Isaiah 8:1-22 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Fear the Lord
Comments for Study 6

Isaiah 8:1-22
Memory Verse: 13

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I. Assyria, The Lord's Instrument (1-10)

>1. What was on a legal document created by the Lord? (1-2)

* Isaiah 8:1-2 "The LORD said to me, "Take a large scroll and write on it with an ordinary pen: Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. And I will call in Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah as reliable witnesses for me."

* "Take a large scroll" -The Hebrew word for scroll is related to the word for an unsealed copy in Jeremiah 32:11.

* "write on it with an ordinary pen" -The hand writing was plain and simple for all to read and understand.

* "Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz" -Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz means quick to the plunder, swift to the spoil. The Lord had Isaiah give his son this symbolic name to warn of the impending destruction of Syria and Israel as they threatened Judah and Ahaz, its king. The name appeared to show that God would deliver Judah from her enemies. The sign also called on Ahaz for faith. Without faith, Judah could become part of the spoil. The prophecy was that the two enemies of Judah would be destroyed before they could attack the Southern Kingdom. Assyria defeated Syria in 732 B.C. and Israel in 722 B.C. Judah survived until 586 B.C. when the third Babylonian captivity took place and completely falling in 581 B.C. during the final captivity by Babylon.

* "Uriah the priest" -Uriah served as priest under Ahaz who reigned from 736 to 728 B.C. (2 Kings 16:10-11)

* "Zechariah son of Jeberekiah" -Zechariah is a very common name in the Bible. It is possible that this Zechariah was the grandfather of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:2).

* "as reliable witnesses for me" -Legal contracts between to parties needs reliable witnesses so that neither party can change the terms of the contract.

>Why was Isaiah's son to have the same name as on the contract? (3-4)

* Isaiah 8:3-4 "Then I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and gave birth to a son. And the LORD said to me, "Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. Before the boy knows how to say 'My father' or 'My mother,' the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria."

* "Then I went to the prophetess" -Isaiah's wife was a prophetess.

* "she conceived and gave birth to a son" -Isaiah's wife had been a virgin to this point. Thus part of the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled. "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." However, the Lord made sure that Isaiah's boy was not named Immanuel. The Lord told Isaiah to call him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.

* "Before the boy knows how to say 'My father' or 'My mother'" -Approximately the age of two or three. Within three years of the boys birth the prophecy would be fulfilled.

* "the plunder of Samaria will be carried off" -The first stage of Samaria's fall was in 732 B.C. Ten years later Samaria completely fell according to 7:16 "before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right". Twelve was the age of adulthood (described in 7:16) according to Hebrew culture.

* "by the king of Assyria" -The Northern Kingdom of Israel (aka Samaria, Ephraim) was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian monarchs, Tiglath-Pileser III (Pul) and Shalmaneser V. The later Assyrian rulers Sargon II and his son and successor, Sennacherib, were responsible for finishing the twenty-year demise of Israel's northern ten-tribe kingdom. Sennacherib also invaded some parts of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. He records forty-six fortified towns captured from Judah, and presumably carried away into Assyria. Jerusalem was besieged, but not taken. Some now call the northern tribes "The Ten Lost Tribes".

>Why might the Lord need to take such drastic measures to make his point?

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>2. What is the "gently flowing waters of Shiloah"? (5-6)

* Isaiah 8:5-6 "The LORD spoke to me again: "Because this people has rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah and rejoices over Rezin and the son of Remaliah,"

* "Because"

* "the gently flowing waters"

* "Shiloah" -Hezekiah's tunnel had not yet been constructed at this time. Water was conducted from the Gihon Spring (in the Kidron Valley on the east side of the city) toward the south through an aqueduct that brought the water to a reservoir at the southwestern tip of the city. This aqueduct is known as the Siloam Channel and in biblical times went by the name Shiloah. (The IVP Bible Background Commentary - Old Testament.)

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* "the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria"

>And Rezin?

* "Rezin" -Rezin was the King of Syria (about 735 B.C.) during the reigns of Pekah in Israel and Ahaz in Judah. When Ahaz refused to join Rezin and Pekah in fighting against Assyria, Rezin pursuaded Pekah to ally with him against the Judean king (2 Kings 15:37; 16:5). Ahaz appealed for help to Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, who came against Rezin and Pekah and destroyed their kingdoms. Rezin died in 732 B.C. when Damascus fell to the Assyrians. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

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>How do all even today have the same choice? (Matt. 11:28-30; Luke 12:4-10)

* Luke 12:4-10 "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven."

* Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

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>3. What did the Lord promise would happen because they have rejected him? (7-8)

* Isaiah 8:7-8 "therefore the Lord is about to bring against them the mighty floodwaters of the River-- the king of Assyria with all his pomp. It will overflow all its channels, run over all its banks and sweep on into Judah, swirling over it, passing through it and reaching up to the neck. Its outspread wings will cover the breadth of your land, O Immanuel!"

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Euphrates River

* See a picture of the Euphrates River to the right.

>What did the Lord compare Assyria to?

* "the mighty floodwaters of the River" -The river here is the Euphrates River which flowed through Assyria.

* "Euphrates River" -The Euphrates River starts in modern day Turkey, flows through Syria and Iraq, joins the Tigris River and finally empties into the Persian Gulf. It is the longest river in Western Asia. The Euphrates River is the original northern border of Israel according the the Lord through Moses. During David and Solomon's reign Israel's influence extended to the Euphrates River.

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>What does it mean that Assyria would be up to Judah's neck?

* "reaching up to the neck"

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>4. What did the Lord say to the nations? (9)

* Isaiah 8:9 "Raise the war cry, you nations, and be shattered! Listen, all you distant lands. Prepare for battle, and be shattered! Prepare for battle, and be shattered!"

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>Why would Assyria invade Judah but not completely take it over? (10)

* Isaiah 8:10 "Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us."

* "for God is with us"

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>What can be learned about the Lord discipline and patience?

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II. Fear the Holy Lord Almighty (11-17)

>5. What does it mean that the Lord's strong hand was upon Isaiah?

* Isaiah 8:11 "The LORD spoke to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people. He said:"

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>What is a conspiracy and what was Judah calling one? (12)

* Isaiah 8:12 "Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it."

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>6. Who are we to fear?

* Isaiah 8:13 "The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread,"

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>What would happen to both houses of Israel? (14-15)

* Isaiah 8:14-15 "and he will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel he will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured."

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>How did Jesus fulfill this? (28:16; Rom. 9:30-33; and 1 Peter 2:7-8)

* Isaiah 28:16 "So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed."

* Romans 9:30-33 "What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone." As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

* 1 Peter 2:7-8 "Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone, and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message--which is also what they were destined for."

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>7. What does verse 16 mean?

* Isaiah 8:16 "Bind up the testimony and seal up the law among my disciples."

* Galatians 3:23-25 "Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law."

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>Even though the Lord hide his face from sinful Jacob what did Isaiah claim? (17)

* Isaiah 8:17 "I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in him."

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>How is faith in the mist of trial and troubles an expression of love? (Rom. 5:3-5)

* Romans 5:3-5 "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

* John 14:1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me."

* John 14:23-24 "Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me."

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III. Signs and Symbols (18-22)

>8. Who are signs and symbols? (18)

* Isaiah 8:18 "Here am I, and the children the LORD has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from the LORD Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion."

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>How are we signs? (Heb. 2:10-15)

* Hebrews 2:10-15 "In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises." And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again he says, "Here am I, and the children God has given me." Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil-- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death."

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>9. Who do people go to for advice instead of asking God? (19)

* Isaiah 8:19 "When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?"

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>What is the problem with this? (20)

* Isaiah 8:20 "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn."

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>What has God given us as a guide in life?

* "to the law"

* "to the testimony"

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>How does the Holy Spirit use this too? (John 14:25-27)

* John 14:25-27 "All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

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>10. When trouble comes because of sin, what do sinful people do?

* Isaiah 8:21 "Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God."

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>Does this help them?

* Isaiah 8:22 "Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness."

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>How will this happen in greater numbers when God's great wrath is poured on earth? (Rev. 16:9, 11, 21)

* Revelation 16:9 "They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him."

* Revelation 16:11 "and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done."

* Revelation 16:21 "From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible."

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