Week 30: Isaiah 40-66

Prepare these questions for Sunday, October 20th.

1. What "comforts" for God's people does the author speak of in Chapter 40?

2. What happened to Babylon (who had conquered the Israelites) and it's gods in Chapters 46 and 47?

3. Several verses reference the "servant" and these are some of the most famous portions of Isaiah. The servant could be Isaiah himself, a description of God's people as a whole, or even a prophesy of Jesus. Look at the following passages and describe the qualities of the servant.
Isaiah 42: 1-4
Isaiah 49: 1-6
Isaiah 50: 4-9

4. Perhaps the most beautiful portion of this entire book is Isaiah 52:13-53:12. This section is sometimes referred to as "The Song of the Suffering Servant" and is thought by many scholars to be a prophesy of Jesus. What words or phrases seem to reference the future story of Jesus and his ministry?

5. Religious scholars in Jesus's time would have memorized these verses. What impact might this have had on Jesus and his experiences with religious leaders?

Week 29: Isaiah 1-39

Prepare these questions for Sunday, October 13, 2013.

The book of Isaiah is named after the prophet Isaiah who gave wisdom and warnings to God's people during the rule of kings in Judah and Israel. The authorship is unknown since some of the text was written during Isaiah's lifetime and some of the book's events occurred after his death. This book is written in a combination of both poetry and prose so it reads a bit differently than the more historical books (Samuel, Kings, Chronicles) of the Old Testament.

1. Read Chapter 1 about the Rebellious Nation.  How is Judah described?

2. Many verses begin with "woe to" in these chapters. Choose 2-3 of these "woes" and use them to explain what qualities God found offensive in these people. Selfishness? Dishonesty? Arrogance?

3. Read Chapter 35. What future could Jerusalem have had if they chose to trust in God instead of in their own political maneuverings?

4. What happened to King Hezekiah in Chapter 38? What questions or answers does this story give you about the role of prayer?

5. The basic story of these chapters is that the people were selfish and practiced a hollow religion and that their lack of trust in God would destroy them. (not very upbeat, is it?) What examples of this attitude do you see in our modern culture?

Week 28: 2 Kings

Prepare these questions for Sunday, October 6.  We will have two weeks worth of questions to discuss this week.

2Kings is the conclusion of the history of the monarchy of Israel (and Judah after the split). It is primarily a recounting of the reigns of kings, but there are a few noteworthy people and events that help us understand more about our relationship with God.

1. What happened to the prophet Elijah in Chapter 2? What do you think this story means?

2. Who was Elisha (different guy than Elijah) and what was his role?

3. Describe the story of Naaman. What can you learn from Naaman's actions?

4. What happened to Jerusalem in Chapter 25 and why was this significant?

5. These histories (1Samuel through 2Kings) show a group of people who repeatedly become obsessed with the politics and details of their lives (which were important things) and forget the role of God in those very same areas. In what ways do you allow important things to overshadow God's role in your own life?