Being let down is devastating. When someone we depended on disappoints us or our circumstances turn out differently than we hoped, we can feel out of control. Suddenly, nothing is as we expected and we do not know what to do. The prophet, Isaiah, knew what it was like to feel let down by his circumstances. He turned to the Lord. When we feel let down by life, we, too, should follow his example and turn to the Lord.
Who is the most dependable person you know? Why?
1. What traits do you look for in a dependable friend?
2. Read Isaiah 6:1-5. With the loss of King Uzziah, Isaiah must have felt let down by his circumstance. When was a time in your life when you felt similarly?
It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.
Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
3. Why could Isaiah depend on the Lord (Isaiah 6:1)? Why can we depend on the Lord when we face similar situations?
It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple.
4. Read Isaiah 6:6-7. How are these verses a picture of what Jesus was going to do in the future (1 Timothy 2:5-6)? How does this give us hope in our own circumstances?
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
1 Timothy 2:5-6
There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.
This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.
5. Read Isaiah 6:8-13. After being forgiven and restored, Isaiah volunteered to spread Jesus' message to the Israelites. He made no excuses when he learned that spreading this message was not going to be easy. What excuses have you made before when you knew God was calling you to do something hard?
Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”
I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
And he said, “Yes, go, and say to this people,
‘Listen carefully, but do not understand.
Watch closely, but learn nothing.’
Harden the hearts of these people.
Plug their ears and shut their eyes.
That way, they will not see with their eyes,
nor hear with their ears,
nor understand with their hearts
and turn to me for healing.”
Then I said, “Lord, how long will this go on?”
And he replied,
“Until their towns are empty,
their houses are deserted,
and the whole country is a wasteland;
until the Lord has sent everyone away,
and the entire land of Israel lies deserted.
If even a tenth—a remnant—survive,
it will be invaded again and burned.
But as a terebinth or oak tree leaves a stump when it is cut down,
so Israel’s stump will be a holy seed.”
6. What is your motivation to obey God and share our faith with others? How do you see this motivation in Isaiah's life?
7. What step of obedience to God have you been avoiding because you know it is going to be difficult?
While we may be nervous at times to share our faith, many of us do not have to fear for our safety or our lives if we share our faith. We must not forget that many people throughout the world are facing persecution every day because of their faith. The Voice of the Martyrs has a website dedicated to serving the persecuted church. As a group, take time to read the story of Zhang Shaojie, a Chinese pastor who is currently in prison for his faith. After reading his story, let each group member take the time to write Zhang a letter of encouragement. Let him know that you are praying for him. When you have access to a printer, print and mail your letter this week!
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For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.