Term 2 2018
“Without a vision, the people perish.” We need a fresh and ever-expanding vision of God and his purposes if we are to make an impact for God’s kingdom. God’s prophet Isaiah shares his vision with us and God uses him to point us to Jesus.
A Vision of God’s Salvation Isaiah 52:13-53:12 20th May
- This passage is about someone called ‘the Servant’. What qualities or experiences put him into the category of ‘servant’? What other qualities or experiences are unlike a servant?
- The core of this passage is v4-6, the central stanza or section of the five stanzas.
- What is the relationship between he/him/his and we/us/our in these verses?
- Often sin is thought of as ‘doing something wrong.’ How different is that idea from what we see in v6?
- How hard is it for a person to believe that he or she has ‘gone astray’ and stands in need of God’s forgiveness?
- Are these verses important to you? Why/why not?
- Read Isaiah 42:1-9. How does this fill out your understanding of the Servant of the Lord?
- Before Easter we were reflecting on the last days of Jesus’ life according to Matthew. What correspondences can you find between this passage and St Matthew’s passion story?
- Read Mark 9:36 in context. How important is servanthood in the Christian life? What stops us taking an attitude of servanthood? How can we re-invigorate servanthood in our age when a sense of entitlement is so dominant?
A Vision of God’s King Isaiah 9:1-7 and 11:1-9 13th May
- What is good and bad about the human governments of our world?
- What problems did Israel and Judah have with their kings?
- What is the basic cause of the world’s troubles (Genesis 3; Isaiah 1:2 cf. Isaiah 6:1-5)?
- How is the promised King described in Isaiah? How will he be different from the world’s rulers?
- Look at 9:6 & 11:1. What sort of King is this?
- Look at how the King’s reign will achieve Isaiah’s vision. (9.5 cf. 2:4; 11:6-9 cf. 65:17 & 25). How will he achieve this peace and harmony?
- How is his justice described (11:3-5)? What does this mean to you?
- If Jesus is God’s promised King (Messiah, Christ) what should be our response to him?
A Vision of God – Holy Isaiah 6:1-8 6th May
- How do you feel when you come before God in prayer or worship? Are you aware of his presence?
- What does it mean that God is a holy God (He is called the Holy One of Israel 26X in Isaiah)?
- Imagine you are Isaiah having this vision of God. How do you feel? What is your response? Why?
- What is the significance of a coal taken from the altar?
- What does it mean to you that “your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for”? Do you really believe you are completely forgiven?
- What does it mean to you that you can come before an all Holy God?
- What part do your actions, and God’s action, play in making you fit to be accepted by him?
- Isaiah was purified, which gave him hope that Israel could be purified. What hope does this give us that the nations can be saved?
A Vision of God – Sovereign Isaiah 6:1-4 & 40:9-31 29th April
- What does the word ‘sovereign’ mean? How would you explain it to a child?
- List all the references you can find in these verses to God’s sovereignty.
- What does God’s sovereignty mean to you?
- Think about how the sovereign Lord speaks about fear to Isaiah and to Israel in these verses:
b- 41:8-10, 13, 14
d- 44:2, 8
e- 51:7, 12-13
- What is the link between God’s sovereignty and fear?
- How does this teaching help us when we face problems like illness, financial stress, relationship difficulties, increasing frailty?
- How has this teaching been misused in a way that harms people? How can we avoid the misuse of this teaching and care pastorally and biblically for people who are afraid?
- Spend some time praising God for his sovereignty.