I'm a daughter, granddaughter & niece of pastors. I love God & studying the Bible and want to empower others to do the same.
⇩ Digger Deeper, optional
M Memory verse suggestion
__________________________________________________________________ Read Isaiah Chapter 2. Write out any verses, phrases or anything that stands out to you here:
Read verses 1-2. Jerusalem sits on a high hill in eastern Israel and looks down on nearby towns. A climb was involved to reach the city, and even more of one to reach the Temple, which overlooks the whole city. Asherah poles, sacred places, and temples of other gods were placed on high hills, symbolizing their power and authority, and as a way to be as close as possible to the heavens. Why is it appropriate that the “house of the Lord” be at the top of the highest mountains?
Babylon desired to also be raised up to the sky. “El,” the father of the Canaanite gods, lived on a mountain. In the 21st century when comic books were being written, “El” is also the family name of Kal-El, or Superman, in the DC comics. His family was a noble ruling family on their home planet. When he landed on earth, the cave where he was able to communicate with his biological father was a high and isolated place called the “Fortress of Solitude”, often believed to be located in the Arctic or possibly the North Pole. This comic was originally written by 2 Jewish men, who would have known the significance of the name of “El” and of journeying to high places.
Read Exodus 19:9-13. How can this image remind us to be humble toward Him today, in both how we pray and what we ask for?
Read verse 3. M-Memory verse suggestion. What examples have you seen that God’s ways and paths are better than ours?
Why do we need to “go to the mountain” (and submit to Him) to learn His ways and walk in His paths?
How could you encourage others in their pursuit of God, to say to them, “Let’s go worship Him together”?
Personal testimony: There was a moving trip I wanted help with once, and three girl friends were supposed to go with me. Due to various circumstances, all of them had to cancel on me. I was disappointed, because I had been looking forward to a girl’s trip and our conversations, but also the help moving in would have been nice. Instead, I made the long drive alone, in a poorly air-conditioned, shaky moving truck that couldn’t go more than 75 mph even though I was taking highways. It also had no way to plug in or Bluetooth to my phone so I could listen to an audiobook through the stereo. Instead, my options were the radio (which was spotty going across many of the states), or resting my phone against my shoulder by using the seatbelt so I could finish my audio book, which is what I did for a good three hours of the drive. I’m sure I looked ridiculous to anyone who drove by and saw my hunched shoulder and ear inclined to that phone, but I thoroughly enjoyed finally having time to finish that book and the encouragement it offered as the characters also endured and survived an arduous journey.
Even more, some of the songs that came on the radio that day were some of my favorite worship songs, and I was able to belt them out as loudly as I wished, with windows up or down as I pleased. I sang until my throat was dry and my voice cracked. And when I lost radio reception and my book was over, I prayed. For hours. I prayed over every friend and family member in my life, and even some I hadn’t thought about in a while. I prayed over my current concerns and circumstances, and about future ones. I prayed long prayers of thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness and all the things He had provided and brought me through. The long eight-hour drive that had seemed lonely at the start wound up being a delightful, encouraging, needed time with the Lord. By the time I arrived, my heart was lighter. I had given my burdens over to the Lord (1 Peter 5:7), and trusted that He would take care of them, because He says in His Word that He will (Ps. 55:22). All I need to do is surrender to Him and what He desires and He will fulfill His plans for me (Jer. 42:6). None can stop Him. God used that time alone in the truck to increase my faith and grow our relationship, and to prove how He could safely get me from one place to another and not need anyone but Him to do it.
Read verse 4. Many politicians and even celebrities preach about achieving world peace. Why can none of them ever achieve it, outside of “going to the Lord’s mountain”?
Spend time today pondering what the world would be like if no one ever again trained for war, or even had warring hearts; if all were free of malice, anger, hatred, and other evils at war within us. Also try not to model any of those behaviors yourself (or let them control your thoughts or actions) for the rest of today. Submit the things that anger you to Christ and leave them at His feet.
Read verse 5. What would it mean for you today to, in a practical way, “walk in the Lord’s light”?
If you like drawing, draw yourself (or cut a picture out to symbolize yourself) walking along a path of light. Use a yellow highlighter to color the path. Then use a pen to write out words or phrases of your characteristics when you’re walking on the right path (kind, patient, etc.).
Optional: This can also be a good group activity using a white board or sheets of paper.
Read verses 6-11. The key word in these verses is “idols.” God doesn’t want any to take residence in our hearts above Him in priority or devotion (Ex. 20:3, Deut. 28:14).
In verse 6, when they “partner with foreigners,” it is in evil practices like divination.
In verse 7, people accumulate wealth to be their protector, their safeguard, and it has become their god.
In verse 9, forgiveness is for those who repent, for those who were penitent. “Forgive/bear” here, “nasa” or "tissa" can also be translated “lift up.” “do not forgive” is like being brought low or humbling them. Why do we need to sometimes be brought low in order to repent or forgive?
Do you ever find yourself drawn into following certain idols because of the company you keep (could be family, generational, friends, coworkers, other community)?
*Personal confession: I have had to realize that there are certain more subtle, seemingly-innocent generational sins that pull me under, such as people-pleasing, or guilt trips to get people to do what I want, and those things are motivated by selfish things, not of the Lord. In certain friend groups I’ve had to walk away recently from a certain group of friends. And even though I mourn those friendships, and love them dearly, I’ve had to learn that they weren’t serious about pursuing God daily, and for me, even once isn’t enough. But additionally, I saw that I have a natural tendency toward complaining, and sometimes negativity..
It’s ok to walk away and we need to be willing to listen to His directive, not just doing what appears to be right. Don’t expend energy in places or even at times where he doesn’t call you, or you will use today’s energy on the wrong things, and have nothing left for the places and people He wants you to invest in today.
Are there any idols you see in your life that you need to repent and turn away from? Remember, “You are a slave to whatever controls you” -1 Peter 2:19, NLT
Read verses 12-17. Why does human pride need to be humbled?
How are you guilty of displaying arrogance or pride in the recent week, or of allowing it to be your motivation for some actions or thoughts?
Personal confession: I sometimes struggle with driving behind people going slower than the speed limit in front of me. I’m tempted to call them unkind names in my mind, because they’re not doing what I think they should be doing (and yes, this same struggle applies to other areas of my life when I find myself frustrated). When I think about the root cause of this, it all comes down to my own arrogance and pride. I think that traffic should flow in a way that is most convenient for me. I want things to work out smoothly and conveniently for me in all areas of life. I am highly concerned with me, instead of what God might be teaching me or protecting me from the moment.
Only the Lord is exalted on high. How does our human pride prevent us from exalting Him in His rightful place? Be specific with how this applies to you personally.
⇩ (Optional: Look up one or all of the following verses to help with your answer: Jeremiah 32:17, Deut 10:17, Deut 32:39, Psalm 145:15-18
Read verses 18-21. Look up the definition of the word terror, and also some synonyms that might fit well in verse 21:
Do those who are trying to be obedient need to fear the Lord in the same way as those who are living only for themselves?
What should fear of the Lord look like? To help, read Rev. 15:4, Job 28:28, Prov. 15:33.
Read verse 22. In what ways do we sometimes “put our trust in man”? It could be in yourself or others, or both.
Conclusion of the chapter:
What verse or passage stood out to you most?
What verse are you meditating on or working on memorizing?
What’s your biggest takeaway idea or lesson from this chapter?
© 2020 Amanda Lorenzo