes" on others, he first confessed his own sin and said, "Woe is me!" He saw the Holy One of Israel, and he could not keep silent.

Be Comforted, page 35


4. How does Isaiah go about confessing his own sin? Why is this important in the context of his proclamations? How does his approach compare and contrast to modern-day "prophets" who announce "woe" on others?


From Today's World

While the number of self-proclaimed "modern-day prophets" has diminished in recent years, there still exist a number of leaders in the Christian church who claim a special insight into spiritual matters of the "coming soon" flavor. Many of these focus primarily on Jesus' second coming, but others proclaim specific messages about God's judgment of people who practice specific lifestyles or make certain life choices. Some of these leaders go to great lengths to make known their beliefs about God's judgment.

5. Who are today's trusted prophets? Why are there so many self-proclaimed prophets today? What is the best test for whether or not someone is a true prophet or someone just spouting an opinion? What motivates Christian leaders to make bold proclamations (wrong or right)?


From the Commentary

The sight of a holy God and the sound of the holy hymn of worship brought great conviction to Isaiah's heart, and he confessed that he was a sinner. Unclean lips are caused by an unclean heart (Matt. 12:34–35). Isaiah cried out to be cleansed inwardly (Ps. 51:10), and God met his need. If this scene had been on earth, the coals would have come from the brazen altar where sacrificial blood had been shed, or perhaps from the censer of the high priest on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:12). Isaiah's cleansing came by blood and fire, and it was verified by the word of the Lord (Isa. 6:7).

Before we can minister to others, we must permit God to minister to us.

Be Comforted, pages 36–37


6. What does it mean to permit God to minister to us? Why was this important to Isaiah's story? How does Isaiah's cry to be cleansed speak to his immediate audience? How does it speak to the church and especially church leaders today?


From the Commentary

"Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts" (8:18).

This statement by the prophet Isaiah is a key to understanding the meaning of the events and prophecies in Isaiah 7—12. In his previous messages, Isaiah focused on the spiritual needs of his people, but in this section he deals with the political situation and the failure of the leaders to trust the Lord.

Be Comforted, page 41


7. Why do you think Isaiah chose to focus first on the spiritual needs of his people before addressing the political concerns? What wisdom can today's church glean from Isaiah's approach?


From the Commentary

God warned Isaiah not to follow the majority and support the popular pro-Assyrian party. Even though his stand was looked upon as treason, Isaiah opposed all foreign alliances and urged the people to put their faith in the Lord (7:9; 28:16; 30:15). The Jewish political leaders were asking, "Is it popular? Is it safe?" But the prophet was asking, "Is it right? Is it the will of God?"

Be Comforted, pages 44–45


8. In what ways is Isaiah's decision not to follow the majority like decisions Christian leaders have to make today? What are the sorts of questions leaders ought to ask today when faced with a difficult or uncertain situation? How can leaders be assured they're asking the right questions?

More to Consider: When in a time of crisis, the people of Isaiah's day often turned to consulting demons. What tempts people to seek answers in the occult instead of through God's Word?


From the Commentary

Isaiah 9:6 declared both the humanity ("a Child is born") and the deity ("a Son is given") of the Lord Jesus Christ. The prophet then leaps ahead to the kingdom age, when the Messiah will reign in righteousness and justice from David's throne. God had promised David that his dynasty and throne would be established forever (2 Sam. 7:16), and this is fulfilled literally in Jesus Christ (Luke 1:32–33; Zech. 9:9), who will one day reign from Jerusalem (Isa. 11:1–5; Jer. 23:5–8; 30:8–10).

Be Comforted, page 47


9. Review Isaiah 9:1–7. How does Isaiah describe the Redeemer who is promised to God's people? In what ways would these descriptions have been appealing to them? In what ways might they have questioned Isaiah's message? Why is it important that David's name is mentioned here?


From the Commentary

Isaiah's name means "Jehovah is salvation," and "salvation" is a key theme in Isaiah 12:1–6. "In that day" refers to the day of Israel's regathering and reunion and the righteous reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The refrain in Isaiah 12:2 ("The Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation") was sung at the Exodus (Ex. 15:2) and at the rededication of the temple in Ezra's day (Ps. 118:14).... It was sung in Jerusalem when the second temple was dedicated under the leadership of Ezra, a priest. It will be sung again when the Jewish nation accepts Jesus Christ as its King.

Be Comforted, page 51


10. In what ways do you see the message of salvation playing out in Isaiah's first twelve chapters? Why would it have been significant to the Israelites that his name means "Jehovah is salvation"? How does the song that ends this section of Isaiah speak to the hopes of the Israelites? To us today?


Looking Inward

Take a moment to reflect on all that you've explored thus far in this study of Isaiah 1—12. Review your notes and answers and think about how each of these things matters in your life today.

Tips for Small Groups: To get the most out of this section, form pairs or trios and have group members take turns answering these questions. Be honest and as open as you can in this discussion, but most of all, be encouraging and supportive of others. Be sensitive to those who are going through particularly difficult times and don't press for people to speak if they're uncomfortable doing so.

11. The Jews of Isaiah's time often looked to false idols to find purpose and meaning. What are some of the false idols you've considered or pursued in your life? What lured you to them instead of Christ? How have you turned from these idols?

12. What are some of the leadership roles you've played in life? Have you, like Isaiah, ever asked God to cleanse you before you take on a leadership role? What did that look like? Why is it important to seek God's forgiveness before trying to help others find God?

13. When have you, like Isaiah, chosen to go against the crowd because of your beliefs? How did that work out? What are the risks of going against the crowd? The benefits? How do you know when it's right to go against the crowd?


Going Forward

14. Think of one or two things that you have learned that you'd like to work on in the coming week. Remember that this is all about quality, not quantity. It's better to work on one specific area of life and do it well than to work on many and do poorly (or to be so overwhelmed that you simply don't try).

Do you need to listen more carefully to what God is saying to you? Do you need to gain confidence so you can stand for God when others stand against Him? Be specific. Go back through Isaiah 1—12 and put a star next to the phrase or verse that is most encouraging to you. Consider memorizing this verse.

Real-Life Application Ideas: Spend some time investigating the claims of modern-day prophets. Consider the messages they have to proclaim. Then take a look at your own church and the messages it is sending. What can you learn by comparing these things that will help you know when a message is from God and when it is from man?


Seeking Help

15. Write a prayer below (or simply pray one in silence), inviting God to work on your mind and heart in those areas you've previously noted. Be honest about your desires and fears.


Notes for Small Groups:

• Look for ways to put into practice the things you wrote in the Going Forward section. Talk with other group members about your ideas and commit to being accountable to one another.

• During the coming week, ask the Holy Spirit to continue to reveal truth to you from what you've read and studied.

• Before you start the next lesson, read Isaiah 13—23. For more in-depth lesson preparation, read chapter 4, "The Burdened Prophet," in Be Comforted.

CHAPTER 2

The Burdens

(ISAIAH 13—23)


Before you begin ...

• Pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal truth and wisdom as you go through this lesson.

• Read Isaiah 13—23. This lesson references chapter 4 in Be Comforted. It will be helpful for you to have your Bible and a copy of the commentary available as you work through this lesson.


Getting Started

From the Commentary

Is there a pattern to history? Is anyone in charge? The British historian Edward Gibbon called history "little more than the register of crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind." But the American missionary leader Arthur T. Pierson said that "history is His story." Which one is right?

The prophet Isaiah would stand with Pierson, for these eleven chapters are certainly evidence that God is at work in the nations of the world.

Be Comforted, page 55


1. What are some examples from Isaiah 13—23 that illustrate how God is at work in the nations of the world? How do these events support what Pierson states in the previous excerpt?

More to Consider: Isaiah refers to his prophetic declarations as "burdens." Why do you think this particular word was used? In what way are the prophet's words burdens?

2. Choose one verse or phrase from Isaiah 13—23 that stands out to you. This could be something you're intrigued by, something that makes you uncomfortable, something that puzzles you, something that resonates with you, or just something you want to examine further. Write that here.


Going Deeper

From the Commentary

The word Babel means "gateway to a god" and sounds like the Hebrew word balal, which means "confusion" (Gen. 10:8–10; 11:1–9). In Scripture, Babylon symbolizes the world system man has built in defiance of God. Jerusalem and Babylon are contrasting cities: One is the chosen city of God, the other the wicked city of man.

Be Comforted, page 56


3. What is the message Isaiah gives to Babylon? What is the reason for this proclamation (see Isa. 13:6–22)? Is there a meaning here beyond the specific details of the city's fate? Explain.


From the Commentary

The picture in Isaiah 14:1–23 is that of a mighty monarch whose pride has brought him to destruction. This is what happened to Belshazzar when Darius the Mede captured Babylon in 539 BC (Dan. 5). Isaiah described the king's arrival in sheol, the world of the dead, where the king's wealth, glory, and power vanished. The dead kings already in sheol stood in tribute to him (Isa. 14:9), but it was all a mockery. Death is the great leveler; there are no kings in the world of the dead. "Lucifer" (v. 12) is Latin for "morning star" and suggests that this king's glory did not last very long. The morning star shines but is soon swallowed up by the light of the sun.

The prophet saw in this event something far deeper than the defeat of an empire. In the fall of the king of Babylon, he saw the defeat of Satan, the "prince of this world," who seeks to energize and motivate the leaders of nations (John 12:31; Eph. 2:1–3).

Be Comforted, pages 57–58


4. Go through Isaiah 14:1–23 and circle references directed specifically to the "morning star." What evidence is there in this passage that Isaiah is talking about something more than an earthly leader? Why is that important to the audience Isaiah is addressing directly? Why is that important to the church today?


From the History Books

The city of Babylon, built on the Euphrates River, may have been the largest city in the world at a few points in history (from 1770 to 1670 BC and again from 612 to 320 BC). It is believed to have been one of the first cities to reach a population of 200,000 and was well known as a center of commerce. Not surprisingly, the city suffered from constant siege and was destroyed and rebuilt on more than one occasion. Because of all this turmoil, the city eventually was emptied and today is little more than ruins, buried under the modern city of Hillah, Iraq.

5. In what ways does the city of Babylon mirror the big cities around the world today? Why do big cities suffer from so much turmoil? What message does the destruction of Babylon give to us today? What are the warnings inherent in Babylon's history? What does this tell us about the church's responsibility to powerful cities and the people who run them?


From the Commentary

The key word in Isaiah 14:24–27 is purpose. God is in control of the rise and fall of the nations as He works out His divine purposes in the world. Assyria was His tool to accomplish His purposes (10:5), and the day would come when God would judge Assyria (see vv. 5ff.).

Be Comforted, page 59


(Continues...)

Excerpted from THE WIERSBE BIBLE STUDY SERIES: ISAIAH by Warren W. Wiersbe. Copyright © 2010 Warren W. Wiersbe. Excerpted by permission of David C. Cook.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Cover,
Introduction to Isaiah,
How to Use This Study,
Lesson 1 Prophet Wanted (Isaiah 1—12),
Lesson 2 The Burdens (Isaiah 13—23),
Lesson 3 The Coming Storm (Isaiah 24—31),
Lesson 4 The Future (Isaiah 32—35),
Lesson 5 The King (Isaiah 36—39),
Lesson 6 How Great Thou Art (Isaiah 40—48),
Lesson 7 God's Servant (Isaiah 49—53),
Lesson 8 Promises (Isaiah 54—66),
Bonus Lesson Summary and Review,
Extras,

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