Unit Theme: Book of Isaiah

INTRODUCTION

   Several labels have been attached to the Book of Isaiah. Among them are “a Bible within the Bible,” “a miniature Bible,” “the centerpiece of the story of Israel,” and “the Romans of the Old Testament.” A number of quotations from the Book of Isaiah are found in the New Testament. Jesus himself (the infallible Teacher) quoted from this book, and other parts are recognized as the witness of the Holy Spirit. Where could we find greater authenticity than the endorsement of members of the Godhead?

   Little is known of Isaiah except what is recorded in this book. He was a prophet who ministered in Jerusalem from about 750 to 700 BC. He worked under four Judean kings: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (1:1). He wrote of hope and disaster. His portrait of the future of Jerusalem is beautiful, and his foretelling of Babylon’s fall is horrific.

   Isaiah and his son Shear took the message of the Lord to King Ahaz (see ch. 7). Under divine direction, Isaiah was instructed to walk around Jerusalem naked as a sign of God’s displeasure with Jerusalem’s apostasy (see ch. 20). He foretold Jerusalem’s deliverance from Sennacherib’s siege (see chs. 36-37), and was a witness to Hezekiah’s recovery (see ch. 38). Jewish tradition claims that Isaiah suffered martyrdom by having been sawn asunder. We don’t know if this is true, but there is a reference in the listing of the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 to some who were “sawed in two” (v. 37 NIV). There is an account in the apocryphal The Ascension of Isaiah that says he suffered martyrdom under Manasseh.

   The Book of Isaiah carries the message of a sovereign God who, out of His heart of love, provides redemption for humankind. His sovereignty is on display in His connection with the Jewish people. In their sins, they faced divine judgment; in their return to God, they found salvation. As much as in any other Biblical account, the majesty and holiness of God are on display in this book. Isaiah also shows us what a marvelous future God has in store for those who are His.

December 6, 2020 (Lesson 1)

SIN, JUDGMENT, AND RESTORATION

1. Sins of a Nation (Isaiah 1:1-15, 21-23)

2. Call to Repentance and Cleansing (Isaiah 1:16-20)

3. Judgment and Restoration Promised (Isaiah 1:24—2:5)

Central Truth: God will judge the sinner, but forgive and restore the penitent.

December 13, 2020 (Lesson 2)

EVERLASTING JUDGMENT OR EVERLASTING JOY?

1. God’s Judgment Against the Wicked (Isaiah 34:1-7)

2. Divine Retribution (Isaiah 34:8-17)

3. The Gladness of the Redeemed (Isaiah 35:1-10)

Central Truth: God’s judgment awaits all who rebel, but the redeemed of the Lord will experience everlasting joy.

December 20, 2020 (Lesson 3)

THE BIRTH OF THE KING (Christmas)

1. The King Is Born (Matthew 1:18-25)

2. The King Is Sought (Matthew 2:1-8)

3. The King Is Worshiped (Matthew 2:9-11)

Central Truth: Because He is the King, Jesus is worthy of our adoration and praise.

December 27, 2020 (Lesson 4)

OUR GREAT GOD

1. God’s Comforting and Enduring Word (Isaiah 40:1-8)

2. King, Shepherd, and Omniscient Sage (Isaiah 40:9-17)

3. God’s Supreme Reign (Isaiah 40:18-31)

Central Truth: God’s greatness is manifested, not only through His divine attributes, but also in His personal care for His own.

January 3, 2021 (Lesson 5)

GOD’S SUFFERING SERVANT

1. Despised and Rejected (Isaiah 52:13—53:3)

2. Wounded for Our Transgressions (Isaiah 53:4-9)

3. Bruised and Exalted by God (Isaiah 53:10-12)

Central Truth: God the Father’s exaltation of Jesus showed His approval of Jesus’ substitutionary death.

January 10, 2021 (Lesson 6)

GOD’S COMPASSION FOR ALL PEOPLE

1. God’s Everlasting Mercy and Kindness (Isaiah 54:1-10)

2. God’s Promise to His People (Isaiah 54:11-17)

3. God’s Invitation to the Nations (Isaiah 55:1-13)

Central Truth: God is full of love and compassion for all people.

January 17, 2021 (Lesson 7)

A NEW WORLD PROMISED

1. Coming of the Messiah (Isaiah 61:1-9)

2. Invitation Accepted or Rejected? (Isaiah 62:10-12; 65:1-12)

3. Everlasting Joy for God’s People (Isaiah 65:17-25)

Central Truth: Jesus Christ will return to judge the nations and welcome the redeemed.