Sunday, January 14, 2018

Isaiah 6 & 7

Today's reading in our daily plan is Isaiah 6 & 7. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Isaiah shares a vision he was given. In this vision he is humbled before God and recognizes his own lack of righteousness when compared with the glory and majesty of God. 
  • Isaiah volunteers to speak to the people with God's message for them. He is available and willing to carry God's message. 
  • God says to Isaiah in verse 9, “Go and tell this people: “‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.'" The people aren't interested in God at this point in time, so this is God's judgement on them for turning their backs on him. 
  • We see a recurring theme in Isaiah so far. A God that has been abandoned by his people, punishing the people who abandoned him. 
  • In Isaiah 7, we see God speak to King Ahaz through Isaiah. He assures the king on, God's behalf, that God will not let his enemies win against him. 
  • Isaiah (speaking for God) directs King Ahaz to ask God for a sign. However, the king declines to do so out of unbelief. This infuriates Isaiah, as his refusal is really testing the patience of God at this point. We see that the King is among those turning their back on God and not really interested in what he has to say. 
  • In response to the King's disbelief, God offers up a sign anyway. It comes in the form of a prophecy, which is just a message from God delivered through a person. This prophecy talks about the future birth of Jesus, who will be called Immanuel (This means “God is with us”). He even goes on to assure this unbelieving King that before this child (who will be known as Immanuel (aka: Jesus)) is very old, the two enemies of King Ahaz will be dead. 
  • Despite God's assurances, King Ahaz refuses to trust in God and accept his help and instead forms an alliance with Assyria. This ally then turns on King Ahaz. 
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Isaiah’s humble approach to God is a great model for our own prayers.
  • God is trying to show love to his people, but they keep ignoring him so he keeps trying to get their attention. 
  • In Isaiah 7, we see the Immanuel prophecy which God declares is the sign he is providing to King Ahaz. We also see another example of someone wanting to ignore God. In this chapter, it's King Ahaz. 
  • Despite God's promise and assurance, King Ahaz chooses to do things his own way, ignoring the words of God. He pays a price for his disobedience in the form of an attack from Assyria. As we can see from the example here of King Ahaz, doing life without God has consequences. 
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • How can we listen to God's voice and his plans for us? Reading the bible and prayer are great ways to do this. God gives us some great examples of imperfect people just like us in the bible for us to relate to. 
  • If you haven't ever done so before, take some time to pray and talk to God. Confess your sins to him. Ask him for help and to strengthen you and guide you as you go through the day. Prayer can be in various forms. There's no right or wrong way. It can be quiet thoughts in your head, journaling in words or pictures, speaking out loud in your car, a quiet or loud place in your home, or a specific place that you feel connects you to God. 
  • Be available and be willing to be used by God like Isaiah was. This can look many different ways: helping a new family unload their moving truck, grabbing an item off the shelf in the grocery store for someone who can't reach, letting someone go in line before you in the store when they have less items than you do, feeding the homeless, volunteering at a local animal shelter, being a friendly face to your neighbors and making the effort to get to know them or plugging into one of the ministries here at Verve.