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According to James 2:23, Abraham was called the friend of God.

What does it mean to be the friend of God?

The friend of God agrees with God on everything. He is not like other friends with whom you can agree to disagree. With God, you must believe every word that comes forth from Him (every word of the Bible).

The friend of God:
obeys God
follows God–doesn’t veer from God’s path
walks with God–goes in the same direction
submits to God–isn’t his or her own boss
speaks God’s language
loves God’s other friends
worships God for who He is

Psalm 23 is a well-known and well-loved Psalm. It is perhaps the most well-known of the psalms, often quoted at funerals. But Psalm 23 is not a psalm of death, it is Psalm that speaks of the abundant life of a believer–life with The Good Shepherd.

What makes Him the Good Shepherd? Consider what He does according to Psalm 23:1-3:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

My Shepherd removes my want and provides completely for me. He gives me a place to rest where there is food and water available to me.

He cares for my eternal nature–my soul–as well. He alone can restore my soul and make me whole. My soul was once far from God. Even now, my soul is often discouraged, but it seeks after its Maker.

He also is a leader, mentor and coach taking me forward in sanctification, leading me down paths of righteousness. He teaches me about Him and about me. He teaches me to walk worthy, instructing me about our relationship, and leading me through our relationship. These things He does for His name’s sake, to fulfill His promises.

But as we see in Psalm 23:4-5, this life with the Shepherd is not a life of ease or without trials:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.

I will face trouble in this life. But my Shepherd is always with me. He never leaves me. He promises to be my companion through the dark times, times in the valley where death hovers near, menacing and threatening me. But I am not afraid because He uses His rod and staff to guide me and keep me on the narrow path that leads to life. His prodding and correction remind me that He is near.

He feeds me even when my enemies are near. He is not intimidated by them and let’s nothing interfere with our fellowship. They will not prevail over me.

My shepherd tenderly cares for me, anointing my head with oil to keep the pests from me, to sooth me and calm me. Life with My Shepherd is so full.

I can’t but proclaim as David did in Psalm 23:6:

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

I have no concerns now or for eternity. Blessed by the name of the LORD!

Read Isaiah Chapter 32

  1. What do you learn about the king described there? The princes?
  2. What do you learn about the man described in verse 2?
  3. What does the prophet say about those who see and hear (believers/followers of God)?
  4. What will happen to the rash? The tongue of the stammerer?
  5. What will be revealed about the foolish person according to Isaiah 32:5-6?
  6. What do the following verses teach about the fool?
  7. □ Psalm 14:1 □ Proverbs 11:29 □ Proverbs 26:10
  8. What does the prophet say about the schemer?
  9. What to the following verses teach about the schemer?
  10. □ Proverbs 24:8 □ Jeremiah 5:26-28
  11. What does the prophet say about the generous man?
  12. To whom is the prophecy directed in Isaiah 32:9-11?
  13. Review Isaiah 3:16-26 and consider what else Isaiah has said to the daughters of Zion.
  14. What prophecy is given in Isaiah 32:13-14?
  15. What promise is given in Isaiah 32:15?
  16. How does that promise compare to Psalm 104:30?
  17. What promise is given in Isaiah 32:16?
  18. What is the result of righteousness according to Isaiah 32:17?
  19. What do you learn about righteousness from the following verses?
  20. □ Proverbs 11:18 □ Hosea 10:12 □ Romans 14:17 □ Hebrews 12:11 □ James 3:18
  21. What prophecy is given in Isaiah 32:18-19?What can you take away from this chapter and apply to your life and/or walk with God today?

Choosing

Wait on the LORD;
be of good courage,
and He shall strengthen your heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD!

Psalm 27:14

Wait on the LORD . . . In the Amplified version, this reads “wait and confidently expect.” This sentiment is repeated in the last part of the verse, reinforcing the idea that waiting on God is the beginning and the end of the matter.

Be of good courage . . . In the Amplified version, this reads, “be strong and let your heart take courage.” This speaks of choice. We must choose to wait. We must choose to believe. We must choose to be courageous. We must allow the Spirit of God to reign in our lives, in our thoughts.

Once we choose, then it is all God. He will flood our hearts with courage–the type of courage we know could never be ours. Once we are strengthened, we wait. God is still and always will be in charge.

Read Isaiah Chapter 31

  1. Against whom is the “woe” spoken in Isaiah 31:1?
  2. What will become of them according to Isaiah 31:2-3?
  3. What promise is made in Isaiah 31:4-5?
  4. What exhortation does Isaiah give in Isaiah 31:6?
  5. What prophecy is given about idol worship in Isaiah 31:7
  6. What do the following verses teach about idols and idol worship?
    □ Psalm 106:36 □ Psalm 115:4-8 □ Psalm 135:15 □ Jeremiah 18:15
  7. What things can become idols to us today? How can we put those things before God?
  8. What prophecy is spoken against Assyria in Isaiah 31:8-9?
  9. What application can you make from these two chapters?

Read Isaiah Chapter 30

  1. Against whom is the “woe” spoken in Isaiah 30:1-5?
  2. What shall become of them?
  3. Against whom is judgment spoken in Isaiah 30:6-11?
  4. How is this group described?
  5. What do verses 9 to 10 say about how they respond to God’s law?
  6. What is the judgment spoken in Isaiah 30:12-14?
  7. What promise does God say to them in Isaiah 30:15?
  8. Compare Isaiah 30:15 to Jesus’ words in Matthew 23:37. What do you notice?
  9. What promises do you find in Isaiah 30:18?
  10. What do you learn from these verses about God’s justice?
    □ Psalm 89:14 □ Psalm 97:2
  11. What promise do you find in Isaiah 30:19?
  12. What do you learn of the LORD’s willingness to answer from these verses?
    □ Psalm 20:6 □ Psalm 118:5 □ Psalm 138:3 □ Jonah 2:2
  13. What will be the result of the adversity the people of God suffer according to Isaiah 30:20-22?
  14. What promises are given in Isaiah 30:23-26?
  15. What judgment is described in Isaiah 30:27-33?

Isaiah Chapter 29

Read Isaiah Chapter 29

  1. What in verse one tells us the identity of the city?
  2. What judgment does God say will be visited on the city by Him in verses 3- 6?
  3. What will happen to the foes of Ariel according to Isaiah 29:7-8?
  4. What does God say has happened to the people of God in Isaiah 29:9-10? Isaiah 29:11? Isaiah 29:12?
  5. What accusation does God make against the people in Isaiah 29:13?
  6. What do the following verses teach?
    □ Psalm 78:36-37 □ Isaiah 6:9 □ Jeremiah 5:21 □ Ezekiel 33:31 □ Matthew 13:14 □ Matthew 15:5-9 (Mark 7:6-7) □ John 12:40 □ Acts 28:23-26 □ Romans 11:8
  7. After reviewing the verses above, have you observed this type of attitude in society today? In the church? Explain.
  8. What does God say will happen as a result in Isaiah 29:14?
  9. The next woe begins in Isaiah 29:15. Against whom is the woe spoken?
  10. What do the following verses teach?
    □ Psalm 10:4-11 □ Psalm 94:3-10 □ Ezekiel 8:12
  11. What is Isaiah’s point in Isaiah 16?
  12. What do you learn from the following verses?
    □ Psalm 100:3 □ Isaiah 45:9 □ Jeremiah 18:1-6 □ Romans 9:19-21
  13. What things are foretold in Isaiah 29:17-19?
  14. What reasons are given in Isaiah 29:20-21?
  15. What prophecy is made in Isaiah 29:22-24?
  16. What application can you make to your own life from Isaiah chapter 29?