The book of Isaiah tells the story of a people in crisis. The Israelites are slaves once again, but unlike in Egypt, where God miraculously rescued them from the hand of Pharaoh and his army, they have no one to blame but themselves. They have deliberately disobeyed God and must face the consequences of their sin. Through poems, songs and narrative, the prophet Isaiah delivers hard words to a broken, defiant, homesick people in exile first in Assyria and then, 150 years later, in Babylon. Yet Isaiah also delivers a message of hope, reminding the Israelites that the God who called them to be his own people is faithful, tender and compassionate toward those he loves, and that he has a plan not just for their redemption but for the redemption of the whole of his broken creation.
Isaiah is a challenging book, both for the nature of how it's written and for the words Isaiah delivers. This guide will help us make sense of its parts so that we can understand the scope of Isaiah's message and its importance in the overall story of God?s work. And, for a people facing our own crises-whether in our own lives or in the lives of our churches, nation or world-these studies will point us to the God who is still faithfully, compassionately speaking and redeeming the creation and people he loves.
The Understanding the Books of the Bible series moves groups away from a typical Bible study format into a new approach to experiencing the Bible together. Instead of following artificial chapter and verse divisions, these study guides lead groups through whole books following their natural outlines and flow. They pose engaging questions for discussion with personal implications all along the way, leading to a community Bible experience.
Isaiah by Christopher R. Smith was published by IVP Connect in May 2012 and is our 52150th best seller. The ISBN for Isaiah is 9780830858118.