By trusting in emptiness and speaking deceit, they conceive harm and give birth to malice. They … weave spiderwebs. … Their webs can’t serve as clothing; they can’t cover themselves with their deeds. Their deeds are deeds of malice, and the work of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil; they rush to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are thoughts of malice; desolation and destruction litter their highways. They don’t know the way of peace; there’s no justice in their paths. They make their roads crooked; no one who walks in them knows peace. (Isaiah 59.4-8)
The mountains may shift, and the hills may be shaken, but my faithful love won’t shift from you, and my covenant of peace won’t be shaken, says the LORD, the one who pities you. (Isaiah 54.10)
I will arise against them, says the Lord of heavenly forces. I will cut off Babylon’s renown and remnant, offshoot and offspring. I will make it the home of herons, a swampland. I will sweep it away with the broom of destruction … (Isaiah 14.22-23a)
Look! I’m doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it? (Isaiah 43.19)
NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow, May, 13. This guide will enable your follow-up of my sermon, As a Mother Cares for Her Children, from Isaiah 49:13-15; 66.12-14. You’ll find these LIFE group discussion guides categorized each week here on my site under the category title “LIFE group guides.”
To impress upon us the powerful and wonderful loving care of God for his people.
Sing, heavens! Rejoice, earth! Break out, mountains, with a song. The Lord has comforted his people, and taken pity on those who suffer. But Zion says, “The Lord has abandoned me; my Lord has forgotten me.” Can a woman forget her nursing child, fail to pity the child of her womb? Even these may forget, but I won’t forget you. (Isaiah 49.13-15 CEB)
The Lord says: Look, I’m extending prosperity [shalom; peace] to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like an overflowing stream. You will nurse and be carried on the hip and bounced upon the knee. As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; in Jerusalem you will be comforted. When you see this, your heart will rejoice; your entire being will flourish like grass. The Lord’s power will be known among his servants, but his fury among his enemies. (Isaiah 66.12-14 CEB)
Icebreaker questions are meant to help us all start talking. Choose one of the following to discuss as a group.
1. What are some of the good things you are quite sure you will remember for life?
2. Tell us of a good memory you have of your mother’s care for you, a motherly-like care someone has extended to you, or the care you have witnessed of any mother for her child.
These questions are meant to help us grapple with Scripture related to this morning’s sermon. Choose some.
1. What do you know of the original context of these two statements in Isaiah?
2. List the specifics of how a mother cares for her child that are directly noted in these texts.
3. How exactly does God reassure people that he has not forgotten them (Isa. 49.15-15)?
4. The image shifts from Israel as a child (in Isa. 66:12-14a) to Israel as something else (vs. 14b). What does God expect his children to grow up to be?
These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us thru his word. Choose some.
1. In light of these two texts, what are some proper responses to becoming aware that God is ever faithful and good to you?
2. Do any well-known Christian songs come to mind as you reflect on these words in Isaiah?
3. These two passages are full of powerful promises from God. What are some of God’s promises that you find yourself coming back to again and again for reassurance and hope?
4. What characteristics of God do you see reflected in a good mother’s care for her child?
5. Someone says to you, “I feel like God has totally forgotten me.” How would you respond?
6. Specifically, how can you extend God’s mother-like care and shalom to those around you?
“Then the lame will leap like the deer …” (Isaiah 35:6a CEB)
“Sail for home, O ships of Tarshish. There are no docks left in this harbor.” (Isaiah 23:10)