The Promise of the Savior
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor
Overview: Isaiah’s call to ministry came during a time of great uncertainty with regard to world events, but there was no uncertainty in Isaiah’s mind as to who ultimately controlled world history. In light of the majesty of God’s holiness, Isaiah was committed to preaching, knowing that fewer than most would truly trust the Lord. His subsequent encounter with King Ahaz demonstrates the incompatibility of professing to believe in a savior while still planning to become one’s own savior. Therefore, what was meant to be a promise of deliverance turned instead into an act of judgment, a lesson that Isaiah applied to all who trust in themselves. And yet, for the faithful few, Isaiah piles promise upon promise to stir up their faith, to take away their fear, and give them reason to sing.
01. In a world of great uncertainty, pray that the Lord will raise up preachers who are driven by the holiness of God to proclaim the promises of God, whether there be many or few who believe.
02. In times of personal insecurity, understand that the promises of God are larger than we can comprehend but never bigger than He can fulfill; they may take time to apprehend but will surely come to pass.
03. In our weekly worship, let us reaffirm the promises of God by giving thanks to Him, confessing our faith in Him, being joyful in Him, and singing praises to Him.
Questions for Discussion and Discovery
1. How does Isaiah’s vision of God in 6:1-4 point beyond the death of Uzziah and to the Lord as ultimate ruler? In what ways can we take comfort from this passage with regard to political upheaval and world turmoil?
2. Note Isaiah’s fearful dread as he stands in the presence of God (6:5). Do you see yourself in the same position as you consider the holiness of God in light of your own sin? What remedy has the Lord provided for us to be cleansed of our sin?
3. Ahaz seemed pious when he refused a sign from the Lord, but in reality, he trusted more in his plan than Isaiah’s instructions (7:10-12). When you consider the promises that God has made, do you fully trust in Him to deliver, or do you ready yourself for a “Plan B”? What examples from Scripture can you find that relate to our need to trust the Lord even when the circumstances dictate otherwise?
4. How does the promise in Isaiah 7:14 function as salvation to those who believe, and judgment to those who do not believe? In what ways does the ultimate fulfillment of this promise in Matthew 1:18-25 function along the same lines?
5. Consider and pray through the titles of Jesus given in Isaiah 9:6-7. How have you found the Lord to be faithful to these titles and promises in your life? How have you found the Lord to be faithful to these titles and promises in the life of the church?
For Further Reading: Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed (orig. published, 1630; Banner of Truth edition, 1998).