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Isaiah 56-57

Talks for Growing Christians

Millennial blessings; Contrasting Responses to God's Grace

Isaiah 56-57

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Lesson Number 45

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Millennial blessings will be for Jews and Gentiles.
  2. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Practical Application

  1. There is no rest for the wicked.

Questions

  1. What do critics of the Bible say about the authorship of Isaiah?
  2. Give at least three arguments against these critics of Isaiah.
  3. How does Isaiah 55 relate to this chapter?
  4. To what does Isaiah compare the false prophets in Isaiah 56:9-12?
  5. Explain the meaning of Isaiah 57:1-2.

Answers

  1. They say Isaiah of the 700 BC wrote chapters 1-39 of the book. They say so-called “deutero-Isaiah” wrote chapters 40-66 sometime later, because of some of the specific prophecies in this second half – such as the clear prophecies of the suffering Messiah in chapter 53. They are motivated to take this position because they do not believe in the miracle of fulfilled prophecy.
  2. 1) There is no historical evidence for these theories. 2) All of Isaiah was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which date well before the coming of Christ. There is no evidence in the Dead Sea Scroll copies of Isaiah of anything other than a unified book. 3) All quotations of Isaiah in the New Testament are attributed to the one Isaiah of the Old Testament.
  3. In Isaiah 55 we saw that because of the Servant Messiah’s finished work, not only would Israel be restored, but Gentiles would be redeemed. Chapter 56 continues to speak of the return of Israel to the Lord and the Land.
  4. They are like a watch dog that only sleeps and doesn’t bark. They are like shepherds who are more interested in their own agendas of gain and pleasure than in the welfare of the sheep.
  5. The Lord in His grace takes some of the righteous home to heaven where they finally find peace away from this morally corrupt world.

Discuss/Consider

  1. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Discuss how this New Testament principle from James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5 is brought to life in Isaiah 57. What are you consciously doing to your life to become one of the humble rather than the proud?
  2. “When there are ungodly rulers and leaders there is a growth in the number of ungodly who practice increasing wickedness, in contrast to the shrinking godly population who do what is right.” How have you seen this in our own society?

Challenge

  1. You have heard the expression “there’s no rest for the weary.” But the Lord says those who are weary can find rest for their souls (Matthew 11:28-29). The truth is that there is no rest for the wicked. Don’t be discouraged – the wicked will not find peace and rest in the end.

Key Verses

  • “Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” Isaiah 56:7
  • “For thus says the High and Lofty one Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’” Isaiah 57:15

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