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Read Isaiah 59
1. What is the indictment in Isaiah 59:1-3? What separates us from God? Take some time and confess and repent of anything God brings to mind as you are reading and meditating on these scriptures.

2. Record some of the statements about justice the prophet makes in this chapter. Do they seem relevant to our society? The church? Give examples.

3. Record some of the statements about truth. Do they apply today? To us? Give examples?

4. How did God respond according to Isaiah 59:15-17?

5. What does God promise for the future in Isaiah 59:18-20? How does that impact you?

6. Copy Isaiah 59:21 here. Respond to this promise from God.

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One of many benefits of reading through the Bible each year is that once a year, I must ready the book of Job, 37 chapters of man’s wisdom followed by 5 chapters of God’s.

When I read the book of Job, I learn:

▸ I am like Job’s friends. I spend for too much time, energy and words trying to figure out why friends and loved ones severe or repeated suffering and trial. I search for hidden sin in their lives. I usually fail to consider the universal truth, “God’s ways are far past finding out.” How can finite man understand an infinite and almighty God?

▸ I am like Job. I tend to think God is dealing unjustly with me when He tests me or allows trials in my life. I accuse God of being far from me, not remembering me, or forsaking me. I am prone to think of God as a mere man, like me, capable of error, neglect, and thoughtlessness. I imagine at times that God might need my insight, vision, or my plans.

▸ I am so relieved to hear from God. After 37 chapters of rambling by those not much brighter than me, and I read the words, “The LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind,” and my heart quickens. His truth washes over me, verse after verse confronting me with my impotency and insignificance in stark contrast to His omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence.

Like Job, my only response to the awesome power and knowledge of God is to mumble with my face in the dirt, I am vile . . . I have nothing to say.”

Isaiah 58

Read Isaiah 58
1. What criticism does God make of their fasting in Isaiah 58:3-5?

2. What does God say about fasting, what He desires in the fast in Isaiah 58:6-12?

3. What does God promise if His people fast His way?

4. What does God say about the Sabbath in Isaiah 58:13-13-14? What promises does He make?

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Stand Still

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. Exodus 14:13

Are you facing a terrible enemy today? Is there someone, a group of someones or something that has enslaved you, kept you bound, treated you cruelly, heartlessly abused you, having no concern for you–crushing all hopes of a future?

Did you escape–flee from the oppressor only to have them chase you down, corner you, leave you no way of escape?

So it was with Pharaoh, his army and the children of Israel. They were slaves to Pharaoh–he was cruel to them–depriving them, forcing them to work under difficult conditions. He was even threatening and killing their babies.

He was against them in every way. He had chased them to the edge of the Red Sea–a mountain on each side. They had nowhere to go. The children of Israel were afraid, defeated and without hope.

At that moment, Moses, filled with faith and experiential knowledge of God, speaks to them.

First, he speaks to their fear: Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today.

Then, he speaks to their future: For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.

May God do for you what He did for them in the midst of your Red Sea experience.

Read Isaiah 57
1. What promise does God give in Isaiah 57:1-2 to the righteous?

2. Who is the prophet/God describing in Isaiah 57:3-13? What does He say about them?

3. What do the following verses teach about this subject?
□ Leviticus 19:4
□ Psalm 106:36-43
□ Psalm 135:15-18
□ Jeremiah 2:11-13
□ Jeremiah 5:7-9

4. What do the following scriptures say about how the one true and living God compares to useless idols?
□ 1 Kings 18
□ 1 Chronicles 16:26
□ Isaiah 19:1
□ Habakkuk 2:18-20

5. What does God say of Himself in Isaiah 57:15-20?

6. Copy Isaiah 57:21. Meditate on that. Record your observations/thoughts.

Flip the Switch

Do you every feel like a darkness has descended and you cannot escape it? Do you ever wish you could just flip the light switch on?

I [Jesus] have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes and trusts in Me [as Savior—all those who anchor their hope in Me and rely on the truth of My message] will not continue to live in darkness. John 12:46

There’s the switch you’re looking for–belief in Jesus.

This belief is not just mental assent to the idea of a historical Jesus; rather this is belief:

  1. Jesus was who He said He was–God incarnate; and
  2. He did what He said He did–met the legal requirements under the Jewish law to atone for the sin of the world–satisfying the law and releasing those who believe from the curse and bondage of sin.

If you believe and ask that Jesus’ sacrifice apply to you, the light switches on–you will be bathed in the light of the world. Darkness must flee at the name of Jesus.

This is the message [of God’s promised revelation] which we have heard from Him and now announce to you, that God is Light [He is holy, His message is truthful, He is perfect in righteousness], and in Him there is no darkness at all [no sin, no wickedness, no imperfection]. 1 John 1:5

Read Isaiah Chapter 56
1. What is the promise of Isaiah 56:1-8? How does this minister to you in your relationship with the LORD?

2. The prophet/LORD mentions the Sabbath and keeping the Sabbath several times in this passage. Review the verses that mention the Sabbath. What do you see?

3. What do the following verses teach about the Sabbath?
□ Genesis 2:1-3

□ Exodus 20:8-11

□ Exodus 31:13-17

□ Matthew 12:8

□ Mark 2:27-28

Going Deeper:
Review the Gospels and record the miracles that Jesus performed on the Sabbath. How were they received?

4. Copy Isaiah 56:7 here. What do you see?

5. Read Mark 11:15-17. What is Jesus upset about? How does it relate to Isaiah 56:7? What was the difference between how the Temple was intended to function in the community/world and how it was functioning when Jesus was there?

6. Who is being called out in Isaiah 56:9-12? (Hint: See Lamentations 4:13-14, Ezekiel 34:2-3, Micah 3:11) What is being said of them?

7. Record what was required of the priests in Leviticus 10:8-11. What reason does God give for this requirement?