The last 11 chapters of Isaiah is God’s picture of the trajectory God is taking His people and His world. Whereas at the start of this vision (Isaiah 1-12) we saw a picture of what was wrong with the city, the people and the leadership – at the end of the vision we’re seeing a restored city, a restored people because of a unique leader, the Servant.
This week we’re looking at the trajectory of those who have been made God’s people because of the work of the servant. For us, the question is one of – what does it mean to be one of God’s people in the time between the servant and between God restoring all things?
There’s a strong push to move faith / religion / belief to the private realm of our lives. Where does this come from? What’s challenges are there with this push?
Isaiah’s pictures a time of the now-but-not-yet. So in this study we’re going to have a look at three things:
- What God’s end goal is.
- What it looks like to be not there yet.
- Discuss what it looks like now.
God’s end goal
READ ISAIAH 56:1-8
What are the things that stand out in this picture of God’s people in the end time? (Race, actions, relationship to God etc.)
What aspects of this do you see now? What aspects don’t you see?
It would be hard to identify everything that it means to be one of God’s people, but what Isaiah does do is set up a trajectory for what it will look like. Look through Isaiah 58:6-12 and describe what this “trajectory” looks like?
Galatians 5:22-23 gives us a different angle to it. Do you feel like this is the trajectory you’re on? Why / Why not?
Isaiah tells us where God is taking us, but we know we’re not there yet. But Isaiah 59 gives us a template for grappling with our shortcomings.
We’re not there yet
READ ISAIAH 59
The heading of the NIV translation is (surprisingly) helpful at this point. It says this chapter is about Sin, Confession & Redemption.
How do you see those three things in this chapter?
How are they a helpful description of the Christian life?
Christians often feel a sense of guilt because they can feel like they don’t measure up to who God wants them to be, or they don’t feel like they’re growing as quickly as they should. How does this the way God redeems (through Jesus), and the truths in this chapter, help us grapple with that idea?
What it means for us now
The Servant from Isaiah 53 is the means by which our sin is death with and forgiveness can be offered. Not once or twice, but for all time and all sin. So while we’ll always struggle with sin, there’s always forgiveness. And sin can never change who God has made us through the work of the Servant – His people, His children.
God doesn’t save us because we were holy, but his aim is to make us holy. How does Isaiah 61:10-11 put it?
Head over to Colossians 3:1-14. How does Paul picture the rhythm of the Christian life?
In light of this, what can we be encouraging each other towards? How do we support each other when we’re not there? How do we endure & find encouragement when we feel like nothing’s happening?