Nov 27 – 1 Advent
The Future House of God
Judgement Pronounced on Arrogance
Background: The first 39 chapters of Isaiah are considered a unit, typically referred to as First Isaiah. In this section Isaiah prophesies against the Israelites and lays out God’s complaint against God’s chosen people. The first five chapters primarily contain oracles or visions against the Israelites. In this, the prophet sets the stage for coming judgment against the people of Israel.
Theme: Chapter 2 begins with a promise oracle from God delivered through Isaiah. In this passage we can see the foundation of God’s continued relationship with Israel, even when they are no longer in Israel. In this passage, God assures the people that God will restore Jerusalem to its rightful position “in days to come.”
Questions to Ponder:
* Please read Isaiah 2:1-5.
* Describe the setting for this passage: when it was written, who was leading the country, what the social status is, what the religious culture of the nation is, etc.
* What is known about Isaiah and Amoz and their profession/tribe in the nation of Israel? Where does Isaiah hail from?
* What do you think is the reason for distinguishing Judah and Jerusalem in the preamble of this passage?
* Given the ambiguity in verse 2, when do you think Isaiah believed these actions would take place
* How might the interpretation of verse 3 change if the occurrences of the word “may” were changed to “will” and the words “will come” is inserted between “the Lord” and “from Jerusalem”?
* How do you think Isaiah believes God will lead the chosen people in “days to come”?
* Do you think Zion and Jerusalem are actual places (physical locations in Israel) or are those terms symbolic? If symbolic, what do they symbolize?
* In verse 3, we see four ways God provides guidance for his people. How might those be understood as ways to travel from the present, world-focused time to a future, God-focused time?
* How do the statements in verse 3 change or challenge the way the world operates?
* What affect does Isaiah visualize after the renewed life following God as opposed to the ways of the world?
* Is there an implication or statement of how Isaiah sees the change in humanity coming about in response to the actions in verse 4?
* Verse 5 invites the house of Jacob to “walk in the light of the Lord.” What does walking in the light of the Lord achieve for a believer?
* Where in the bible does this passage appear? Is it only in the Old Testament? In the New Testament? Or is it in both? In the other occurrences (if they exist), how is this passage different than the others?
* How does this passage challenge our way of doing business in the 21st century?
* How is this a message of hope in a world that finds little hope?