BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 20, Day 2 Isaiah 44:24-28

Summary of passage:  The Lord reminds His people once again: He is the one who made them, who made all things including the heavens and the earth.  He makes fools of false prophets and diviners and overthrows the learning of the wise.  He fulfills the predictions of His messengers.  He tells the people Jerusalem shall be inhabited again and the towns and the temple of Jerusalem will be re-built and He will use Cyrus to accomplish these tasks.

Questions:

3a)  This is what the Lord says:  44:24, 45:1, 11, 14, 18  I am the Lord and there is no other:  45:5, 6, 18, 22

When God speaks I’d better listen.  He is the only one I should listen to.  No other is important.  I should believe all He says and have full confidence in Him.

b)  Past–He has made all things, stretched out the Heavens, spread out the earth, my redeemer, formed you in the womb.  Present–He foils the signs of the false prophets, makes fools of diviners, overthrows learning of the wise, and turns it into nonsense, fulfills the words of his servants and His predictions.  Future–Jerusalem will be inhabited, towns of Judah shall be re-built, dries up water, uses Cyrus, rebuilds the temple

4a)  Lord moved Cyrus’s heart to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem and allowed God’s people to return to Judah and commanded other nations to help them.  God gave Cyrus the kingdoms of the earth.  Cyrus returned the stolen treasures of the temple, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away.  Completely accurate.

b)  God has complete control over human history.  He can use anybody to accomplish His work.  We belong to God whether or not we believe or know it.  Current events are happening for God’s purpose unknown to us.

Conclusions:  Overarching theme:  God is in control.  He speaks; it happens.

Now, if I could only remember this, I’d worry a lot less and I’d experience that elusive peace of God that guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

The Answers I Seek Lie In God’s Word

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard, “Just open the Bible to any page, start reading, and you’ll find an answer to your problems.”

Lately, for whatever reason, I had been thinking this is hokey.  I mean, if I’m looking for comfort, wouldn’t I turn to the pages on comfort?

But, Day 5 of Lesson 19 in BSF changed all of my thinking, gave me peace in my myriad of minor problems, and turned my thinking around.

I was wallowing in self-pity again when I completed Day 5 and wrote this conclusion: “There is no other Rock.”  This sums it up for me.  If God were my Rock in every situation every day of my life, I’d be a lot happier and much more fulfilled and joyful.  Only God can fill me.  If I am full of God, then there is no room left for miscellaneous ‘idol’ distractions, mini-crises, or unnecessary drama.  God and His blessings would rule.  The Devil would have no place to hide.

This was from Isaiah 44, a passage that didn’t seem to have any bearing on my current dilemma or state of mind.  But the universal truths of God as my Rock struck me and made me realize He wasn’t my Rock in this situation.  He wasn’t my Rock in my mind.  In fact, He was dwelling far away.

I sat and meditated on this fact for a while.  I have been stressed lately:  we’re trying to decide where to move and when and the indecision is getting to me.  Hence, minor little things have been blowing up all around me.  And I haven’t been turning to God’s word for the answers.  I’ve been praying but doing little else.

Until I read Isaiah.  Then I realized (again) God was not my center.  He is my Rock.  And if I’d just slow down for a few minutes and remember that, everything else would fall into place around Him.

I must remember to pray before I flip out.  Pray in every situation.  Read His word and find comfort as it speaks to me.  And all of it (the Bible) speaks to me.

Keep God first.  Remember His faithfulness.  He will do the rest.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 19, Day 5 Isaiah 44:1-23

Summary of passage:  The Lord who created you says do not be afraid for I will pour my Spirit on you and your offspring and you will flourish.  You will proclaim ‘I belong to the Lord’ and write it on your hand.  I am first and last.  No one is like me.  Apart from me there is none.  I foretell the future and you are my witnesses.

All idols are nothing and worthless and those who make them are ignorant and blink.  Men have to make idols (blacksmith, carpenter) and they wear out just like idols do.  Idols are made from wood, the same material used to cook food and warm man.  Wood burns and no one stops to think, “Gee, I’m worshipping the same thing I’m cooking that turns into ashes.”  Man is deluded and has no knowledge if this is so.

God says remember these worthless idols and how they make no sense.  Remember I have made you, you are my servant and I will not forget you.  I forgive your offenses and sins.  I have redeemed you.  So sing for my praise and glory all I have done.

Questions:

10)  Isaiah 44:3-4:  God will pour out His spirit on us and our offspring till it overflows

Isaiah 44:5:  I belong to the Lord and proclaim it by writing it on my hand

Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:14-21:  God pours out His Spirit on all people and whoever calls on Him will be saved

John 7:37-39:  The Spirit will flow within those who believe in Jesus

Acts 1:8:  You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and will become witnesses

11a)  He is the first and the last (an idol has to be made and wears out).  God can foretell the future (idols don’t speak).  God has witnesses for Him.  God is the rock that endures.

b)  Men have to make idols instead of being the created.  Men and idols wear out.  Idols know, say, and do nothing.  No one notices what the idol is made of (that it’s also the material used for fuel) and it can be turned into ashes.  The idol cannot save itself.

c) Personal Question.  My answer:  Worshipping of idols lead to emptiness and unfulfillment.  Only God can give you what you need.

d) Personal Question.  My answer:  God, help me to put you first in my life and see through the empty idols our culture worships and tries to project on others.  Help me to know your truth and power and reject messages of simple pleasures idols offer.

12)  He made them.  They are His servant.  They exist because of and for God.  He has swept away their offenses and sins and redeemed them.  So burst into praise because of this.  Remember foolishness of idols and idol-makers.

Conclusions:  “There is no other Rock.”  This sums it up for me.  If God were my Rock in every situation every day of my life, I’d be a lot happier and much more fulfilled and joyful.  Only God can fill me.  If I am full of God, then there is no room left for miscellaneous ‘idol’ distractions, mini-crises, or unnecessary drama.  God and His blessings would rule.  The Devil would have no place to hide.