Isaiah - Trusting God

Background

The book opens with prophesies concerning Israel and Judah (chapters 1 - 12). As a result of their disobedience, God foretells their judgement which includes the invasion by the Assyrians. Chapters 13 - 23 comprises of judgement against the surrounding nations which includes Babylon, Assyria, Philista, Moab, Egypt, Edom, etc. Chapters 24 - 27 talks about end-time prophecies of universal judgement and destruction and songs of victory and thanksgiving from the saints as the Lord preserves them. A second major collection of prophecies concerning Israel and Judah is contained in chapters 28 - 35. Four chapters are historical (Isa. 36-39), relating to the times of Hezekiah.

From chapters 40 onwards, the prophet speaks about the events that will occur after their captivity. This includes the decree by Cyrus to release the remnant captives and allow them to return to Jerusalem after he conquered Babylon. But Isaiah also fortells the coming of the Suffering Servant, Jesus Christ, and describes His life and death with incredible detail. Isaiah also speaks about the coming of the new heavens and earth, when God's people will be completely restored.


Theme

(Isa 26:4 NIV) Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.


What are some reasons why we can trust God?

Besides God, who are the people in our lives whom we have placed our trust in?

Answer : Family members, teachers, bodyguards, policemen, an honest friend, etc.

Why can we place our trust in these people?


God gives us proofs that He can be trusted.

(Isa 38:6-7 NIV) And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city. {7} "'This is the Lord's sign to you that the LORD will do what he has promised:

(Exo 14:31 NIV) And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

Think back of the examples in your life when God has helped you and proven to you that He can be trusted.

God has the power to do what He has promised, unlike men.

(Isa 2:22 NIV) Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?

Think of any miracles God has done in your life or in the lives of people you know.

God cannot lie. He is reliable.

(Isa 55:11 NIV) so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

God has said things in the Bible that many would consider ridiculous. The world tells us to work hard and put our careers first so that we can excel in our work. God tells us to seek first His kingdom and He will provide our other needs, including the need to excel.

Think of such "ridiculous" truths from the Bible. Share on how God has been true to His Word.

God cares for us.

A young boy is not afraid to jump in the air knowing that his father can catch. He would not think of doing the same to a complete stranger. Why? Because the child knows that his father cares for him enough to catch him.

Likewise if we truly believe that God cares for us, we will not have any difficulty trusting Him.

Time and again, God tells us of his care and love.

(Isa 40:11 NIV) He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

(Deu 1:31-32 NIV) and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place." {32} In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God,

Think of the time when God especially cared for you. Eg when you were ill, when you were depressed, etc.

God wants us to trust Him

God wants us to trust Him for deliverance from our difficult circumstances.

The prophet Isaiah prophesied about the tough times that Judah had to go through because of their disobedience. Yet he teaches that if they repent and trust in God to deliver them from their enemies, God will surely do so.

(Isa 12:1-2 NIV) In that day you will say: "I will praise you, O LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. {2} Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."

Question : Let's ask ourselves if there are any difficult situations we are facing right now which we can trust Him for?

Answer : Job difficulties, persecution, bringing up children, etc.

What does God promise when we put our trust in Him?

1. He will dispel our fears.

A rich man is not afraid of being kidnapped when he is with his bodyguards because he trusts in them to protect him. Likewise if we can trust in God to help us in our circumstances, we need not be afraid.

(Isa 12:2 NIV) Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."

(Psa 56:3-4 NIV) When I am afraid, I will trust in you. {4} In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

2. He will provide the way.

(Prov 3:5-6 NIV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; {6} in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

3. He will give us strength.

(Isa 30:15 NIV) This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.


God wants us to place our first trust in Him.

(Isa 2:22 NIV) Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?

Nor does God like us to rely on our own abilities to solve difficult problems and not first call upon Him for help.

(Isa 31:1 NIV) Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD.

Question : In what ways have we been guilty of seeking men's help or even our own capabilities before we seek God's help? Do we somehow feel that man's help is more effective?

Answer : Do we approach our friends for help even before we pray to Him? Do we see a doctor and pray to Him only when the doctor cannot cure us? Do we try to do certain things in our own strength but failed? Have we placed our trust on anything other than God? Eg wealth, physical strength, education, intelligence.

God is not pleased if we do not put our first trust in Him. Isa 31:1 starts the verse with "Woe to those…".

(Isa 42:17 NIV) But those who trust in idols, who say to images, 'You are our gods,' will be turned back in utter shame.

Question : Think of areas in our life we find difficulty in? What are we doing to solve the problem? Are we simply relying on the help of others? Are we simply relying on our own strengths? Have we asked the Lord for help?

What do we do when we say we trust the Lord?

We stop our worrying.

(Isa 12:2 NIV) Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."

What are some of the things in life that are still bothering us? What do we worry about? When we trust in God, we have to stop worrying.

We inquire of the Lord.

(Isa 31:1 NIV) Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD.

(Isa 8:19 NIV) When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?

We only go to someone we trust for help. When we are sick, we will go to a doctor whom we trust. When we need advice, we will consult a friend whom we trust. Likewise, when we say that we trust God, do we consult Him first when we have difficulties?

Question : Think of a difficult situation you are faced with recently? How did you first attempt to solve the problem? Did you quiet down and ask God for help?

We wait on the Lord.

(Isa 8:17 NIV) I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in him.

To wait on the Lord means to continue to trust Him in our situation. Many of us give up when we pray for the salvation of our loved ones but do not see them saved in a short time. When we put our trust in God, we do not give up hope but continue to pray for Him for help.

Question : Have you prayed for something in the past but have stopped doing so because your faith has waned?