Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I, Send me!”
Notes to the Leader: One of the functions of Bible Study is to grow a personal relationship with our God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Trinity is not the easiest to understand. In the Old Testament, however, we gain insight to the very nature of our God. His saving grace, His loving character and His demanding commitment become more clear.
As a secondary part of this study, you will explore the requirements of a Godly leader. The study will also explore some of the meaning of symbolism within Scripture and give some opportunities to practice interpreting God’s Word.
What does it mean to trust someone?
- Reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.
Aside from God, who do you trust the most and why?
- We generally choose someone who has displayed a consistency of truth with regard to our relationship with them. They tell is like it is; are reliable; and bring strength to the relationship.
- Why is it that even when someone who we trust lets us down (maybe once or twice), we still trust them?
- While trust takes a long time to form between two people, and can be destroyed quickly, it is the very essence of the idea of trust that says we give the benefit of the doubt to someone we really trust.
Why is it that we can tolerate some degree of imperfection among our human friends but if God does not constantly demonstrate His character, ability, strength and truth in our lives, we doubt?
- Many times, we fail to give to God the same benefit of the doubt we extend to each other. God, who knows us intimately, who has created a personal plan for each of our lives, is never wrong. When God seems to step away and become distant, it is our feet that have done the walking, not His.
This lesson is about the failure of the Jewish nation to trust and obey God and Isaiah’s perfect obedience when called by God.
Section One: The Vineyard
Have someone in your group read Isaiah 5:1-7.
Who is the owner of the vineyard? Who represents the grape vines?
- The owner is God and the vines are the Jewish nation, taken out of bondage and planted into the promised land.
Who planted the vineyard?
- God (vv. 1-2)
Who did God call to be the judge between Himself and His vineyard?
- After God presented the facts clearly, noting that He had done all He could for His vineyard, He let the people be the judge (vv. 3-4).
What was the conclusion that is drawn?
- Tear down the protective hedge row and let the vineyard be trampled (v. 5). Instead of rain there would be drought (v. 6).
Why would God let the vines be destroyed?
- The fruit they produced was bitter.
What is the “fruit” that God is talking about here?
- Worship and sacrifice for ritual’s sake;
- Failure to protect the weak;
- Collapse of leadership through bribes;
- Lack of repentance;
- Failure to take care of the orphans and widows.
Is Isaiah’s song relevant to the peoples of today? How?
- Unfortunately, yes.
Use this opportunity to discuss with your group and possibly create a list on the white board or easel, a comparison of the “Fruit” of Isaiah’s time and today’s society.
Section Two: Down with Sin
Have someone in your group read Isaiah 5:8-10.
What is the modern day greed of our nation and the world?
- We are still focused on amassing large quantities of wealth through homes, investments, luxuries, etc. No matter how much someone has, more is considered better.
What was God’s judgment?
- Homes would be left empty. In spite of their greed for more and more, they would be left with less and less. Their land and their ventures would be cursed with infertility (see Deuteronomy 28:38-39).
Have someone in your group read Isaiah 5:11-17 and Isaiah 5:22-25.
Particularly who was God speaking about and what type of drinking?
- Leaders, heroes, getting up early in the morning and drinking all day into the night.
What had the Judges (leaders) done to those who were corrupt?
- Acquitted the wicked (v. 23).
Do corrupt leaders of today receive the same type of acquittal?
- You must be the judge. There seems to be similar patterns in today’s justice that we see in Isaiah’s time. The rich get away with things and the poor go to jail.
What was God’s judgment?
- The leaders would starve, go thirsty (v. 13)
- The rulers would be shamed (v. 15) while God would receive glory
- Their proud Jerusalem would become a place for sheep to graze.
How do you think God feels about those who despise His Word and His Law?
- Read v. 25 to your group. They would be destroyed like grass in a prairie fire.
Have someone in your group read Isaiah 5:18-21.
What is the “worldly wisdom” that is mentioned here?
- Fear of the Lord. These people have made a joke of God’s judgment and are calling it upon themselves so they can watch. This is the height of stupidity.
As supplemental Scripture read Romans 1:28 to your group.
When people set themselves against the Lord, they risk His turning them over to their own depraved minds. In this state, moral values are skewed, and their consciences are defective. Yet these people still believe that, through their intellect, they have a handle on life (Isaiah 5:21).
Have someone in your group read Isaiah 5:26-30.
How do you reconcile these images with the notion that our God has inexhaustible love?
Isaiah’s prophesy teaches that God’s righteousness and justice are also pure and immutable. Once His judgment starts, there is no stopping it until justice is repaid and evil is finally eradicated.
Section Three: Isaiah’s Orders
Have someone in your group read Isaiah 6:1-7.
In Exodus 33:20 and John 1:18, we are told that no human, Isaiah included, can look upon our God with full vision. We must interpret these verses to conclude that Isaiah was able to perceive a manifestation of the Lord’s appearance as he describes here.
How should we interpret the seraphs and their six wings? Why are we given such graphic detail?
- The two wings covering their faces represent reverence and awe before the Lord
- Two other wings covering their feet suggests humility
- The remaining two were perpetually flying — always at work in praise to God.
What other important symbolism can you find in these verses?
- Isaiah confessed his sin before God and all who were in the temple. The prophet realized his own need for the Lord to cleanse him. Only through atonement, could Isaiah praise God.
- When the seraph touched Isaiah’s lips with the hot coal, we see the redeeming power of God to purge and forgive sins.
- Isaiah’s sins were immediately forgiven.
Have someone in your group read Isaiah 6:8-13.
- What was Isaiah’s response?
He became one of our greatest volunteers.
Now see if your can interpret this scripture?
Isaiah 6:9-10 The people would hear but not respond nor understand Isaiah’s message.
Why should Isaiah have followed (or volunteered) for a job which would could not achieve its objectives even before it was ever started?
- This is the very essence of our faith and our walk with our God. We are called to obedience to do God’s perfect Will. Our human knowledge cannot perceive God’s plans from beginning to end. Like the workers at an automotive assembly plant, no one has the vision to see the entire process. Parts coming in from all over the world, moving through acres of production facility, each person only seeing a small part of the entire process. Yet out comes a car at the end. Each bolt, screw and component is just as important to the overall quality of the car. Yes, we are called to tighten our “bolt” based upon God’s perfect plan for solving the world’s transportation woes. We nudge, assemble, tighten, fix with faith that God knows His outcome.
Bible Truth Being Taught
God calls us to be His children, and He expects our unconditional commitment.
To be willing to risk anything and everything necessary as we live in total commitment to God’s plans and His will.