SOURCE FOR QUESTIONS
Isaiah 49:1 through 59:21
KEY VERSE FOR MEMORIZATION
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
This portion of the Book of Isaiah is filled with consolation and hope as the prophet unveils God’s promise of redemption through the Messiah. Isaiah spoke more about the Messiah than any other Old Testament prophet, describing the Redeemer of Israel as both a suffering Servant and a sovereign Lord.
In chapters 49-59, the prophet presented a sequence of portraits of the Servant and His mission as the agent of salvation to the Jews and the Gentiles. He foretold that the Prince of Peace would come to pardon Israel’s sins, redeem the people from their wickedness, and institute peace in their midst. As the suffering Servant of His people and a Light to the surrounding nations, He would humbly offer Himself as a sacrifice for many — calling those with “ears to hear” to hearken to God’s voice and turn back to Him.
Israel had not been forgotten; the Messiah would bring the nation back from captivity and would restore His people to the Promised Land. The prophet also foretold that the Messiah would set up His own Millennial Kingdom where He would rule with righteousness, and would bring comfort, deliverance, and renewal to His people.
- How is God’s purpose toward the Gentile nations described in Isaiah 49:6? What impact does this purpose have on us?
- In Isaiah 49:1-7 the prophet referred to opposition to the Messiah’s ministry, and in Isaiah 50:5-6, we read specific details of His suffering. What characteristics of the Servant are revealed in these verses?
- The prophet began chapter 51 with a reminder of God’s past help (verses 1-3) and a reassurance regarding Israel’s future (verses 4-8). Verses 9-10 record either the prophet’s words or the prayer of the righteous remnant to God. What petition was made of Him in these verses? How did God respond (verses 12-16)?
- Isaiah 52:7 says, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” Explain this verse and note how it relates to the Redeemer.
- Chapter 53 describes the substitutionary death of the Servant on behalf of Israel and all people. In verse 6, what is meant by the phrase, “the chastisement of our peace was upon Him”?
- Through the years, Jerusalem has been battered and destroyed by foreign nations. What will happen to it in the Messiah’s Millennial Kingdom? Isaiah 54:11-17
- In chapter 55, the millennial blessings promised to Israel expand beyond its borders to the Gentile nations. The invitation from God’s Servant in this chapter is to come (verses 1-5) and to seek (verses 6-13), and concludes in the subsequent chapter, where the invitation is to worship (verses 1-8). What specific imagery is used in verses 1-2 of chapter 55, and what is the message being given?
- Chapter 56 ends with an indictment of the spiritual watchmen of Israel. The prophet condemns them with biting sarcasm as “blind” and “ignorant,” and refers to them as “dumb dogs” because they were negligent and consumed by self-indulgence. According to Isaiah 56:12, what false assumption was held by the watchmen, as well as the people in general? What warning does this give for our day?
- Chapter 57 continued the prophet’s lament over the idolatry of the people, which he described as spiritual adultery and prostitution. The people had adopted aspects of the pagan cultures around them, and were practicing sorcery, magic, and sexual abominations. They also had made alliances with pagan nations, and trusted them for protection instead of looking to God. According to verse 13, what would be the outcome of this misplaced trust?
- After condemning the wicked idolaters, encouragement was offered to the godly remnant. In Isaiah 57:15, who did the “high and lofty One” promise to revive? What great lesson of the spiritual life does this reveal?
- In chapter 58, the prophet rebuked those who practiced false or hypocritical worship and pointed out the blessings of true worship. In our Christian walk, we must take care that our worship of God at church does not become a formality or a mechanical exercise. What are some ways we can keep our worship authentic and fresh?
God’s judgment of Israel foreshadows what will occur on the final Day of the Lord when all the nations will be judged. Then “the Redeemer shall come to Zion” (Isaiah 59:20), and His glorious kingdom will be established. God’s “chosen” people will also be God’s “cleansed” people, and the glory of their Messiah and Lord will radiate from Mount Zion.