The Supremacy of the Savior
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor
Overview: Isaiah’s ministry to the people of Judah includes a series of messages concerning the surrounding nations. The dominant theme in these oracles is the certainty of judgment upon all who oppose God, with pride being their chief characteristic. The primary function of these oracles is to expose the futility of Judah’s desire to trust in anything or anyone other than the Lord, as God alone is sovereign and good. Thus, even while living in the midst of hostile and aggressive nations, Judah can remain confident in the Lord, knowing He will preserve His people. Moreover, they can look upon their enemies in love as they anticipate the redemption of all nations by the gracious work of God in due time.
01. God alone is appropriately jealous for His glory to be displayed to all peoples; therefore, He deserves to be worshipped by all.
02. God alone is able to justly judge the character of nations, churches, and individuals; therefore, we need to repent from our besetting sins.
03. God alone is sufficient to protect and preserve His people in the midst of hostility; therefore, we should not fear what others may do to us.
04. God alone is able to redeem a fallen world and reverse the effects of sin; therefore, we have hope that even our enemies can be transformed.
Questions for Discussion and Discovery
1. How would you distinguish between sinful jealousy as it applies to humans and righteous jealousy as it applies to God? How does our desire for self-promotion and self-exaltation reveal deficiencies within our hearts? See Exodus 20:5 and James 4:5 for further insight.
2. Do you find comfort in knowing that God is the just judge of all the earth? How does the knowledge of this truth compel you to live a life of integrity before God and others? In light of the fact that justice is often delayed in this lifetime, what passages of Scripture help you to wait on the Lord for making things right?
3. In what way does Babylon function in this section as both an ancient city and a prototype of all that is proud and opposed to God? What characteristics can you find among the nations that resemble our world today? What does this suggest to you about the need for revival in churches around the world?
4. Does the prophetic promise of redemption for Egypt and Assyria catch you by surprise in chapter 19? Considering that they were both enemies of God and His people, what does this promise of redemption lead us to conclude about those who oppose the church now? Pray that those who oppose Christianity will have their hearts turned to the Lord, thus becoming children of God instead of remaining enemies of God.
5. Isaiah 26:3-4 encourages us to put our trust in the Lord, even in the midst of a world that is falling apart. How can you put this passage into practice this week? What areas of your life are you concerned about and have not yet given over to the Lord? Pray that the Lord, who has given you such a promise will also give you the peace that comes from believing His promise.
For Further Reading: The Glory of God, edited by Chris Morgan and Robert Peterson (Crossway: Wheaton, IL, 2010).