READ: Isaiah 19-22
THINK: How do you feel when you consider what's going on in the culture around you-how people defy God, disregard His standards and denounce His followers? Do you feel frustrated or irritated-even fearful? While these emotions may come more naturally, God wants His people to have a supernatural sense of compassion. Though the people of Isaiah's day were destroying themselves, the prophet grieved for them. Like Isaiah, we must share God's sorrow for people who are spiritually lost and lacking a personal relationship with Him. Then, relying on God's power, we can reach them with the message of forgiveness and new life through faith in Jesus Christ.
RESPOND: What did the Egyptians worship, whom did they depend on for guidance (19:1,3,11), and what would happen to their leaders and economy as a result? (See 19:1-15 note.) As a result of God's judgment, what will ultimately happen among nations that formerly opposed God (19:23-25), and when will this be fully realized? (See 19:25 note.) What difficult lesson would people learn when they saw their allies destroyed and taken into captivity (20:6)? What does this teach about depending on God? (See 20:2 note.) What can you learn from Isaiah's humiliation and obedience in chapter 20? (See 20:3 note.) What would happen to Babylon's objects of worship when the nation was conquered (21:9)? (See 21:9 note.) How is Babylon's destruction symbolic of end time events? (See 21:9 note.) What was "the Valley of Vision" (22:1), and why had trouble come on the people there? (See 22:1 note.) What was Isaiah's attitude toward the suffering people would experience (22:4)? (See 22:4 note.) In Judah's effort to build it's defenses, what had the people failed to do (22:11), and how did this lead to destruction? What opportunity does God give people before bringing judgment (22:12)? (See 22:12-13 note.)
PRAY: Ask God for help and guidance with issues you currently face. Pray for the strength to endure humiliation for obeying God, and pray for those who give you a hard time.
ACT: Continue to show kindness in practical and tangible ways to people who have given you a difficult time-particularly for your faith in Christ. Thank Jesus for the opportunity to identify with Him, and make sure you conduct yourself in a way that gives others an accurate impression of Jesus.
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