READING THE BIBLE IN 52 WEEKS
ISAIAH CHAPTERS 40-66
On October 10,2012, we complete the Book of the Prophet Isaiah by studying Chapters 40-66. Last week we studied Chapters 1-39 which primarily showed God’s judgment of his chosen people in Judah as they committed great sins and engaged in idolatry and mistreatment of each other. This week we will study Chapters 40-66 which contain God’s promises of love, mercy and restoration for his chosen people after their punishment in exile in Babylon.
Remember: THREE-A-DAY IS THE EASIEST WAY! There are 1,189 Chapters in the Bible and to read the whole Bible in 52 Weeks, one must read an average of 3.25 Chapters every day!
Here in week thirty-seven, we will read and understand Isaiah’s beautifully written prophecies about the coming Messiah Jesus the Christ, God’s love of justice and some of the best known Scriptures in the Bible. The Book of Isaiah has been called the Fifth Gospel of the Bible and these chapters will show why. Please read prayerfully and carefully Isaiah40-66 and answer the following questions:
Like the Gospels in the New Testament, Isaiah 40 begins with good news. What was this good news and in which verses do you see it?What do you think the prophet means by the term “hard service”?
ANSWER: This section has 27 Chapters just as the New Testament has 27 Books. The good news in Chapter 40 was that the exile was almost over and better days were on the way! We see this good news in Verses 1 and 2. The term “hard service” in Verse 2 means Jerusalem’s warfare and suffering.
Who wasthe New Testament prophet from the prophecy in Isaiah 40:3?Where in the New Testament is the prophecy fulfilled? What was the meaning of his message from this verse?
ANSWER: Isaiah 40:3 is the prophecy of the coming Jesus’s cousin John the Baptist. John was the “voice crying in the wilderness” as a man who lived in the desert making a highway for the coming of the Messiah Jesus the Christ! This prophecy is fulfilled in all four of the Gospels! Look at Matthew 3:1-4; Mark 1:1-4; Luke 1:62-78; and John 1:23.
In which verses in Chapter 40 do we find great words that were made popular by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? What do you think those words mean?
ANSWER: In Verses 4-5 we find the powerful and inspiring words that Dr. King often included in his sermons and speeches: “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together:”
Isaiah 40:31 are God’s well-known words to His chosen people who are weary in Babylon “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles,” NKJV. Where else in the Old Testament do you find metaphors about eagles that give an idea of the meaning of this text?
ANSWER: See Psalm 103:5; Jeremiah 4:13 and 48:40.
Which verses in Isaiah Chapter 42 do you think are considered to be messianic prophecies about Jesus?
ANSWER: In Verses 1-9.
In Chapter 43 Isaiah speaks of redemption when he says that the Lord redeemed Israel in Verse 1. In which verses of Chapter 43 does God show His redemption of Israel by “doing a new thing”?What do you think those verses mean?
ANSWER: In Verses 18-19 the Lord says: “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.” Here the Lord is telling His chosen to not look back at when He brought them out of Egypt as the limit of His power and as the last great thing He did but rather the Lord was telling them “you ain’t seen nothing yet!” The Lord was about to do a new thing then and a brand new thing with the coming Messiah hundreds of years later!
In Isaiah 45:1 we have a WOW moment when the Lord calls King Cyrus his “anointed.”Why do you think the Lord anointed Cyrus? Which verse in Chapter 45 shows that God can even use those who do not know Him or serve Him to save His people and go after their enemies
ANSWER: The Lord called Cyrus His anointed probably because while Israel was in exile she had no king like David or Solomon so God “anointed” Cyrus to take care of His chosen people! In Verse 4 the Lord says: “I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.” Meaning for His people God chose to use a “heathen king” to save His people and defeat their enemies. It was the great King Cyrus who issued the decree that allowed the remnant to return to Jerusalem after the exile.
Chapters49-57 give us the heart of the messianic prophecies of Isaiah.Chapter 53 has some of the most beautiful, yet powerful, words in all literature. How would you explain to a teenager the meaning of Isaiah Chapter 53:1-7?
ANSWER: Theinterpretation of this awesome section of Scripture is:
Verse 1 where most Jews would not believe the report of the remnant about the suffering servant who is our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.
Verse 2 means Jesus came up out of a spiritually dry place and he did not looklike the beautiful, regal looking king they were expecting.
Verse 3 means Israel, his own people, despised and rejected him and he had many sorrows and experienced great sufferings but he was used to it for us.
Verse 4 means he carried the burden and weight of our sin sick souls with him during his Earthly ministry and took our grief and sorrow with him to the cross.
Verse 5 means he was our substitute who took the brutal beating with the whip for us and took nails in his hands and feet for us and a sword pierced his side for us and those who believe in him today have an inner peace because he was punished for us and through his awful, painful and wretched death we are healed from our sins!
And Verse 6 means just like sheep without a shepherd we followed other leading sheep among us and went after our own way and not God’s way and became lost sheep but as John Newton wrote, because of the Amazing Grace of God through Christ Jesus we once were lost but now we are found! Blind sheep that now can see because of our redemption through the blood of the “Lamb of God!”
What does God say in IsaiahChapter 58 as His amazing lesson on what He thinks about fasting without meaning and as a fad and why He expects His people to do justice?
ANSWER: Chapter 58 tells us that God is not impressed fasting that tries to impress other men and women. He says in Verse 1 that his prophets (preachers) are expected to shout loud against injustice. In Verses 3-6 he says our fasts are phony because of how we treat workers, quarreling and even fighting with each other! In Verses 6-7 God said that a true fast to Him is one where we loose the chains of injustice, free the oppressed, break every yoke of unfairness, feed the hungry with our food, provide housing for the homeless, clothing for the naked, to help our own families. Jesus said much of the same thing in Matthew 25:35-45!! In Verses 8-10 God says he will let our light rise and bring healing to us and he will have our back if we do justice! He will make our darknessbright as the noonday if we do justice.
Where in the Gospel of Luke do we find the Scripture in Chapter 61? What is the difference between what Jesus read in Luke and what Isaiah writes in Chapter 61? Do you see Isaiah’s prophecy about the Trinity in Chapter 61?
ANSWER: Luke 4:18-19:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
The difference between Luke 4:18-19 and Isaiah 61:1-2 is that Jesus deletes the mention of God’s “day of vengeance” which is in Isaiah 61:2. The Trinity is found in both Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18 with the Spirit of the Lord (Holy Spirit) of the Lord (the Father) upon me (the Son).
What is the new name for Jerusalem or Zion given In Chapter 62? What does that new name mean?
ANSWER: The new name for Jerusalem in Chapter 62 is Hephzibah in Verse 4 and it means “my delight is in her.”
In Isaiah 63:7-64:12 Israelprays a national prayer to God. Where in Chapter 64 does Israel say that God is the father and potter and we are the clay?
ANSWER: Isaiah 64:8.
In Isaiah Chapter 65God answers Israel’s prayer with an incredible response that is also in the Book of Revelation. Can you find what God says in Chapter 65 that is also a major point of Revelation?
ANSWER: In Chapter 65:17 God says there will be a new heaven and a new earth and in Revelation 21:1. Also in Isaiah 65:18 God says he will create a newJerusalem and God says the same thing in Revelation 21:2. And God says in Isaiah 65:17 that the former things will pass away and in Revelation 21:4 it says essentially the same thing.
Where in Chapter 66 do you find the beautiful phrase“peace like a river”?
REFLECTIONS: Which Isaiah verses were you surprised to find in this book?
PLEASE READ JEREMIAH AND LAMENTATIONS FOR OCTOBER 17, 2012