Prophets were people chosen by God to deliver a message from Him. The prophets we have already studied were sent to deliver messages of repentance and impending judgment. The prophet Isaiah gave a message of hope and encouragement. Israel needed to be reminded that God can be trusted. They had done things their own way for so long, they had forgotten about God and the character of God. Isaiah relayed the same message of trust to kings Ahaz and Hezekiah. Ahaz refused to believe the message, and Judah was defeated in battle by Assyria. Hezekiah believed the message, and Assyria was defeated by the Angel of God.
In today’s chapter, Isaiah was offering encouragement to a nation that was in exile. They had been forced to abandon everything and to live in a foreign land—everything they’d known was gone. They felt like God had forgotten about them. Isaiah reminded them that God keeps His promises and gave new information about the promised Messiah to come. Israel was being told to not give up hope, because God had not forgotten about them or about His promises to them.
God always keeps His promises. God’s faithfulness is not dependent on our faithfulness. The sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, is proof.
Review: Last week we learned about King Hezekiah. He was a faithful king who followed God and obeyed His commands. When Judah was under attack from Sennacherib, king of Assyria, Hezekiah prayed that God would deliver them. God answered Hezekiah’s prayer that same night.
How did God answer Hezekiah’s prayer? God sent an army to Assyria’s camp and killed 185,000 men. Sennacherib went home in disgrace.
Scripture Reading: Reading God’s Word is the most important part of family worship. If you don’t have time to do anything else, be sure to do this section. Isaiah 53
Memory Verse: Isaiah 53:6: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all”
Chapter 53 is one of the “Servant Songs” of Isaiah, and it reveals information about the promised Messiah. Isaiah prophesied what the Messiah would be willing to endure in order to make salvation possible for all who would believe.
- Verses 1–7 describe some ways in which the Messiah would suffer. What are some negative words that describe how He would suffer?
- Despised, rejected, stricken, smitten, afflicted, pierced, crushed, wounded, oppressed.
- Verse 4 states that because of the way He would die, like a criminal, people would think God was punishing Jesus for His sin. Verses 5–6 explain the real reason Jesus was going to suffer. Who is responsible for the suffering of Jesus?
- We all are responsible.
- What about us caused Jesus’ suffering?
- Our iniquities; our transgressions. Habakkuk 1:13 says, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong-doing.” It was our evil that caused God to turn away from His own Son, Jesus.
- How would you feel if you were in great pain, and your mom or dad just turned their back on you and ignored you
- Parents, take time to explain how painful it would be for you to turn your back on your child, and discuss how hard it was for God to turn away from His Son. Discuss God’s enormous love for us. A great hymn to listen to or read together that helps describe God’s love is “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us” by Stuart Townend. (Lyrics can be found by searching online.)
- Verse 9 describes Jesus being put in a grave. How do you think Israel would have felt if this was the end of the chapter
- They might have felt helpless thinking that there was no point in God sending a Messiah if He was just going to die.
- Verses 11–12 joyfully explain that Jesus’ death is not the end of the story. What does this verse tell us will happen next?
- He will see the light of life and be satisfied; He will be rewarded. Isaiah 53 describes Jesus, the Son of Almighty God, becoming a servant. He gave up everything for us, even when we rejected Him. Israel was to listen to Isaiah’s message and be encouraged.
- What should we do with the message?
- Acts 8:26–35 tells the story of Philip using Isaiah 53 to explain the Good News about Jesus to an Ethiopian man he met along the road. We should spread the Good News of Jesus, too.
- Adoration: “ . . . by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11). Praise God for His redeeming love.
- Confession: “ . . . surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering” (Isaiah 53:4). Search your heart for any sin and confess it to God remembering the sacrifice made for your sin.
- Thanksgiving: “ …the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). Give thanks for not having to bear the penalty for your sin.
- Supplication: We should have “the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had” (Romans 15:5). Ask God to give you a Christ-like heart and passion to serve others and to share the Good News of the Gospel.
Supplies: 10–20 dominoes (could also use Jenga blocks or self-standing books); table surface or hard floor; paper to fit on front of blocks or books; marker; tape.
Directions: Ahead of time, draw a happy stick figure on one piece of paper and tape it to a domino/block. Draw a sad stick figure on another piece of paper and tape it to another domino/block.
Explain the happy figure represents one who is a believer in Jesus as Savior and that the sad figure represents one who does not know about Jesus. Place the happy domino on one side of the table and the sad domino on the other side of the table, both standing up. Talk about how important it is for each Christian, including kids, to tell others the Good News of Jesus, even though it can seem like a big job. Imagine together what would happen if one kid told one kid and that kid told another kid (place a domino in line for each kid that tells another one about Jesus).
Keep placing dominoes in line until you reach your sad domino. Once that happens, push down your happy domino so all the others get knocked down. Explain that even though the first kid never even met the last one, he still had a part in sharing the Good News of Jesus with the last kid. Now your sad kid is no longer sad, and he can share the Good News with someone else to start the domino effect all over again, so the Good News is shared around the world.
(Vista Dublin lesson: April 26th, Vista Worthington: May 17th)