Lesson 1Isaiah Chapters 1-12
In the time of Isaiah, it has been some two hundred years since the death of King Solomon, the last king of the United Israel. Following his death, the twelve tribes divided, ten northern tribes becoming the Nation of Israel and the two southern tribes becoming the Nation of Judah.
Over the course of these two hundred years, the Egyptian empire has become a weakened influence in the Middle East; and the Assyrian Empire has become the dominant force. Along the way, the northern tribes have given themselves over to constant political, moral and religious decline; specifically, depending more and more on pagan gods, following the ways of man, and making alliances with foreign governments to protect their interests and secure their nation rather than relying on God.
It is now approximately 740 B.C. when Isaiah is called as a prophet. Seeing the imminent destruction of the northern tribes (i.e., Israel), Isaiah now sets out, in concert with the prophet Micah, to warn Judah to repent; and he sternly calls to account the wicked kings of Judah. However, these warnings go unheeded, and in 722 BC, the northern tribes finally fall to the Assyrians at Samaria, and are dispersed throughout the Assyrian kingdom. King Ahaz, ruling Judah, continues to court Assyria for protection.
This continues through four kings, who will form various alliances and treaties with Assyria, until in 626 BC, when Hezekiah destroys most of the "high places" and promotes "Bible literacy". Unfortunately, one hundred years later, Judah will again backslide, again becoming morally, politically, and religiously corrupt. It falls to Babylonian rule in 585 BC, as the Prophet Jeremiah cries out in Lamentation at the fall of Jerusalem.
We pick up our study in Isaiah Chapters 9 through 12. In the preceding chapters, God has rebuked his chosen people, proclaimed judgment on them, and told them of the need to be cleansed of their sin as preparation for their eternal glory. He cleanses the lips of Isaiah the prophet, and commissions him to warn and rebuke the people. We see in these early chapters that the people of God would rather follow worldly wisdom than listen to God’s message.
At a personal level, we see that God, in spite of our sins and evil ways, seeks to find us and to redeem us. Ultimately, he will destroy our enemies and will send a Messiah, the Christ, who will set up his earthly kingdom and reign with us eternally.
Let’s begin our study by reading Chapters 9-12 and answering the questions below:
- In the preceding chapter, chapter 8, a very dark picture is painted for all those "who seek familiar spirits, and go unto wizards that whisper and mutter... There is no light in them." The entire end of this chapter paints a very dark picture of what a life of hopeless desperation is like. Now look at the first seven verses of chapter 9. What is promised? There are several things. List each one along with the verse that you find it in.
- In Chapter 9, verses 8-16, and Chapter 10, verses 1-4, list each thing the Lord is accusing His people of, and the verse you find it in.
- After God pronounces almost unspeakable judgment on His people along with the Assyrians, what does he promise in Chapter 10 verses 20-23?
- Read Chapter 11 again. To whom is this referring to?
- What do the verses Isaiah 11:2 and John 1:32 have in common?
- Read Isaiah 11:2; then read Revelation 1:4, 3:1, 4:5, and 5:6. Can you list the "seven spirits" of God in noted in Isa. 11:2? Can you see how all of God’s Holy Word ties together? List the "seven spirits" here.
- Now, read Revelation chapter 20:1-6 and the remaining verses of Isaiah Chapter 11 (i.e., verses 3-16). List all of the similarities between these two passages, which describe the Millennial Reign of Christ our Savior – a kingdom that we will be returning with Him to set up.
I apologize for having crammed so much material into one week, but as you can probably infer, I am anxious to get back to our study, and there truly is a lot to study this week.
From this lesson, we get a glimpse of the hope that lives within each of us as we look forward to the day when Christ returns victorious to set up his earthly kingdom. It will happen as surely as all of the already-fulfilled prophecy has, and it will include us when it does.
I pray you will have an exciting study as together we look at this marvelous book and see God as our true Redeemer and King.
Have a great week everyone!
Yours in Christ,