READ: Isaiah 9-10
THINK: What kind of people can God use to accomplish His purposes? Certainly those who accept His forgiveness and entrust their lives to Christ can enjoy a personal relationship with God and fulfill His plans for their individual lives. But regardless of how people respond to God, His plans will always prevail and His purposes will always be fulfilled. In the process, God can use anyone-including those who defy Him-to accomplish His plans. Sometimes God uses ungodly people to teach His followers vital lessons. Yet in the end, the Lord will ultimately punish or reward individuals-even nations-for their own actions and responses to Him.
RESPOND: What does Isaiah mean when he says that "there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress" (9:1)? (See 9:1-7 note.) What important truths does 9:1-7 reveal about the coming Messiah-the promised Savior? (See 9:1-7 note, subpoints 1–6.) In what ways would the Messiah bring joy, peace and freedom (9:3-4)? According to 9:6, what descriptive names would characterize the Messiah, and what's the significance of these names in relation to Jesus Christ? (See 9:6 note, subpoints 1–4.) What does it mean that there will be no end to the Messiah's government and peace (9:7)? (See 9:7 note.) What did the prophet mean that he had "a message against Jacob" (9:8)? (See 9:8-10:4 note.) According to 10:1-2, what kinds of injustices would bring God's judgment? What nation would God use to punish His people for their rebellion (10:5)? What would God eventually do to that nation, and why (10:5-7,12)? What is "the remnant of Israel" (10:20), and how would God work through it? (See 10:20 note)
PRAY: Give Jesus thanks for the joy, peace and freedom you can enjoy through your personal relationship with Him. Praise Jesus for being your "Wonderful Counselor" and "Mighty God."
ACT: Think of someone with whom you should spend time-perhaps a person who seems lonely or outcast, a hurting friend, or even a family member. Take time today to hang out with that person over a meal or during another activity. Help or encourage him or her in a personal, practical way.
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