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Isaiah 41

Talks for Growing Christians

God’s Greatness Continues

Isaiah 41

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Lesson Number 32

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. There is comfort in knowing that God confronts the nations.
  2. There is comfort in knowing that God conserves His people.
  3. There is comfort in knowing that God controls the future.

Practical Application

  1. When you feel like a worm, read Isaiah 41!

Questions

  1. Who was the “one from the east” Isaiah prophesied of in verses 2-4?
  2. How did the nations respond to God’s confrontation in verses 5-7?
  3. Who is the servant of the Lord?
  4. When will the prophecies of Isaiah 4:17-20 be fulfilled?
  5. Why is it significant that Isaiah prophesied of Cyrus rather than the coming Babylonian Empire?

Answers

  1. This is a prediction of the expansion of the Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great. Cyrus will be mentioned by name in Isaiah 44 and 45. These are amazing predictions since Isaiah was written at least 150 years before these events.
  2. They are afraid and tremble (verse 5) They try to encourage one another (verse 6) Instead of turning to the Lord, they construct helpless idols (verse 7)
  3. We will see in the Servant Songs beginning in Isaiah 42 that the Servant of the Lord is an individual, the coming Messiah. But here in Isaiah 41:8-9, the nation is referred to as God’s servant.
  4. These verses were not fulfilled when the Jews returned from their Babylonian captivity. We also don’t believe they are to be spiritualized to spiritual waters of refreshment and spiritual fruit today in the Church. These promises will be fulfilled literally when the nation of Israel returns to the Lord and is restored to the Lord. This will happen when the Lord returns to the earth.
  5. The Babylonian Empire was already on the rise at the time of these prophesies. The skeptic could say that predictions concerning Babylon were simply intuitive foresight. But no one except the Lord could give such detailed and long range prophecies like the coming of Cyrus.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Isaiah 41:10 is a verse you may hear quoted often. Discuss how it would have comforted its original audience, the nation of Israel. How can it, by application, be a comfort to you as a believer today?
  2. Isaiah 41 is set up as a court case between God and the idolatrous nations. Use your imagination to expand this scene as God challenges the nations to prove that their gods were true.

Challenge

  1. Do you ever feel like a worm, as Israel did? Small, insignificant, lowly, stepped on! The great God, who confronts the nation and controls the future, cares for His people – including you.

Key Verses

  • “0 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
  • “‘Present your case,’ says the LORD. ‘Bring forth your strong reasons,’ says the King of Jacob.’” Isaiah 41:21

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