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The Book of Isaiah 46-50

Isaiah Ch.40-50 Message of promise and hope – giving hope and justice

         Ch.46 Two kinds of carrying

         Ch.47 Foretelling Babylon’s punishments

         Ch.48 Three messages to Israel

         Ch.49 God comforts His people

         Ch.50 God judges His people

I.       Isaiah Ch.46

Two kinds of carrying

A.     v.1-2

Men and beasts carried idols

1.        Cattle & men carried idols and the idols are burdens.  They all went into captivity and stooped down.

B.     v.3-4

God carried men

1.     God carried men from birth to old age. (God provides for them from young to old and also delivered them. It is God and not idols or others who will carry us all our lives.)  Mt 11:28-30: the Lord gives us bearable burdens and frees us from heavy burdens.  God carries our burdens.

C.     v.5-7

Characteristics of idols:

1.        Made of gold/silver

2.        Men made them

3.        Men worship them, but they cannot save people from troubles.

4.        They need to be carried and can’t move and can’t say a word

 a.      Acts 17:22-31

(a)     v.24 Giver of all, not receiver (Ps 50:12)

(b)     Creator who gives life, breath, and everything else is not created by men (Rom 1:25) vs. idols made by men with gold or silver (Ps 115:4)

(c)     Life vs. lifeless (Ps 115:5-7)

(d)     One God vs. many false gods (Deut 32:39)

5.        God does not live in a man-made temple, but fills the entire universe (Ps 139:7-10) vs. idols live in temples and if no one builds a temple for the idols to live, then the idols have no house to live in

6.        God does not need to be served by men vs. idols need men to carry them to parades, give them food, and clean off the dust 

7.        God determines our years and where we live – Judge/power of all

D.     v.8-10

Characteristics of God: (that God wanted them to remember)

1.        There is none like God

2.        Telling things that have not yet happened from beginning to end

3.        His will and His plan will always stand

E.     v.11

Calling one (a bird of prey) from the East

1.        Who is this bird of prey?

 a.      Cyrus

 b.      True Jesus Church

F.      v.12-13

The coming of salvation

1.        Who: Those who are stubborn and far from God’s righteousness

2.        Where: Not far off (from us); salvation will be found in Zion (church – Heb 12)

3.        When: Will not delay

G.     Application:

1.        What are our idols? If we have any, they will become our burdens.

 a.      Examples: one’s hot temper, greed for money, indulgence, superficiality

(a)     Bear the consequences for one's wrongdoing

(b)     Example: Money as god – people will carry the burden of doing whatever they can to preserve their wealth, always having invisible pressure such that they cannot really be joyful; constantly afraid of losing money, or even their lives (time or physical life) for the money. Money becomes their master and not the other way around. We should do good with money.

2.        How can we receive God’s promise to carry us?

 a.      Jehoshaphat relied on God and did not fight the battle (2 Chr 20:1-4,15)

 b.      Story of a person doubted and asked God to write down that He cares – 1 Pet 5:7 tells us so.

 c.      Rely on the Lord and many great disasters will be resolved by God. We need to endure some big disasters to perfect us. Nothing is too difficult or overwhelming for those who trust God.

 d.      Sister Jiang Ji-Jean's testimony

 e.      Brother Jiang Chin-Kuh’s testimony

II.    Isaiah Ch.47

Foretelling of Babylon’s punishment

A.     v.1-5

Babylon's punishments

1.        Sit on ground instead of throne

2.        Not to be called tender or delicate

3.        Do heavy labor

4.        Her shame will be seen

5.        Go into darkness

B.     v.6-10 The cause of Babylon’s downfall

1.        Showed no mercy to people

2.        Arrogance

3.        Multitude of her sorceries 

4.        Trusted in her wickedness

5.        Her wisdom and knowledge have warped her

C.     v.11-15

No wisdom can prevail against the disaster

1.        Do not know from where evil arises

2.        Not able to put trouble off

3.        Shall not know about the sudden desolation

4.        Her wise men will share the same fate as Babylon

5.        Her merchants will flee

III. Isaiah Ch.48

Three messages to Israel

A.     v.1-11

Israel rebuked for its stubbornness

1.        Announcement was made to prove their idols were false

B.     v.12-16

God sent Cyrus

1.        God loves him (v.14)

2.        He is against Babylon (v.14)

3.        His way shall prosper (v.15)

C.     v.17-22

God redeems His people

1.        God teaches them to profit, and leads them in the way they should go (v.17-19)

2.        Flee from the land of Babylon for God has redeemed His people (v.20)

3.        When they flee, they will not thirst, but be provided for (v.21)

4.        But there is no peace for the wicked (v.22)

IV.  Isaiah Ch.49

God comforts His people

A.     v.1-12

Servant song

1.        God has called Him before He was born

2.        God made Him to be His weapon

3.        His purpose is to glorify God

4.        His work seems in vain, but His reward is with God

5.        To bring back the chosen people

6.        To be a light to the Gentiles

7.        To be the salvation of the whole world

8.        He shall be honored

9.        Give Him as a covenant to the people to restore the earth and to cause them to inherit the desolate heritages

10.     He shall set the prisoners free and they will be guided and provided for on the roads to God’s mountains

B.     v.13-26

How does God comfort and show mercy to His people? (v.13)

1.        God has inscribed them on His hand and they are always before Him

2.        Their destroyers shall go away

3.        The remnants shall gather together

4.        The remnants will multiply

5.        Others shall bring their children back

6.        The remnants will be exalted

7.        God will contend with those who contend with them

8.        God will punish their oppressors

V.     Isaiah Ch.50

God judges His people

A.     v.1-3

Why are the chosen people forsaken?

1.        Their sins

B.     v.4-9

Servant song

1.        Given the tongue of the learned (v.4)

2.        God opened His ear (v.5)

3.        Servant gave Himself up for beating (v.6):

 a.      His back to those who struck Him

 b.      His cheeks to those who plucked out the beard

 c.      His face was not hidden from shame and spitting

4.        Bold in the time of suffering (v.7-9)

 a.      Knowing God will help

 b.      Knowing God will justify

 c.      Knowing they will be destroyed

C.     v.10-11

Two kinds of worshippers

1.        Those who fear the Lord, obey the voice of His Servant, trust in the name of the Lord, rely on God (v.10)

2.        Those who kindle a fire and walk in it (v.11)

Publisher: True Jesus Church