Introduction
There has been a theme throughout Isaiah concerning God’s Word. Beginnings with 55:6-11 we’ll look at several passages in Isaiah on this topic as we ponder what God’s Word actually means to us individually and how it is applied.

6Seek the Lord while He may
be found;

Call upon Him while He is near.

7Let the wicked forsake his way

And the unrighteous man his
thoughts;

And let him return to the Lord,

And He will have compassion
on him,

And to our God,

For He will abundantly pardon.

8For My thoughts are not your
thoughts,

Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord.

9“For as the heavens are higher
than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your
ways

And My thoughts than your
thoughts.

10For as the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,

And do not return there without
watering the earth

And making it bear and sprout,

And furnishing seed to the sower
and bread to the eater;

11So will My word be which goes
forth from My mouth;

It will not return to Me empty,

Without accomplishing what I
desire,

And without succeeding in the
matter for which I sent it.

[Read 55:6-11]

Q: How would you summarize the theme of these verses?

A: The nature of the Lord’s will is; that is, what He plans to accomplish.

 

Q: If the theme is to understand what God is doing, how is this done? That is, how do we find out what He is doing?

A: Verse 6 says to “Seek the Lord while He may be found…call upon Him while He is near.”

 

Application: How does one seek the Lord and call upon Him? (verse 7 provides part of the answer).

Q: What is the message of verses 8 & 9?

A: The message is quite clear:  We do not think like God. His thoughts and plans are radically different from our own and must be learned.

 

Application: How are His thoughts and plans learned? Share experiences or insights from the Word that demonstrate that God’s way of doing things is different from our own. Be as specific as possible. Begin with little things like what you do first thing in the morning, to how you relate to your family, to what you do for an occupation, to how you use your free time.

 

Q: What is the key concept to verses 10-11, and how will this happen?

A: That God’s Word will be accomplished. It will happen because God will make it happen. And what will happen will be the fulfillment of His Word.

 

“Even from eternity I am He,

And there is none who can deliver out of My hand;

I act and who can reverse it?”

―Isaiah 43:13

13“If because of the sabbath, you
turn your foot

From doing your own pleasure on
My holy day,

And call the sabbath a delight,
the holy day of the Lord
honorable,

And honor it, desisting from your
own ways,

From seeking your own pleasure

And speaking your own word,

[Read 58:13]

Q: What is the point of this verse?

A: That the word that is being taught, preached, prophesied is not God’s Word, but man’s. It’s a call to turn from following one’s own word to following God’s.

3A voice is calling,

“Clear the way for the Lord in the
wilderness;

Make smooth in the desert a
highway for our God.

4Let every valley be lifted up,

And every mountain and hill be
made low;

And let the rough ground become
a plain,

And the rugged terrain a broad
valley;

5Then the glory of the Lord will be
revealed,

And all flesh will see it together;

For the mouth of the Lord has
spoken.”

6A voice says, “Call out.”

Then he answered, “What shall I
call out?”

All flesh is grass, and all its
loveliness is like the flower of
the field.

7The grass withers, the flower
fades,

When the breath of the Lord
blows upon it;

Surely the people are grass.

8The grass withers, the flower
fades,

But the word of our God stands
forever.

[Read 40:3-8]

Q: Of all things made, what will continue to remain forever, and why?

A: God’s Word because it contains God’s voice which communicates His will which will always be accomplished.

 

Q: What is the meaning of clearing and smoothing and so on n v.3-4?

A: It represents each person removing the personal obstacles of unbelief and disobedience in their life so that they may properly heed God’s call, His Word. It’s not strictly about knowledge, but obedience.

 

“Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. For, ‘All flesh is like grass, And all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, And the flower falls off, But the word of the Lord endures forever’ And this is the word which was preached to you.”

―1 Peter 1:22-25

Application: What, then, ought we to do with God’s Word and how should it impact our lives? Be specific in terms of the amount of energy that ought to go into our investment into God’s Word.

15For thus says the high and
exalted One

Who lives forever, whose name is
Holy,

“I dwell on a high and holy place,

And also with the contrite and lowly
of spirit

In order to revive the spirit of the
lowly

And to revive the heart of the
contrite.

[Read 57:15]

Q: In 57:15, what does it mean to be “contrite and lowly of spirit”?

A: “Contrite” means to be sincerely remorseful. It implies that the worshipper is aware of his or her sin and willing to acknowledge its presence and its wrongness. To be “lowly in spirit” is simply to be humble rather than proud.

 

Q: What does God promise to do for those who are contrite and low in spirit? What section of the NT does this verse remind you of?

A: God promises to revive the contrite and lowly in spirit. To revive means to give new life to. This verse reminds us of the Beatitudes in Matthew 5.

1Thus says the Lord,

“Heaven is My throne and the
earth is My footstool.

Where then is a house you could
build for Me?

And where is a place that I may
rest?

2“For My hand made all these
things,

Thus all these things came into
being,” declares the Lord.

“But to this one I will look,

To him who is humble and
contrite of spirit, and who
trembles at My word.

[Read 66:1-2]

Q: In 66:1-2, what is the response to God’s Word for someone who is “humble and contrite of spirit,” and why?

A: He or she “trembles” at God’s Word. Someone who trembles at God’s Word is someone who sees God’s Word as the voice of the Lord Himself.

 

Application: Discuss the significance of the statement, “God’s Word, the Bible, is literally God’s voice, and it is no different to us than hearing God speak directly through an OT prophet, Jesus, or a NT apostle.” After discussing this a little, name some specific ways in which God’s Word can be given a higher level of respect in our lives (such as not putting other books on top of your Bible). That is, what kinds of things, activities, behaviors ought we to adopt as we elevate the importance of God’s Word?

 

Q: What’s the common theme in these?

A: God positively regards those who have rid themselves of pride and have come to rely upon God’s Word as the source of their satisfaction.

 

Overall Application

How will the discussion of God’s Word personally alter your approach to God’s Word? End