By Luke Johnson | January 1, 2013
Have you ever had to listen to someone in authority who is telling you want to do, and decided not to do what they said? (school teacher? babysitter? team captain? somebody else?)
If someone were to give you a score on “doing what you’re told,” what do you think you’d get?
(On a scale of 1 to 100, 1 = “Terrible! Never listens!” 100 = “Perfect record!”)
Think about people in the Bible -- who do you think is the worst at following God’s instructions?
Off the top of your head, what happens to people in the Bible when they outrightly disobey God?
(E.g., Adam and Eve banished from the garden, the flood, Israel getting exiled…)
Read Isaiah 55:1-13
What popped out at you as you read this?
Who is speaking here?
Who is God speaking to?
God is talking to Israel -- Israel hugely messed up. They stopped caring about what God wanted them to be, and decided they wanted to be like the nations around them instead. So they started worshipping other gods and getting into all sorts of trouble. God brought in an extremely powerful nation called Babylon to destroy Israel and lead them away like slaves. (Do you remember St. Patrick from a few weeks ago? Remember how he was led away into slavery because he stopped caring about what God wanted? Israel did the same thing.)
Read Isaiah 1:1-6
How is Israel doing? Do you think God is justified in punishing Israel to get their attention?
God does something really strange in Isaiah 55. He was right in the middle of punishing Israel for their disobedience, but then he gave the words we just read in Isaiah 55 to the prophet Isaiah to tell Israel.
Why do you think God would say these things when he’s in the middle of punishing them?
Look at verse 3. What is God planning to do?
Who is David, and what did God promise to him? (2 Samuel 7:14-16)
What does Isaiah 55 have to say about God’s mercy?
God invites people to do things in Isaiah 55. What kind of invitations does God give? (vv. 1, 3, 6, 7)
Read Matthew 11:28-30
What sticks out in your mind when you read these words?
Does anything in this passage remind you of Isaiah 55?
How do Jesus’ words make you feel?